The PC of Fear
April 6, 2007
“Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!” was the conservative mantra long before 9/11, but the Keystone Kops operation known as the War on Terror has given right-wingers license to turn the volume knob up to 11.
And yet the public, working on the evidence of its eyes rather than the blinkered ideology of the Bush cultists, constantly has to be reminded to be afraid only of certain kinds of terrorists. It has the temerity to notice that while Islamist violence abroad is certainly dangerous, we have plenty of homegrown terrorists with light complexions and flag decals on their vehicles to worry about as well. This annoying tendency of the reality-based community keeps conservative pundits and bloggers in a near-continuous state of sputtering Yosemite Sam outrage.
This fear-crazed brand of wingnut political correctness is in full noxious flower this week as Michelle Malkin — whose eruptions of nonsensical outrage occur as regularly as blasts of steam from Old Faithful — rallies the troops against Burlington Township High School in New Jersey, where school and municipal officials staged a mock-terror drill that involved a fictional milita-style group rather than a bunch of swarthy Muslims in turbans:
The drill scenario was created by the Burlington Township Police Department and was written in an information packet describing the objectives of the drill. It specified that two armed men invade the high school through the front entrance, shoot several students in the hallways, then barricade themselves in the media center with 10 student hostages.
The written scenario used by police during the drill described the intruders as “members of a right-wing fundamentalist group called the “New Crusaders’ who do not believe in the separation of church and state. They also have a strong commitment in their right to bear arms.”
The scenario also indicated the mock gunmen went to the school seeking justice because the daughter of one of the men was given detention and eventually expelled for praying before the beginning of class.
This was enough to send Malkin into orbit. In her column yesterday she denounced the exercise as “whitewashing jihad” and on her blog she ran gruesome photos showing dead Russian schoolchildren following a massacre by Chechen rebels.
As Sadly, No! points out, Malkin didn’t have to look on another continent to find examples of innocents murdered by terrorists. But for some reason she opted to ignore the truck-bombing in Oklahoma City as an example of terrorism. David Neiwert of Orcinus, who has known Malkin since her days as an ambitious but not terribly bright baby winger in Seattle, obligingly links to this report on the scores of right-wing terror plots that have been uncovered in the years since the Oklahoma City atrocity. And let us not forget Eric Robert Rudolph, who detonated a bomb in an Atlanta park during the Olympic games to express his outrage over lesbianism and pro-choice laws.
Not a turban or a Koran in the bunch. And something tells me that when the culprit behind the anthrax attacks is finally caught (or, as seems more likely, leaves behind a deathbed confession decades from now) he won’t have any camels parked in his garage, either.
Because despite the bloviations of Malkin and her cohort, our government has no trouble arresting and detaining Muslims on suspicion of swarthiness. Its problems stem from the fact that it screws up the investigations.
And right-wing pundits have a problem almost as big. Because if you read Rudolph’s statements on why he planted bombs to murder people during the Olympics, his utterances aren’t all that different from the kind of bile that gets flushed regularly through the spigots of Fox News and the columns of conservative pundits.
Maybe that’s why the wingers want everyone to keep watching for a threat from abroad. Because there’s a big smelly can of worms waiting to be opened right here, and it’s not hard to see why somebody like Michelle Malkin would prefer to keep it from being opened.