• • Heroes and “hero-ization”: A caution
[A]fflicted groups are [said to be] populated by lazy “welfare queens” or “irresponsible manipulators of the system,” and so on. [....] This type of racist statement often falls under the philosophical shield of the dogma of “personal responsibility,” i.e., that the essence of the matter is in pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, that failures of effort and initiative are the all-important causes of people’s woes, and that accordingly there no longer remains any need for social safety nets. As these statements typically come from persons living privileged lives—whether American, European or African—it takes no great perspicacity to discern the self-serving bias of their rhetoric. The tangling-up of such statements with an “Ayn Randian” loathing of “losers” as biological or evolutionary misfits adds an element of hateful bile to the racism.