Our political correct world has created a new breed of human, one that I call the Perpetual Victim. The Perpetual Victim is easily distinguished from other people by their inability to take responsibility for their own adverse actions or ill-spoken words, instead seeking some other person or entity to pass blame to for their own unfortunate circumstances. Often, the Perpetual Victim relies on historical events to establish their initial qualifications for victimhood, and then extrapolates those historic explanations and applies them to their daily problems. It is rare for a Perpetual Victim to engage in moments of honest self-evaluation, for to do so would expose their charade for what it truly is and would force them to become responsible for themselves.

But a glance through many dictionaries will yield a definition of victim that has no mention of historic acts as a qualifier, instead alluding to acts against a specific person such as murder or assault, or untimely death. You will find references to victims of fraud and victims of war, but in each case, the victim is the person to whom the wrong was actually committed against, not some long dead ancestor or future descendant. But to the Perpetual Victim, actual individual harm is not necessary to claim victim status. One need only be a member of a particular race or religion or nationality to join the ever-growing ranks of Perpetual Victims.

Aside from the obvious benefits of never having to take responsibility for ones destiny, Perpetual Victims can demand special accommodations to “make up for” the ills they have suffered at the hands of society. They can under-perform at their tasks and fail to live up to their personal potential under the guise of social repression. They can insist upon special programs or assistance available only to victims like themselves, deserved as a form of reparations for the ills placed upon their group by historic actions. And through misplaced guilt or a simple desire to placate, society has embraced the Perpetual Victim and all of his woes.

This is not to say that, historically, humans have never been unkind to each other. Indeed, our history is filled with examples of true victims of murderous regimes, war atrocities, racial subjugation, or rampant disease. And, in fact, these horrors still exist today. But unless you have personally been harmed by these events, claiming victim status for yourself denigrates all those whose lives have been ruined or lost by actual injustice or through the ravages of nature.

American history is no different in this respect than that of any other nation. When ours was an expanding nation, the clash of cultures between the European settlers (soon to be Americans) and the native people created whole tribes of victims. Our continuation of the practice of slavery in our formative years provides another common example of historic acts that created a class of victims. These were people who endured violence, incarceration, decimation, and indifference at the hands of governmental policy and cruel masters who applied that policy with glee. Yet, in most, if not all, cases, the people who actually experienced these conditions are no longer alive today, making curious the claims of their descendants that they are also victims of the same acts. And while preceding generations could legitimately lay claim to victim status, and expect some sort of compensation or renewed opportunity for their years of suffering and subjugation, today’s Perpetual Victim seeks only to profit financially from their self-acclaimed victim status while contributing as little as possible to society as a whole. Their victim status is predicated by their state of mind more than on accepted present day practices.

So who qualifies as a Perpetual Victim? The beauty of this system is that nearly everyone can claim victim status for something. Native Americans, blacks, Hispanics, and any other racial classification that is not Caucasian can all claim to be victims of the white mans inherently racist nature. Women can claim to be victims of a male dominated society. White men can claim to be victims of racial promotion instead of performance based promotion. Children can be victims of a society rampant with violent imagery. The elderly may be victims of uncaring children. Employees claim to be victims of uncaring corporations. And the list goes on and on and on. And in our politically correct legislatures, each and every one of these supposed victim classes have been validated and catered to without regard for reality or Common Sense.

But unlike actual victims of crime or disease or violence, who often seek to rebuild their lives in spite of their misfortune, the Perpetual Victim rarely makes serious efforts to change those things or people who are supposedly “keeping them down.” For to do so would inevitably diminish their ability to seek special accommodations as conditions improved and their plight became less taxing. Or, if one aspect of the victim mentality is removed, the Perpetual Victim will actively seek out other reasons to remain as victims, when the true victim of unfortunate events will move forward, albeit with less vigor perhaps than before, or with renewed determination to succeed.

So what does all this talk about victims have to do with politics and social stability? What does thread have to do with fine fabric? If you have a large enough portion of society claiming victim status for one thing or another, and demanding special accommodations or reparations, your population begins to fracture into small, malcontented groups, each seeking a cut of the public money as remedy to their troubles. And as each group seeks reformed social practices to atone for prior actions by their historical oppressors, the expectations of society are lowered for individuals in general, and for the “victims” especially. This pulling in different directions by the different victim groups is not helpful to society. In fact, it works against the whole idea of a melting pot, where different groups can come together, share their cultures, and excel as a new, larger society. And perhaps the biggest effect the victim mentality carries with it is its tendency to not only follow each new generation into the world, but to evolve and become more insidious as it is passed from father to son, from mother to daughter.

It is long past the time that we put to rest the notion of the Perpetual Victim. Unless you are a survivor of genocide, a subject of a tyrannical regime, an escapee from a modern day slavery ring, or a prisoner of political or religious ideology (who has otherwise committed no crime), you can no longer claim victim status simply by being part of a historically wronged group. We have enacted numerous laws to prevent discrimination, and while it still exists in individuals, our national policies seek to establish equity among the people. (OK, we still have a ways to go towards equal recognition of homosexuals, but discrimination laws work for them too.) Therefore, the role of victim should henceforth be reserved for those who are actually harmed themselves.

As a final farewell to Perpetual Victimhood, we should establish a one time only National Day of Victims in which the federal government would publicly apologize for all past policies that enabled injustice towards a specific group of people. Local governments and businesses would stage community victim reconciliation events and apologize for any local acts of institutionalized discrimination. A review of existing law would be held to ensure that all acts of discrimination are truly removed from public policy, including preferential treatment towards historically wronged groups, in favor of equal treatment based primarily on merit and ability. Government programs created to help disadvantaged citizens would be available to all who need it, not just certain groups, but no large-scale reparations would be offered or expected. Personal responsibility for ones own destiny would be advocated and citizens would be taught self-reliance as a means to personal success. And discrimination against a specific race, religion, nationality, or gender would carry more stringent consequences when shown to be the sole cause of a problem and can be proven as such. This is not an attempt to legislate personal feelings, mind you, but rather an attempt to keep irrational prejudices out of the public sphere of action, thus eradicating the basis for the Perpetual Victim to make their claim. It’s time to quit blaming others for our own shortcomings.

Society can’t function and progress when everyone is running around complaining about how they’ll never get a chance to be successful because someone is holding them back simply because they are black or white, male or female, Mormon or Buddhist. With each new victim status granted we become more and more separated from each other. We become less the melting pot and more the tribal nation. America is a country of differences that have come together to create a stronger whole. While there has been widespread injustice in the past, and while there will continue to be individual injustice in the future, this is no longer a country that condones or advocates genocide or slavery or discrimination. We are a country of opportunity, available to anyone willing to put forth their best effort and contribute their fair share. At least, that’s what we keep telling everyone.