The Real Danger to America

Facts are such inconvenient things.

Over the past year, we’ve seen an upsurge in anti-Muslim animus in the U.S. Protestors and pandering politicians routinely conflate Islam with terrorism; fear of “the other” has generated a whole narrative in which swarthy, suspicious outsiders pose an existential threat to “us”–aka “real Americans.” Anti-Obama partisans evidently think that calling the President a Muslim is somehow a slur.

Of course, the data shows that the real threat looks remarkably like the 50s kid next door.

Leave out gun violence, which endangers us all. Focus just on the actions of crazed religious extremists doing violence within the United States. The perpetrators tend to be pretty pale….and overwhelmingly Christian. Think Ku Klux Klan….

The New York Times reported back in June that since Sept. 11, 2001, almost twice as many people have died at the hands of white supremacists and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims. Using data compiled by New America, a Washington Research center, a study found that 48 people have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim—including the mass killings in Charleston, S.C.—compared to the 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists.  However, this does not factor in yesterday’s tragic shooting or less publicized incidents like the Las Vegas couple who murdered two police officers and left a Swastika on one of the bodies.

Why do I think that facts, data and objective reality won’t make any difference to the people who  gather to protest the building of a mosque, or continue to insist that President Obama is a Muslim?

Because racism and bigotry are impervious to reason.