Unemployment remains unacceptably high, millions of Americans have given up looking for work, but at least one USA industry is humming on all cylinders.
The grievance industry manufactures a very successful product, the seductive message that the USA is an unfair nation and always has been. The deck is stacked, the grievance sales force says, against women, gays, atheists, Muslims, the poor, illegal immigrants, and various other groups.
President Obama himself, who vowed to unite Americans, is now exploiting grievance to divide and conquer, at least in the electoral sense. Needing to fire up his liberal base for November, he is playing the gender card, repeatedly claiming that women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. That phony stat has been debunked time and again, but it comes in handy if your goal is to foment resentment and increase voter turnout.
On the racial front, the president recently paid homage to the notorious race hustler and hoaxer Al Sharpton, giving the keynote speech at Sharpton's organization. The one-time beacon of "hope and change" warned the mostly-black audience that evil Republicans are trying to suppress their vote. How? By pushing for photo IDs in order to vote. Not exactly a Jim Crow era poll tax or literacy test, but the crowd felt properly aggrieved. Mission accomplished.
Attorney General Eric Holder, the grievance industry's chief counsel, was there as well. He absurdly claimed that no previous attorney general has ever been treated so disrespectfully by Congress. Is he serious? Has he heard of John Mitchell, Alberto Gonzales, Janet Reno, or Ed Meese? The worst part of Holder's indignant rant was his clear implication that the alleged mistreatment is racially based. As one writer to The Factor put it, Eric Holder's real problem isn't his black skin, it's his thin skin.
FNC's Bernie Goldberg expressed his absolute disgust with Holder and his boss. "The one thing this president does well," Bernie complained, "is turn Americans against one another." But President Obama's divisiveness was promptly eclipsed by another Democrat, Congressman Steve Israel, who went on CNN to claim that much of the GOP is "animated by racism."
Despite its exaggerations and outright falsehoods, the grievance industry is booming because it provides a convenient excuse for those who like to blame "the system" for their own failures. And the industry has another pernicious effect that is downright frightening. Portraying entire groups of people as victims inoculates them with special protected status.
When it was recently discovered that a CEO believes marriage is the union of a man and a woman, as it was for thousands of years, he was promptly fired. And when a brave woman condemned the treatment of females in much of Islamic culture, she was declared persona non grata at an elite university. The overriding message is loud and clear: If you value your career and reputation, either buy what the grievance industry is peddling or shut up. Consider it an offer you can't refuse.
One university president who clearly gets the message is Bruce Shepard, head of Western Washington University. He says the success of his school depends, above all else, on being "not as white" in the future. Shepard, it should be noted, is a white guy himself, but he has not yet offered his position to someone of a darker hue. His stepping aside would certainly make Western Washington "not as white," as well as not quite as nutty.
The race hustlers, the radical gender feminists, and the Muslim fanatics at CAIR do harm to our nation. But like the "victims" they claim to defend, they have been granted immunity from criticism by the mainstream media, which serves as the public relations arm of the grievance industry.
The grievance machine is ruthless. Go against it and the push-back will be immediate and intense. It is an industry that rules by intimidation and fear, and it grows more powerful by the day.