You can build all kinds of horrible stories around anecdotes, and here’s a perfect example. A woman’s mother is ill, and needs constant care. One day she starts to slide out of her wheelchair, and the woman rushes to prevent her from falling, and yells for their live-in caretaker…and that’s where it gets weird.
When I shouted for the personal support worker, I was panicked. Paralysed bodies are like dead weight — they are heavy and I wasn’t sure how long I could hold my mother up.
The worker, a visible minority and recent immigrant, was sitting on the couch behind my mother and couldn’t see what was happening. She slowly and deliberately put aside her homework — an open binder and some textbooks — and came to help me. Her annoyance at being interrupted was obvious. The emergency was taking her away from her real goal in life, becoming someone in her adopted country of Canada.
Ah. The relevant point here is apparently that the worker is a “visible minority and recent immigrant”, and wasn’t as solicitous of the woman’s mother as her daughter was. Let’s unpack an assumption or two, shall we? The first is that the minority status of this person was relevant; are foreigners just assumed to be more callous than True Canadians? Are we expected to believe that if the personal support worker were a real “someone”, that is a white native-born Canadian, they would have been more eager to drop their books and leap out of their chair to assist this rather unpleasant woman who is shouting at them? Is the problem here really that the caregiver is an immigrant, or that she is poorly trained and working for cheap?
And then the story gets worse.
As academics will tell you, relying on one anecdote to prove a theory is unwise, but I’m going to do it anyway
Oh. OK. As long as you know this is bogus.
Brace yourself for the ideological justification.
because this experience, which was only one of many, is emblematic of a deeper problem. There’s a disconnect between what many social justice warriors are doing — whipping up racial, gender and class tensions — and the real-life consequences they’re creating for those living off campus. In my panic, I’d spoken sharply to the young woman. I’d told her the angle at which she’d poised my mother was dangerous.
Wait. Who is whipping up racial, gender and class tensions? You’ve got a story — one story — about a woman who didn’t adjust a wheelchair properly, and suddenly it’s all the fault of “social justice warriors” creating horrible dangerous situations for True Canadians by giving jobs to immigrants. Maybe the problem is that instead of being able to hire a full-time, qualified nurse for the job, she’d hired someone who was actually more of a baby-sitter for a disabled adult, and has unwarranted expectations about their expertise.
Fortunately, though, True Canadians seem to have acquired the psychic powers of mind-reading and fortune-telling.
Her attitude became insouciant and knowing, and I realised that if I pursued the matter with the government agency that employed her, her race and immigrant status would likely become factors in my complaint, factors that would obscure the real problems, which were her lack of competency and interest in the job. In the Canadian version of the Biggest Victim Stakes, my mother, even with her age, disability and long-ago immigrant status, would lose.
Again with the racial assumptions. Maybe what was coloring the caregiver’s attitude, if there was one, was that her employer was lecturing at her, and clearly has a problem with her race. And the hypothetical consequences of firing her — and it’s telling that she’s considering this one incident with an immigrant to be cause for firing — hasn’t happened, and the only reason to think it would happen is her angry imagination.
I can agree that this worker lacks competence in wheelchair management, and that a paralyzed person falling out of a chair is a dangerous situation. But why keep complaining about the worker’s race and immigrant status? Why does she think that’s relevant? Is she so certain that a white Canadian, hired for the same job at the same rate, would be better? Has she considered that maybe the reason she’s hired an immigrant is that white Canadians are even less interested in taking on this kind of menial work?
She keeps coming back to this incident — it clearly is eating at her. At the end of the essay, after a meandering and incoherent tour of her outrage with Social Justice Warriors, she has to reiterate how terrible it is that this inexperienced immigrant worker could hold her hostage.
I started with an anecdote about my mother’s care because the practical (and troubling) effects of social justice warfare aren’t discussed often enough. That young woman who was careless with my mother knew she could use an accusation of racism to complicate any complaint I made. Home care — and I hope you’ll bear with me as I use another example — is a sphere where ethical hostage-taking is common. When I hired a live-in caregiver, through Canada’s live-in caregiver program, I was warned I could be hit with a nuisance suit worth several thousand dollars when his employment ended. Apparently, instructions for initiating nuisance suits is often promulgated at ethnic community centres and carried out by affiliated social justice lawyers, the kind of lawyers who specialise in narratives where families who can afford caregivers are naturally abusive.
O INJUSTICE! Immigrant workers, who are doing work beneath True Canadians and doing it with low pay, are protected by laws to prevent exploitation. The Ethnics are secretly conspiring to abuse these laws to leech coin off of the True Canadians. I will remind you, however, that this plan to sue her is entirely in the mind of the writer, and that she discerned them because her immigrant labor looked “insouciant”.
I forgot to mention the title of this essay: When Accusations Abound Who Will Protect the Falsely Maligned? So far, the only accusations have been delivered by the True Canadian against the immigrant. Who is supposed to be protected here?
I left out the longish bit in the middle where she moans about feminists, free speech, and the righteousness of Jordan Peterson’s crusade, and how it is so unfair that a good Canadian can get called a racist or homophobe. Also, strangely, she claims that the basis for this ideological division is “between those of us raised in rural areas, where the division of labour is relatively equal, and those raised in urban centres”, which is just the most long-winded Canadian way to blame urban minorities for problems not present (she claims) in pure rural communities.
You know, I keep reading these ranty complaints against Social Justice Warriors and feminists, and I want to ask one simple question of them.
What do you want, and why?
I’d just like to hear a coherent answer sometime. If you asked me what this SJW/Feminist supporter wanted, I’d say something like “Equal rights and opportunities for all, because we are equal and discrimination offends my sense of justice.” But these bozos…it’s all contradictory bullshit. They yell about “Free Speech!”, but then they announce that they want to shut up the people who call them mean names. Or like this woman, who clearly just wants to be able to fire immigrants and people of other races with impunity, because she blames their shortcomings on their race, which is at least internally consistent, but when stated that way, sounds awfully nasty, and actually justifies accusing her of racism, which she seems to want to tell people they aren’t allowed to do.
I think what they all really want is to protect their little bubbles of privilege, and silence anyone who even mentions something that is uncomfortably challenging to the status quo.