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, you’ve been known to make some pretty cruel and uninformed remarks about those of us who don’t toe the Democrat line on a regular basis. You’re no fan of independents and counter-culture conservatives…I get that. And of course that means that people who don’t call themselves “liberals” 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 you’ve stumbled onto a little bit of intellectual honesty, although I haven’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 haven’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 — I was in Hawaii — 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.”
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.
You’ve finally answered that question. While I’m not denying the racial overtones of your intentions, I see what so many liberals mean when they call anyone sensitive to terrorism a “fear monger.” It’s not so much that you don’t believe this is happening but that you worry if you are forced to acknowledge it’s happening, and who it’s happening amongst, that the people you despise (anyone who identifies as right-of-center) will be proven right and worse…they’ll become insufferable about it.
I think that’s somewhat fair. As a righty myself, I have been known to shout “I told you so!” from time to time (see ObamaCare insurance disasters, the power vacuum left by a quick withdrawal from Iraq and Michelle Obama’s dum-dum school lunch program). I know I don’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 you’re saying is, “If 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 – and soon they’ll be using it to justify bigotry towards all Muslims.”
Of course I do not concur. I think there’s a difference between understanding what it means to “profile” criminals and criminal behavior based on facts and prior history and outright racism. But I’d be lying if my husband and I haven’t watched stories of idiot parents or hit-and-runs or robberies and said out loud, “Oh please don’t let this person be black.” Because as black people, it’s embarrassing. It feels like a reflection on all of us and we’ve all met people of other racial groups who have taken the liberties of ascribing those attributes to all of us. They don’t make up the majority of America, or even a healthy portion, but they are out there nonetheless.
I know that’s what you meant when you said you worry Muslims will become the “new young black men.” It’s not that you think black men aren’t ever at fault for earning a bad reputation. You’re simply saying the actions of a small percentage get attributed to the rest of us and that’s unfair – and that’s what you worry about for Muslims as well.
I think that’s bit paranoid, to be honest, but the truth is you and I are not on the same page politically speaking so it’s natural for me to disagree here. After all, in spite of an alarming number of “lone wolf” attacks in our own country over the past seven years, we don’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 aren’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 “race-baity,” I see it as progress. The fact that you’re worried the actions of a few will create tension with Muslim-Americans in general tells me you’re actually admitting that indeed we do have a problem with Islamic terrorism that can’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 we’re not willing to admit is a problem in the first place?
I applaud your honesty, even if your train of thought doesn’t quite line up with my politics. To me, that’s a great sign. I’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 doesn’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. It’s embarrassing to admit you’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 you’re not going to be appearing arm-in-arm with Sean Hannity anytime soon, but I’m willing to accept our political differences (and continue to debate them) gracefully if I at least know you’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 Plane…
“I’ve had it with these motherf—-ing terrorists in our motherf—-ing towns!”
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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