To the Extreme!

By
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Stephen Gordon whacks me for not understanding the fuss over the Department of Homeland Security report:

To help Dave find what’s wrong with the report, I’ll suggest a little mental exercise.  Let’s break down one little piece of the report he provided: “…has likely spurred rightwing extremists—as well as law-abiding Americans…”

What would the public reaction be if I had written “…has likely spurred African Americans—as well as law-abiding Americans…”?

Probably pretty ugly! But the difference would be that “rightwing extremists” are defined by their actions, while African-Americans are defined by being African-American.

I am starting to agree with the argument that the picture of “rightwing extremists” in the report could have been painted with a narrower brush. You court controversy when you argue that some American citizens might be plotting against your government. But I don’t think the political correctness in short government reports is as big a problem as, say, people shooting cops.

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Comments

6 Comments

Carl
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

Let's not forget James Cummings of Maine – someone who was apparently very upset over Obama's election at was BUILDING A DIRTY BOMB…

BELFAST, Maine — James G. Cummings, who police say was shot to death by his wife two months ago, allegedly had a cache of radioactive materials in his home suitable for building a “dirty bomb.”

…..She also said that Cummings was “very upset” when Barack Obama was elected president.

http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/99263.html


"lava" lee pyle
Comment posted April 14, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

Adjective outrage! Adjective outrage!
“Rightwing extremists” should be investigated and stopped for the very same reasons that “Enviromental terrorists” should, because what they do in the name of ideaology, not the ideaology itself.
It's about keeping the country safe, not walking on eggshells.


Slaney Black
Comment posted April 15, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

Probably pretty ugly! But the difference would be that “rightwing extremists” are defined by their actions, while African-Americans are defined by being African-American.

Dave, not to be trollish here, but isn't that the same argument they use against gay rights? “We're just talking about behavior, not race, so don't go calling us haters!”

I work down the street from an Anarchist coffeeshop that's been the target of surveillance and harassment by the state police for years. Based on that experience, I have a real problem with police work based on ideological profiling. I hope you can understand those concerns.

But I don’t think the political correctness in short government reports is as big a problem as, say, people shooting cops.

Seriously, Dave, I don't want to troll. But that could come right out of a Nixon-era stump speech.


Slaney Black
Comment posted April 16, 2009 @ 4:00 am

Probably pretty ugly! But the difference would be that “rightwing extremists” are defined by their actions, while African-Americans are defined by being African-American.

Dave, not to be trollish here, but isn't that the same argument they use against gay rights? “We're just talking about behavior, not race, so don't go calling us haters!”

I work down the street from an Anarchist coffeeshop that's been the target of surveillance and harassment by the state police for years. Based on that experience, I have a real problem with police work based on ideological profiling. I hope you can understand those concerns.

But I don’t think the political correctness in short government reports is as big a problem as, say, people shooting cops.

Seriously, Dave, I don't want to troll. But that could come right out of a Nixon-era stump speech.


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