Tuesday, September 20, 2016
On the subject of not seeing the links.
Bud writes: “No one was killed but dozens were seriously injured, and although one suspect has been arrested in both the New Jersey and New York incidents there’s not yet any link to the Minneapolis attacks and no definitive evidence that any of it is tied to international groups, but it’s all the scarier to contemplate that these sorts of things are just popping up spontaneously.”
Strange. When I first heard about a man slashing multiple shoppers in a Minneapolis mall and a bomb going off in New York and more bombs found in New Jersey my first thought was that the thing that these events had in common was that they were probably terrorist attacks by Muslims rather than disaffected Anglicans. The odds were good that one or both would be named Mohammad. But I was wrong; neither of the perps was named Mohammad. As for the rest I was right. Does that make me a racist? Or does that mean I can connect the dots that tell me that Muslims in our midst have been attacking Americans using knives, axes, guns and bombs and that when the news of a new attack of mass violence hits the airwaves we immediately understand that there’s a pattern here.
Garden variety Americans are pretty good at murder and mayhem. The black residents of Chicago have been killing each other in record numbers this year. Ditto for residents of Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Los Angeles and other urban areas that have been run by Democrats for decades. Glenn Reynolds has been asking why Democrat run cities are such cesspools of crime and corruption. But I digress.
People are shot or stabbed every day for any number of reasons: robbery, jealousy, a drug deal gone bad, gang violence. But when we hear about these events our antenna don’t go up.
The attacks by the followers of the Religion of Peace – those peaceful Muslims we hear so much about; the ones who the press and the politicians tell as the real victims of these attacks – stand out; they have a similarity. They are similar in this respect: they are random; the victims are unknown to the attacker. They have none of the motives that the garden variety criminals have. They are attacks of ideology. They can only be understood as the work of fanatics and their purpose is nothing but terror and death.
If you, like Bud, don’t find any link between the terror attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minneapolis you have not been paying attention, or you are blinded by your ideology. You don’t want to understand because understanding means that you have to deal with the fact that there are a few million people in this country who, for religious reason, can go on a killing spree and you don’t want to have to think about that. You don’t want to have to think of ways that will prevent the next attack because it will upset your preconceptions. You can take comfort that the odds of your being killed in the next attack are low. And – to paraphrase Hillary - what difference at this point are a few more or less of your neighbors in the grand scheme of things. So you tell yourself that doing something effective means – in the words of Barack Obama and his friend Paul Ryan - “that’s not who we are.” So you turn your head and pretend not to see the links.