Monday, August 6, 2012

Domestic Terrorism Duplicity

When I was attending the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, I took a course in communications.  There was one lesson that dealt with the perception and prejudice of the person receiving the communication that really stuck with me, even after all these years.

To explain this, the professor said that if you are walking down the street and stumble, your first reaction is to look down to see what tripped you.  Likewise, if you see someone with whom you identify walking down the street and they stumble, you automatically think something - a rock, a stick or a crack in the sidewalk - caused them to trip.

However, if it is a person who you don't like or are different from you is walking down the same street and stumbles in the same spot, you will think they are a clumsy oaf, just like everyone else in that set of people.

In other words, if something bad happens to us or people we identify with, we attribute it to an external cause.  But if the same thing happens to people we dislike, we will attribute it to some internal flaw with that class of people.

This holds true for racism, sexism, ageism or any sort of bigotry you care to name.

Sadly, we now have the perfect textbook example of this in real life, although it's a heartbreaking one.

Ever since 9-11, every time a Muslim, or someone that might possibly be construed as being Muslim (read anyone not a white conservative) does anything, even something as mundane as calling someone else a poopyhead, the conservatives come out of their skulls saying that this is why we need racial profiling and calling on all Muslims to condemn the name caller or be grouped in with the evil doers.

Never you mind that the radical element of Islam that has shown violent ways are a very minuscule part of all of Islam.  They all just get lumped in together.  And to too many people, Muslims become the equivalent of evil.

Now that we have a new example of terrorism - an angry, white man who intentionally went to a place of worship and killed six innocent people for no reason other than they have brown skin and long beards and wear headdresses that the ignorant mistake for Muslims.

So where are the conservatives on this?  Are they calling for the racial profiling of white men, especially ones with military backgrounds?  Are they condemning the shooting and the shooter? Are they disowning the mass murderer?  Are they even calling for disarmament like they do with Muslim nations?


From reading the statements made by various politicians, pundits and bloggers, there has only been two or three who actually condemned the violence and those were Democrats.  Many conservatives, if they commented on this at all, would only extend their sympathies to the victims.

On the few occasions where a conservative would mention the shooter, they would simply label him as evil.  While that is unarguably true, it also isolates the shooter and doesn't include all white men such as they would do if the shooter had been Muslim or black or Hispanic.

Some even took it to an even worse level.  Blogger and paid contributor to MacIver Institute of Propaganda James Wigderson attacked anyone who condemned the shooting and the lax gun laws that helped enable this horror.  Likewise, the Grade Z level blogger Dan at the The Las Vegas Badger felt the compulsion to attack me for pointing out Scott Walker's hypocritical posturing.

As horrifying and loathsome as the actions of the shooter*, I find it equally repulsive that there are people that continue to feed into it, even if on a subconscious level.  Until people are willing to have a rational, objective discussion about the inherent racism and bigotry - not to mention our lax gun laws - this sad, sad pattern will continue at an ever increasing pace.

And if it means calling them out to make them recognize that they are not the solution, so be it.  If we are to stop regressing into a state of uncivilized savagery, we must confront it, stop it and start to grow again as a society.

*I will not print the damned fool's name.  Let him be lost forever to the past and away from our present and our future.


  1. I'm not sure that - ultimately - the shooter will ever disappear from the annals of history, but I appreciate each effort that tries.

  2. I do think that in the wake of such an incident, however, discussing changing gun laws quickly would be a mistake. Cooler heads reason better.
    Also, consider this article-
    With guns now being more cost effectively made on one's computer with a 3d printer than they can be legally purchased, ANY attempt at gun control needs to be completely rethought.
    Not to mention, these same teaheads that are the most violent element of our society are the same ones that will start screaming "theeere tekkin are guns!!!" at the mention of gun control.
    I have never even fired a gun in my life. Please don't mistake me for someone who is phallically insecure. These are things that should very carefully be considered before engaging on this topic though.

    Considering original reports from people inside the temple told of 4 shooters, and the one they are admitting to had a long history in military psy-ops divisions, keep in mind, that although what happened is horrible, and whoever is responsible should have their name wiped from history, there are very strong reasons to believe that the story we are being told is a fabrication, and the person being named as responsible may very well have been nothing but a patsy.

  3. I wonder if after one of these incidents, any journalists have considered a FOIA request for republican spokespersons emails? Wouldn't it be interesting to see if groups on the right immediately starting pushing out the message they wanted pushed by their lackeys.

    Call me paranoid....but is it paranoia when it's proved to be true?

  4. There are hundreds of examples of violence committed every single day in this country by black men, many of these committed against white people. Many resulting in murder. Statistically, Democrats get an extremely high percentage of black votes, so where is your call for Democratic politicians to condemn these hate crimes by blacks?

  5. The right wing is a very violent force in America and worldwide. They seem not to want to ever take responsibility for enabling the Pages they "inspire." They just blame the "lone nut."

  6. Bigoted much, Carl M? Because that's how people view you, even if you don't think so or they don't come out and tell you that.