Victor Davis Hanson‘s latest column at National Review Online focuses on an all-too-common phenomenon on American college campuses.

Professing dislike of the West and its culture and legacy is an industry on campus. The subtext of “white privilege” is that it consists of unearned status accorded those of European background. To listen to the anti-Westerners, you would think that the inventors of electrical generation, indoor plumbing, and vaccinations were enemies of the planet.

Multiculturalism, the orthodoxy of popular culture, and the current bite of the media and the arts are all predicated on the idea that Western civilization is more toxic than admirable. Citing the evils of the European tradition can also provide exemption from an occasional politically incorrect gaffe. And assuming a non-Western identity (ask Elizabeth Warren, Ward Churchill, Rachel Dolezal, or Shaun King) can offer career dividends.

American society lavished scholarships on the upper-middle-class prep-school graduate Barack Hussein Obama but perhaps would not have done so much for just another Barry Dunham. It is not surprising that when George Zimmerman had been in a fight with Trayvon Martin, his scars were photoshopped away and his 911 call racialized. Would that have happened had he chosen to go by the name of Jorge Mesa?

Paradoxes arise in attacking the West in general and the so-called European diaspora in particular. First, there is the obvious question: “Compared to what?” There are plenty of alternative cultures unstained by past Western imperialism and colonialism. Are their legacies more congenial to the present politically correct progressive agendas?