A lot of people, mainly conservatives, have been throwing around the term “playing the victim” a lot in recent years. It’s been used so much that it’s pretty much lost all meaning and instead is just something people say to hide their own racial/prejudice tendencies. The idea that voicing concern over the issues facing a minority group as “playing the victim” is just silly, and it’s just an excuse for people to not have to think.
Let’s get some things straight. See, I know the people that read these blog posts on this site are well informed educated people. So, this might seem like second nature. But believe it or not, there are people who just don’t get it. Here’s the deal, there are groups in this country that have to face unfair biases and discrimination, even if it’s at the systemic level, based solely on being different. As a disabled person, I have a lot of negative stereotypes about me being helpless. Other minority groups, blacks, trans, whatever, face their own unfair biases that’s been socially constructed over the years due to false narratives.
It is just a fact that some groups of people are treated differently than others. Now, simply addressing these issues does not make a person a victim. What does make a person a victim is if a person simply gives up on ever trying to improve their life because they recognize the issues facing them and decide to let those issues dictate their lives. That person would be a victim.
It’s important to call out problems facing discriminated groups in order to improve the situation of those groups. One of the best ways to end discrimination is to first call it out when it happens and educate people. It’s just ridiculous that some people would call that “playing the victim”. I feel that those people are uncomfortable about being called out on their cognitive biases. They have bene in power for so long, and the media has only represented them, that when a marginalized group tries to speak out, they become threatened.
The most basic example I can think of is, say you got shot in the arm. You’d go to the hospital and go “man! I just got shot in the arm and it really hurts! I need help!” Some people, again, mainly those on the Right, would say, “Man, you’re just being a victim”. In reality, that person is addressing the fact that he just got shot in the arm and needs help. Now, if that person got shot in the arm and just decided to never get better and just go shoot up a gas station, then, yeah, that person would be playing a victim. That’s a bit of a crude analogy, but non the less relative. The point is, simply addressing an issue and trying to take steps to change that issue is not being a victim. Letting your problems, socially constructed or otherwise, dictate your life and force you to give up, now that’s another matter.