To the Extreme!
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.