Dear Sam Jackson,
Thank you for being honest.
I know these remarks have taken on a controversial tone in the conservative media lately. After all, youâ€™ve been known to make some pretty cruel and uninformed remarks about those of us who donâ€™t toe the Democrat line on a regular basis. Youâ€™re no fan of independents and counter-culture conservativesâ€¦I get that. And of course that means that people who donâ€™t call themselves â€śliberalsâ€ť will read your comments in that context and feel offended by them. I can understand that as well.
However, I see what you said in a different light. I think youâ€™ve stumbled onto a little bit of intellectual honesty, although I havenâ€™t yet decided if that was deliberate or you just happened to trip over some good sense on the way to an uninformed thought. Either way, thank you for saying what you said. I wish all people on the left could be so honest.
For those who havenâ€™t seen the full quote, here it is:
“When that thing happened in France, we were sitting there going, ‘Oh, my God, these terrorists!’ And I can’t even tell you how much that day the thing that happened in San Bernardino â€” I was in Hawaii â€” how much I really wanted that to just be another, you know, crazy white dude, and not really some Muslims, because it’s like: ‘Oh, shit. It’s here. And it’s here in another kind of way.’ Now, okay, it happened on an Army base and it happened somewhere else. But now? It’s like they have a legitimate reason now to look at your Muslim neighbor, friend, whatever in another way. And they become the new young black men.â€ť
I have often asked myself why my liberal friends and family are so loathe to call out Islamic terrorism when they see it, even though we have seen more and more of it over the years. I have honestly wondered why it is so difficult for them to recognize the threat of Islamic terrorism without necessarily having to become completely xenophobic over it.
Youâ€™ve finally answered that question. While Iâ€™m not denying the racial overtones of your intentions, I see what so many liberals mean when they call anyone sensitive to terrorism a â€śfear monger.â€ť Itâ€™s not so much that you donâ€™t believe this is happening but that you worry if you are forced to acknowledge itâ€™s happening, and who itâ€™s happening amongst, that the people you despise (anyone who identifies as right-of-center) will be proven right and worseâ€¦theyâ€™ll become insufferable about it.
I think thatâ€™s somewhat fair. As a righty myself, I have been known to shout â€śI told you so!â€ť from time to time (see ObamaCare insurance disasters, the power vacuum left by a quick withdrawal from Iraq and Michelle Obamaâ€™s dum-dum school lunch program). I know I donâ€™t like it when my liberal friends do that (as rare as their opportunities may be) so I can understand wanting to avoid it altogether by simply not discussing the issue in the first place. What youâ€™re saying is, â€śIf this really is a case of Islamic terrorism not on a military base, not in Europe, but in our own backyard in Anywhere, USA, then the wacko right-wing nut-jobs are right â€“ and soon theyâ€™ll be using it to justify bigotry towards all Muslims.â€ť
Of course I do not concur. I think thereâ€™s a difference between understanding what it means to â€śprofileâ€ť criminals and criminal behavior based on facts and prior history and outright racism. But Iâ€™d be lying if my husband and I havenâ€™t watched stories of idiot parents or hit-and-runs or robberies and said out loud, â€śOh please donâ€™t let this person be black.â€ť Because as black people, itâ€™s embarrassing. It feels like a reflection on all of us and weâ€™ve all met people of other racial groups who have taken the liberties of ascribing those attributes to all of us. They donâ€™t make up the majority of America, or even a healthy portion, but they are out there nonetheless.
I know thatâ€™s what you meant when you said you worry Muslims will become the â€śnew young black men.â€ť Itâ€™s not that you think black men arenâ€™t ever at fault for earning a bad reputation. Youâ€™re simply saying the actions of a small percentage get attributed to the rest of us and thatâ€™s unfair â€“ and thatâ€™s what you worry about for Muslims as well.
I think thatâ€™s bit paranoid, to be honest, but the truth is you and I are not on the same page politically speaking so itâ€™s natural for me to disagree here. After all, in spite of an alarming number of â€ślone wolfâ€ť attacks in our own country over the past seven years, we donâ€™t live in a society where Muslims are getting stoned and spit on in the streets daily. They pretty much live day-to-day the way we all do. Americans arenâ€™t as petty as you seem to believe they are.
All that being said, I recognize a glimmer of hope in your statement. While others may see it as somewhat â€śrace-baity,â€ť I see it as progress. The fact that youâ€™re worried the actions of a few will create tension with Muslim-Americans in general tells me youâ€™re actually admitting that indeed we do have a problem with Islamic terrorism that canâ€™t be ignored. This is far more than most of like-minded people on the left are willing to admit. Recognizing that we even have a problem with terrorism on our own soil in the first place has been a struggle for the left-wing media. And how can we fight something weâ€™re not willing to admit is a problem in the first place?
I applaud your honesty, even if your train of thought doesnâ€™t quite line up with my politics. To me, thatâ€™s a great sign. Iâ€™m sorry to sound so condescending but, as a blogger and opinion writer, I find intellectual honesty to be sadly lacking on the left side of the political spectrum. The truth hurts when it doesnâ€™t line up with our feelings and preconceived notions. I ought to know, I was once like you and I fought hard against the tide that was pulling me away from my liberal roots for a very long time. Itâ€™s embarrassing to admit youâ€™ve been talking out of your ass for 20 years.
So thanks for a smidgen of truth and a willingness to at least acknowledge we have a terrorism problem. I know youâ€™re not going to be appearing arm-in-arm with Sean Hannity anytime soon, but Iâ€™m willing to accept our political differences (and continue to debate them) gracefully if I at least know youâ€™re not completely blind to threat our children face at the hands of evildoers.
To paraphrase a modern Samuel L. Jackson classic, Snakes on a Planeâ€¦
â€śIâ€™ve had it with these motherfâ€”-ing terrorists in our motherfâ€”-ing towns!â€ť
Happy New Year!
Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images
Kira Davis is a writer, video blogger and homeschool mother of two. She has interviewed President Obama and appeared on Fox News, The BlazeTV and the Dr. Phil Show. Kira is a dog person but she owns a cat anyway. You can find her on Twitter @RealKiraDavis.
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