19 February 2010

The IRS plane crash and the color of terrorism

When I first heard the news on Thursday that a plane had crashed into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, a person standing nearby speculated that it was probably al-Qaeda, and therefore proof that President Obama cannot keep us safe.

And, having written much in the past about the fact that ethnic profiling is ineffective in law enforcement, I was not surprised to learn that the suicide pilot was actually a white guy named Joseph Stack.

Still, these days, people have been conditioned to assume "Islamic terrorism". It has become a knee-jerk reaction. They forget that Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, the Unabomber, and other white guys have been responsible for many more acts of terrorism on U.S. soil than al-Qaeda.

This is the kind of xenophobia that the right-wing hate mongers have created, with far too much willing assistance from their handmaidens in the media.

And it can only beget more fear and more hate.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, I think they like it that way.

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