Thursday, July 25, 2019

Ilhan Omar: "We Should Be More Fearful Of White Men"

So, is this racist?:
   "I would say our country should be more fearful of white men across our country because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country," she replied.
   "And so if fear was the driving force of policies to keep America safe -- Americans safe inside of this country -- we should be profiling, monitoring, and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men."
   My inclination is to think: well, not overtly so. It certainly makes it easy to hypothesize racist beliefs or attitudes on Omar's part...but it does require such a hypothesis. For one thing, truth is a defense, and I think she's right: if we're talking about homicides or murders, white dudes do kill the most people. I mean, we're no diabetes...but we're pretty deadly. Even if that's wrong--because it could be (black men commit a radically disproportionate percentage of murders, and may, for all I know, commit more total than white dudes) a reasonable, reasonably well-informed and non-racist person might still believe it. I mean, I believe it, anyway.
   Now, if we were talking percentages and likelihoods--which we perhaps should be--she's wrong. Black men commit more murders per capita than white men. And, contrary to the line pushed by the left, white men aren't even more likely to commit mass shootings. Or, at least, that's what the most recent numbers I've seen say.
   One might also hypothesize that it's racist attitudes that lead her to talk about absolute numbers rather than percentages. Again, a hypothesis about her mental states. Which is ok--but it's a hypothesis.
   Furthermore, this is one interview in which she's directly being asked about this stuff, and basically answers off the cuff, mostly in an attempt to deflect criticisms of Muslims. Even if she is making some horrible mistake, it's idiotic to hold one such incident against her. This is some psychopathy of our time: say one thing that might be racist and you're evil for all time.
   That crap is nonsense.
   What I object to is that outright, overt racism is tolerated and even promoted on the left. It's downright fashionable. Making a mistake--if she did--about murder rates is one thing. Repeatedly saying things like "white men suck" and "whiteness is inherently oppressive" are very different things. Even the latter is actually a somewhat complicated case, I think. The real problem with it is that the arguments for it are so ludicrously stupid that it really is hard to see someone believing it for non-racist reasons. Well, the former case is a little complicated, too--it could be a joke. And I'm certainly ok with that. I've certainly laughed at jokes about white people before. Who hasn't. Really, it's the double-standards that need to be addressed.
   So anyway: some on the right think this proves that Omar is racist. But I don't see it. It suggests a hypothesis. But that's different.


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