Thursday, September 06, 2007

Liberal logic of group identity

If the accuser is a poor black female and the accused are well-to-do white males, then, by liberal logic, the accused are guilty until proven innocent. Analogous logic appeared to have been applied in a case in the UK involving gay foster parents. The gay couple in this case, Ian Wathey and Craig Faunch, have been convicted of repeatedly abusing four boys put in their care. They were able to do this even after a social worker had been given photographic evidence that abuse was occurring. According to a recently released report, the social workers refused to take the allegations seriously for fear of being considered "homophobic." In other words, because the accused were gay and therefore members of a "victim" group, they were considered automatically innocent.

The couple was arrested only after an unidentified woman bypassed the social workers who were in charge of the children's welfare and took her accusation directly to the police. Fortunately, the UK police don't try to follow the same rules of political correctness as the social services do.

A generalization is a common pattern discerned from a few examples. Liberal logic works in the opposite direction: it assumes that individual cases, such as Duke rape case and UK gay foster parents case, must obey their generalizations. Merely questioning the generalization opens one for accusations of racism or homophobia. There is a word for assuming that individual cases must obey the generalization and that word is prejudice: Political correctness is prejudice.

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