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What Jewel Shuping can teach us about Identity Politics

By Che

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV. 

Jewel Shuping was in her early twenties when she, with the aid of an unnamed “psychologist,” poured drain cleaner into her eyes causing her to become blind. Her reason for doing this: Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), a condition that causes able-bodied people to believe they’re supposed to be disabled.  

Since she was a child, Shuping believed she was supposed to be blind. She walked with a cane and taught herself to read Braille. When she finally decided to take the irreversible step to actually blind herself, Shuping described the experience as follows: 

“It hurt, let me tell you. My eyes were screaming, and I had some drain cleaner going down my cheek burning my skin. All I could think was, ‘I am going blind, it is going to be okay.’” 

As absurd as this story sounds, I assure you it’s 100% real. The real question is, why are we surprised? 

We can easily attribute this phenomenon to the “trans movement” where gender dysmorphia leads one to identify with a gender other than what was assigned at birth. But I think it’s much deeper and stems from the popularity of Critical Race Theory.  

CRT is just one of many different Marxist theories used to explain human progress. Critical Theory is the original formula used by Marxists to view the world through the lens of the oppressor/oppressed dichotomy 

Classical Marxism identifies the major schism to be between those that own the means of productions and the actual workers. It’s the classic “haves vs the have nots” that have determined the path for human society. 

Critical Race Theory expounds upon Critical Theory by employing a worldview specific to the experience here in the United States. Instead of the struggle between workers and owners, Marxists have pinpointed the greatest contradiction as being between races. Specifically, white people versus non-white people. 

White people are the oppressor, regardless of their actions, since even if one doesn’t directly oppress other races, the mere fact that they are white and in the “oppressor class” means they benefit from their status in a white supremacist world (see; “white privilege”).  

Regardless of how you feel about this, a phenomenon has followed this kind of thinking that most so-called “intellectuals” have chosen to ignore. When you split society into these two groups and create a narrative that demonizes the “oppressor” while sympathizing with the “oppressed,” you can bet people will want to be associated with the latter. 

Whether or not this paradigm is real or perceived doesn’t matter. What matters is that people believe it and act accordingly. 

Growing up, I witnessed and even took part in this dynamic. I have a mixed racial background. My father is Mexican American, and my mother is of European descent, or white. Going through the LA Unified School District, I quickly picked up that being white wasn’t cool. 

It was common to hear the term “white boy” thrown around like a derogatory term. It was clear: if you want to fit in it was best to conceal your white side as much as possible.  

But how does this affect fully white people? How do you escape the vitriol constantly directed towards the “oppressor” group when you have done nothing to contribute to this stigma other than your race? The answer is Jewel Shuping. 

I learned that I had to identify solely with my Mexican heritage if I was to fit in. I had the benefit of being half something other than white to fall back on. But a fully white person doesn’t have this “luxury.” Their white skin betrays them the minute they step out into public. So, what’s the result? 

Jewel Shuping. Jewel Shuping is a white woman, but now Jewel Shuping is oppressed. She can’t be an oppressor because she is marginalized due to her disability. Sounds ridiculous, right? A person disabling themselves just to fit in. 

Yes, I said “fit in” because that’s what she was looking for. She wanted the same sympathy given to other discriminated against Americans. 

The same is true for other “oppressed” groups where admission to the group is based on subjective feelings as opposed to objective truth. The LGBTQ+ is another example. I know there are people attracted to the same sex or feel as if they were born a different gender. 

However, there are so many claiming to have this alternative outlook that you have to be skeptical. There’s no way of knowing whether a “trans” person is actually having identity issues as far as their gender is concerned. We have to take their word for it while at the same time introducing radical policy to accommodate them. 

This is not just true of white people. Even non-white people are getting in on the gig, finding ways to become more oppressed to receive more sympathy. The problem is in a society which puts value in victimhood, more and more people will find ways to fit into that category. 

This all traces back to the dangers of identity politics. Identity politics is cannibalistic, meaning in the end it always eats itself. The oppression Olympics ensues with everyone trying their best to climb the hierarchy of victimhood.  

We saw this in the summer of 2020 during the BLM protests/riots. The initial focus was on black men unfairly brutalized or killed at the hands of law enforcement. This rapidly changed course when the movement became about “Trans black lives.” 

This is because the black man finds himself at the bottom of identity politics’ totem pole. 

The heterosexual black male has “cis” male privilege, a vestige of the evil and oppressive patriarchy. His stance is one of dominance and control over those with more victim status like black women (because women are oppressed by men). 

At the same time, the black woman is not as oppressed as black trans women. According to the mainstream narrative, they’re the most oppressed group right now. 

Identity politics mixed with the Critical Race Theory lens gives rise to the coveted “victim status” in this society. It’s no wonder the trans movement has risen so fast. Especially because it’s championed by white progressives.  

There’s no way to quantify this impact as it is all subjective to the individual’s feelings. I can’t definitively say someone is trans or gay when they can identify one way or the other on any given day. 

That’s what makes this so dangerous. We’re implementing policy and radically changing the culture of our society based on these subjective feelings. 

When you promote victimhood, you see an influx of “victims.” Goal posts change to fit the narrative. Nobody wants to be a typical heterosexual white person these days, which means people that would normally fit into this category are finding other ways to become accepted. 

You don’t have to agree with this argument, but it’s difficult to see how this can’t be the case. Human beings will always try to leverage their status in order to improve their standing in society. Even if it means drastically changing the society in which they live. 

Jewel Shuping may be an extreme case, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone these days. 

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Che is a writer and host of “The No Spoon Podcast” on Scoon TV.

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