MSNBC contributor Noah Rothman got set straight Wednesday when he asserted that anti-discrimination and feminist policies have resulted in unintended consequences that exert “negative pressure” against white men.
Rothman appeared on “Morning Joe” Thursday to discuss his latest book “Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America,” in which he argues that “positively discriminating” in the form of affirmative action only leads to “negatively discriminating” against another, usually more privileged group.
“You mentioned affirmative action, and that is important because, philosophically, in [this] book, an action to positively discriminate, to rise up, sort of had a collateral damage effect of negatively discriminating,” Rothman explained. “That was an accident.”
The notion didn’t sit well with Tiffany Cross, co-founder and managing editor of The Beat DC, who interrupted to ask Rothman to clarify what exactly is “negative discrimination.”
“Classes, whole tribes of individuals need to have a comeuppance, a sort of, reckoning, with their historical privileges that they know or may not know that they benefit from,” Rothman responded. “Likewise, to examine those who’ve been victimized by historical forces that they may either be aware of or not aware of. That’s negative discrimination.”
Host Joe Scarborough chimed in and questioned if white men were the so-called victims Rothman was referring to, but the pundit seemed to dance around the question.
“It’s a philosophy that views not individuals as individuals, but as people who inhabit tribes who inhabit a matrix of persecution in which they might not even be aware of it, but this is a very powerful philosophy taught mostly on campuses, [that are] embraced by things like the women’s movement, exemplified by things like intersectionality, which demonstrate, for individuals who may not be aware, they have varying degrees of prejudice that they either suffer from or benefit from,” the pundit began.
Rothman went on to call these philosophies “toxic” because it forces people to look at themselves and others as not masters of their own destinies.
“Many people are not master of their own destiny,” Cross jumped in once again. “I think it’s an accurate philosophy. With respect, I think your outlook on this is a bit myopic and based solely on your experience, and doesn’t extend the intellectual debate with people who haven’t had your history.”
She acknowledged that while white people experience poverty, the reasons for their economic disadvantage is still different from those affecting people of color.
“I think it’s really dangerous to look at the current state this country without looking at it through the context of historical systems that put those people in that position,” argued Cross. “You call that victimization, but I call that reality for a lot of people.”
Watch more in the video below.