Experts tell us victims don’t lie, and that might be true. Here’s the problem: Fake victims always lie. They commit the crime of stolen grievance, at an expense of people who suffer and those who genuinely care about them.
Our culture is one of compassion. Most people on American soil want peace, harmony and love among men and women of all ethnicities and sexual orientations. They want to go about their lives, working to provide for families with aaspirations of enjoying free weekends together. Lurking on the margins is a minority who hate, deceive and otherwise cause harm.
Our mainstream culture’s pursuit of harmony and peace explains why millions of foreigners from diverse backgrounds sacrifice each year to live in the United States, legally or otherwise. They crave prosperity and peace, with relative assurance others will treat them with fairness, dignity and respect.
As American law and culture work to ease burdens of the aggrieved, we create good will and tangible benefits. Charlatans prey on these byproducts of compassion, just as thieves seek anything of value.
Stolen grievance resembles stolen valor, committed by those who create phony past lives of combat. By playing the role of a selfless veteran, an impostor steals respect earned by others who endued real hardship.
The actor Jussie Smollett, little-known a few weeks ago, came to symbolize stolen grievance after Chicago police charged him with faking a homophobic, racist hate crime purportedly committed by racist white Trump supporters.
When society believed Smollett, the tale earned him guest appearances on TV talk shows. One major journalist teared up and treated Smollett like a hero. The alleged crime instantly transformed the actor into a star with high prospects of A-list fame and fortune.
If Smollett did what police claim, which no one can know for certain today, he ranks among growing legions of grievance thieves -- the loathsome miscreants who steal accommodations intended as reparations for burden. Grievance thieves undermine our culture’s efforts toward civility, compassion and equal opportunity.