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Dumb, Dumber, Salon (updated)
Update: Other AT writers chime in below.
If the Boston bomb attacks are the work of a white individual or group, white-privilege will insure that whites as a group will not be " collectively denigrated or targeted." Whereas if the bomb attacks are the work of a Muslim or group of Muslims then Muslims as a whole will be denigrated. That is the double-standard at work in the Evil Empire according to one David Sirota writing in Salon, "Let's hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American."
For evidence Sirota dredges up Timothy McVeigh (Salon editors even have McVeigh's picture posted opposite Bin Laden's) and cites FBI records that most "terrorists plots" involve non-Muslims.
By contrast, even though America has seen a consistent barrage of attacks from domestic non-Islamic terrorists, the privilege and double standards baked into our national security ideologies means those attacks have resulted in no systemic action of the scope marshaled against foreign terrorists.
But just when is an act of violence against a group a terrorist act? In December 2012 Adam Lanza pulled on military-style clothing and shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered 28 children. Was that a "terrorist" act? It was certainly terrifying. Was the mass shooting inside the Aurora theater in July of that year and act of terror? That was certainly terrifying. But a terrifying act is not thereby an act of terrorism. In an article addressing that very issue in today's PJMedia, Andrew McCarthy argues that an act of violence to be terrorism must be by an individual or group carried out on behalf of a political/ideological community against a political/ideological community. If that individual/group legitimately represents its community then to some extent the whole group is thereby tainted - depending on the legitimacy of the representation.
If, say, the mafia were to use two or three car bombs to rub out several rival gangsters at the same time, that would not be terrorism even though "multiple devices" would be involved. Terrorism is violence directed at political communities -- usually, nations and their governments. It is carried out for the specific purpose of intimidating the political community into submitting to the terrorists' preferred policies, and, significantly, it is almost always ideologically motivated.
But then we wouldn't want to indict Salon for the muddle-headedness of one of its authors - that would be violating leftist privilege.
Rick Moran writes: Sirota is a good example of how liberals believe their own talking points are facts.
J. Robert Smith writes:
David Sirota, writing at Salon, epitomizes clichéd left-wing thought on terrorism. The terrorism of a Timothy McVeigh is mitigated thanks to "white male privilege," while the actions of Islamic terrorists are blown out of proportion. Golly, Americans don't face an existential threat from militant Islam; they face a real threat from racism, white man's racism (evidently white woman are exempted. Ah, the tyranny of feminism!).
For Sirota, evidently, there isn't Islamic terrorism; there's no jihad against Americans and their interests.
This from Sirota's scribbling:
Get it? There's a white man's conspiracy to let Timothy McVeigh off the hook as a "lone wolf" killer while fingering Nidal Malik Hasan (Fort Hood) and Richard Reid (the Shoe Bomber) and Faisal Shahzad (thwarted Time Square Bomber) as part of a large, radical Islamic terrorist campaign against the United States. Bad, bad, white men.
Yet more inane keystrokes from Sirota's:
It will probably be much different if the bomber ends up being a Muslim and/or a foreigner from the developing world. As we know from our own history, when those kind of individuals break laws in such a high-profile way, America often cites them as both proof that entire demographic groups must be targeted, and that therefore a more systemic response is warranted. At that point, it's easy to imagine conservatives citing Boston as a reason to block immigration reform defense spending cuts and the Afghan War withdrawal and to further expand surveillance and other encroachments on civil liberties.
Sirota, along with the left, insists that the likes of Hasan, Reid, and Shahzad are just garden variety lawbreakers, not committed jihadists who attacked to advance a faith and cause through violence. There is no Al Qaida, no Hamas, no Muslim Brotherhood, no ideology that unifies the actions of these men (and the 9/11 terrorists). The Wahhabi Movement isn't spreading a gospel of hate and violence. None of this has spilled onto America's shores.
Comparing McVeigh to Mohamed Atta (9/11, Trade Towers) is comparing apples and oranges. McVeigh was indeed a despicable character, a mass murderer, with his own peculiar motives that a fringe in American society identified with. But McVeigh's fringe doesn't begin to compare in terms of scale, resources, ability, and religious-ideological unity to the global jihad being waged by militant Muslims. Sirota is creating a straw man, an absurdity, to smear white - male - America. What Sirota charges says more about his prejudices than the nation's reality.
One last morsel of vacuity from Sirota:
In PC America? If anything, national leaders, Republican and Democrat (mostly white men), have bent over backwards to downplay the ethnicity and religious motivations of Hasan, Reid, and Shahzad. The military is still terming Hasan's slaughter at Fort Hood as "workplace violence." Go through a security line at any American airport. Seventy-year-old blue-eyed grannies are being crotch-groped right along with the occasional swarthy guy (in the name of fairness and equality).
Sirota's biases are merely indicative of left-thought. It would be easy to dismiss his prejudices if they weren't so pervasive in the Democratic Party, the government, the media, and academia - and hadn't cowed the GOP and far too many establishment conservatives.
In fact, right-thinking Americans are fighting a war on two fronts: against a resilient and determined militant Islam and America's homegrown leftists, who deliberately mischaracterize and excuse the threats and actions borne of Muslim extremism.
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