Opinion: Victims deserve justice but should not be glorified

Sam Stroud

Staff Writer

Empire star Jussie Smollett was arrested last month for filing a false police report. In that report, he claimed he was attacked by two assailants wearing Make America Great Again hats who put a noose around his neck. 

A police investigation suggests that Smollet staged the attack by paying two men to carry out the physical assault. Chicago P.D. concluded that the motive for this attack was an attempt by Smollett to get a pay raise from FOX. 

It is safe to say that the culture of victimhood is getting a little out of hand. 

For the longest time in American culture, victims of crimes, especially if they were minorities, were silenced. These where the times when horrible and disgusting things like spousal rape were not considered crimes. It was an awful characteristic of society and it is admirable that we are no longer so condemning and ignorant of those who have been victimized. 

That being said, the culture we have today has simply swung too far the other way. Being a victim is not something you should be rewarded for. There is a difference between compensation and reward. If you are robbed, it is your right to get what was taken from you. That is what justice is, getting compensation for the wrongs committed against you. It is not your right to receive some special accommodation or honor for being a victim. 

When the video of Nathan Phillips, a Native American, playing drums in a crowd of conservative high school students went viral, Phillips claimed the crowd of teens circled him and began to mock him. An extended video that was later published showed that the man walked into the crowd of teens and that nobody was jeering him. 

That didn’t matter, Phillips was heralded by celebrities and politicians alike. Democrats used his rallying cries of “hatred,” “racism” and “bigotry” to call for an all out ban on the MAGA hats the teens were wearing. Phillips became a martyr, a physical model of resistance to the Right. It was irrelevant that he orchestrated the encounter. He was the victim, and thus, he became a hero. 

Smollett’s plan was to become a hero for the left. An icon of resistance to the bigoted, racist, homophobic Trump supporters. He would then have used this new cultural status to extort more money from FOX. 

This highlights how much we as a society overvalue victimhood. A situation where a man can pretend to be the victim of a hate crime just to get a couple extra 100-dollar bills should never be plausible. Yet it is a reality in our culture today. 

Just because someone is victimized, that does not make them some kind of expert on the subject or someone who should be idolized because of the fact that they were hurt in some way. 

 Being a victim warrants justice but should never be something anyone profits from. 

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