Not so long ago, the way you became a hero was, well, by acting heroically. That meant going above and beyond your normal civic duty or the requirements of your job and usually putting yourself at risk.
But today the surer (not to mention safer) path to heroism is victimhood... Consider our victim-hero de jour, Pfc. Jessica Lynch... But first reports were false. Lynch never fired a shot, she admitted, because her rifle jammed. Like apparently most members of her unit, she had failed to keep her weapon clean... I do a column stripping people of their victimhood. That includes the parents of autistic children who blame vaccinations for the disorder; Vietnam veterans who insist all of their ills.. sufferers of so-called “Gulf War Syndrome.”When I ask them to fax me medical records they hiss and spit and call me names not fit to print in a family newspaper, but nobody has ever taken me up on my challenge.
Yet it’s worse than that. I’m convinced that most of these people never served in Vietnam or the Gulf at all. It’s a dead giveaway when they won’t even provide their unit names.
.. Somewhere buried in the penumbra of the Constitution there simply must be a right to victimhood. I’m a victim; I’m a Jew. I’m a victim; I’m a woman. I’m a victim; I’m black. I’m a victim; I’m gay. I’m a victim; I’m a straight white gentile male. And so Lynch is now rubbing elbows with Britney Spears and is a motivational speaker on the subject of “survival,” as if you can get an entire talk out of “be knocked unconscious.” Yet there were real heroes in her unit. They maintained their weapons and used them in defense of Lynch and the others, thus drawing deadly enemy fire to themselves.
It was a premeditated temper tantrum gone viral.
there’s no evidence any of that was true. It was in fact a premeditated temper tantrum gone viral, featuring one 69-year-old Vietnamese-American David Dao, a medical doctor who’d lost his license, planning a lawsuit from the moment United first politely asked him to give up his seat. He demanded to be dragged and, when police obliged, struck his lip on an armrest. From the many videos taken by numerous passengers, from numerous angles, there’s no evidence of a beating, a “serious” concussion, or bodily damage beyond that lip.
Although some like the Huffington Post want us to ignore his sordid past as inconsequential or “blaming the victim,” it’s important that Dao in 1995 was charged with 98 felony drug counts for illegally prescribing and trafficking painkillers, sometimes in exchange for homosexual sex. (He’s married. To a woman.) That normally would get you identified as unreliable. He surrendered his medical license and even now is allowed to practice internal medicine only in an outpatient facility one day a week.
.. To be sure, United deserves blame and played into Dao’s hands
.. But once he was asked to give up his seat, along with three other passengers who willingly obliged, Dao’s mental gears began to whirl. One video depicts him telling someone by telephone “I make lawsuit against United Airlines for discrimination.” Yet another video shows him insisting that he be dragged. All the while he held up the departure, as indeed he would again as everyone had to leave while the blood was cleaned up.
.. This is obvious nonsense, so how did he get so far with it?
.. The London Independent went so far as to say Dao’s life was “ruined,” while one of his team of attorneys asserted Dao “said that being dragged down the aisle was more horrifying and harrowing than what he experienced when leaving Vietnam.” By tomorrow it will be worse than having been gassed at Auschwitz.
.. Thirteen years ago I penned a column called “Victims Are Our New Heroes,”