One of the oldest rules in psychology and economics is that if you reward a behavior, you can expect to see it more often.
In America, we reward victimhood.
That makes us feel good about ourselves and in some cases, it helps improve the lives of the people who’ve been victimized, but there’s a dark side to it as well. It creates perverse incentives for people, it helps legitimize a victimhood mentality, and it also encourages people to fake hate crimes.
Under normal circumstances, that would seldom happen. However, in a society where we celebrate victimhood and savagely attack people we decide are “bullies”, being a “victim” can potentially be the high point of someone’s life. It can mean getting attention from the media, being showered with sympathy, and even making thousands of dollars.
Is it any wonder that there are unscrupulous people who take advantage of the situation?
1) The Tawana Brawley Hoax: This was the case that made Al Sharpton’s career and surprise, surprise, it was all a lie.