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We Are Individuals, Not Victims—Zaid Jilani on minority victimhood and agency

Updated: Feb 25



The Jewish magazine Tablet has been publishing some incisive cultural commentary lately, including this piece by Zaid Jilani. Groupish thinking is in vogue, but Jilani points out the fallacy of labelling entire ethnic groups with inherent virtue or victimhood.


At the moment, we have "a worldview where whites embody a form of inherent sin; meanwhile, minorities are seen as virtuous victims, rather than what we really are: individuals who are capable of good or evil, violence or peace." Jilani marshals some data to illumine this "problematic belief structure" and calls on readers to not strip minorities of their agency with such beliefs.


I would be lying if I said I’ve never faced bigotry or discrimination as a result of being a Pakistani American Muslim. But it never really occurred to me to think about the entire United States as antagonistic to my existence. Now I’m starting to wonder if the coddling promoted by some of its elites will prevent liberals from seeing me as a fully human person.


Read "We Are Individuals, Not Victims" over at Tablet. For more from Jilani, check out "What Does Teaching ‘White Privilege’ Actually Accomplish? Not What You Might Think (Or Hope)" over at Quillette.

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