Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Narrate-o-Matic and the Real Enemy

Alternet has found the remedy for the inconvenient politics of Craig Stephen Hicks. That remedy is to stop pretending politics--at least those of the killer--have anything to do with it. In "Angry, Armed and White" the mask slips:
We can safely say that Craig Stephen Hicks fits the profile of the most common type of domestic violent extremist—a white man with grievances and guns. Whether he was provoked by road rage, rage against neighbors who wore traditional Muslim clothing, or other simmering grudges and pathologies, his alleged killing of three young Muslims underscores a trend that mainstream U.S. media avoids: that the face of violent extremism in America since 9/11 is predominantly white. Muslims in America, while not exempt from crime, simply do not compare.
Accurate numbers of the Muslim population in America are hard to come by but the percentage of US residents who identify as Muslim has been estimated to be as low as .8 percent (in 2010):
According to the new poll, US citizens guessed the Muslim population of the US to be about 15 percent when asked “Out of every 100 people, how many do you think are Muslim?” This would mean that the US has 47.4 million Muslims. The reality is quite different, with current research putting the percentage of Muslims in the United States at about .8 percent of the population, with an estimated 2.6 million Muslims in the US as of 2010. Even higher estimates find that there are between five and eight million Muslims in the entire country.
In an article from last November Huffington Post says it's about one percent now. White Americans are still about 70 percent of the US population. To the folks at Alternet and the New America Foundation, there is an ongoing campaign in the media to demonize Muslims, with all the talk about "Islamization" and the like, but none to demonize whites, with such as the Ferguson pogrom and the endless, if premature, end-zone celebration of the end of white America. For a demographic that's repeatedly told the only decent contribution it has left is to die off, American white males seem not just passive, but compliant in comparison to their Muslim counterparts.

Still, Hicks can't be described as a political "extremist" at all, and can't be said to be acting from political motive. But if it was the religion of his victims that chose him to select them--as some so fervently hope--it was because of his hostility toward religion generally. Is that more a right- or left-wing thing? None of this matters. It only matters that he was white. More from Alternet:
Most assailants were not young like the Boston Marathon bombers, but “were clustered most heavily between 30 and 49 years of age, although a surprising number were older than that,” it said. “This suggests that perpetrators spend many years on the radical right, absorbing extremist ideology, before finally acting out violently.” That summation strongly resembles Craig Stephen Hicks. 
Yes, in every thing but the "radical right" part; that is, in everything but the central point of this argument.

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