[Ed. – This sounds an awful lot like the “take her seriously, but not literally” explainer-mantra used about Trump. In an odd twist, the left never buys this explanation about Trump’s rhetorical salad-spinning. Note: when I first saw the Zack Beauchamp tweet referenced in the Andrew Sullivan piece (discussed at the link), I thought it had to be a parody.]
The only reason lefties aren’t offended by this obvious race-based hatred, the argument goes, is that they see the world entirely through the lens of power. Since whites as a class have it, minorities by definition cannot harbor racist attitudes toward them.
“It is simply false to excuse anti-white racism on the grounds that people of color lack power,” French writes. “But this argument confuses the gravity of an offense with the existence of the offense. A powerless person’s hate may not harm the powerful, but it is still hate.”
The problem here, though, is assuming that Jeong’s words were meant literally: that when Jeong wrote “#cancelwhitepeople,” for example, she was literally calling for white genocide. Or when she said “white men are bullsh**,” she meant each and every white man is the human equivalent of bull feces. …
To anyone who’s even passingly familiar with the way the social justice left talks, this is just clearly untrue. “White people” is a shorthand in these communities, one that’s used to capture the way that many whites still act in clueless and/or racist ways. It’s typically used satirically and hyperbolically to emphasize how white people continue to benefit (even unknowingly) from their skin color, or to point out the ways in which a power structure that favors white people continues to exist.