[Marxism] Want to screen Muslims as possible terrorists? Screen all Blacks.
ffeldman at verizon.net
Thu Sep 1 14:43:57 MDT 2011
Introductory comment to article on airline profiling of possible Muslims
In my opinion, this SLATE article, whatever the intentions of the author,
amounts to an argument for extending racial and religious profiling to
Blacks who MICHT be Muslim -- which is pretty much all Blacks
To my knowledge, no one has polled the whole US population on the question
of whether they think suicide bombings could possibly be legitimate. I
believe the percentage of whites would be lower than than that for Blacks
and (probably) even Latinos, but I think the statistics might be a tad
surprising across the board.
Of course, today most really terrorists who are white, in thought or deed,
are right-wing, now that Akers, Dohrn (whom I have a higher opinion of
because she became a lawyer for working class families whose children had
been seized by the child welfare bureaucracy) et al have gone straight or
are cruelly imprisoned.
In any case I think the outcome would be surprising for a lot of people. As
masses of common working class and middle class people become more and more
alienated from this society, I think rage builds up in ways that we, who
mostly have been outraged as a condition of life for many years, have
trouble totally catching up. How angry working people are becoming, without
this at this point taking the form of significant radicalization from the
working-class point of view as happened in the '60s and '70s.
I loathe the tea party, who are completely willing and committed tools of
the ruling rich. But frankly I think the rage they express in the interests
in the rulers becomes an outlet for the rage building in other classes and
social layers, who have no outlet in current politics. ALL the liberals and
average leftists urge some form of "moderation" against the right.
We cannot voice their rage yet in any effective way, because they are too
disorganized and lack any sense of direction and we are too weak -- and old.
Not our fault in my opinion and firmly rooted in actual condition. (Not even
the super-monster sects like the SWP, RCP, etc are to blame.)
Will the eventual explosion of this anger take the form of a fight broadly
along the working class lines laid out by Marx, Engels, and Lenin, and which
Trotsky defended to the best of his ability in the beginning of what became
the prolonged retreat of the working class, much longer than he quite
reasonably imagined was possible.
At any rate, I know that anger is out there and it is growing and I am
confident that when it breaks out fully, a considerable amount of it will be
the genuine anger of the working class and its allies.
If you want to screen Muslims as potential terrorists, you'll have to target
Flying While Black
By William Saletan
Posted Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011, at 8:13 AM ET
Two months ago, I criticized Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain
for prejudging Muslims the way racists prejudge blacks. Cain argued that
Muslims should be subjected to special loyalty tests or barred from Cabinet
positions. "This nation is under attack constantly by people who want to
kill all of us," he told CNN's John King. "I am going to take extra
precautions if a Muslim person who is competent wants to work in my
administration." When Glenn Beck asked Cain whether Catholics or Mormons
should face the same loyalty test as Muslims, Cain said no, "because there
is a greater dangerous part of the Muslim faith than there is in these other
Last month, after going to Tennessee to support bigots who opposed
construction of a mosque, Cain apologized for "any comments that may have
betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion
guaranteed by it." He said of peaceful Muslims, "In my own life as a black
youth growing up in the segregated South, I understand their frustration
For this apology, Cain has been denounced by Islamophobes. Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano took similar abuse for rejecting religious
profiling. In June, a questioner told Napolitano: "In most of the cases
since 9/11 that we've made arrests, it wouldn't be profiling to discover
that most of the suspects or the convicted parties have been men, typically
under 30 or under 35, often Muslim. . Why wouldn't the department focus more
of its attention on that category of individual who's turned up most often
as the suspect?" Napolitano replied that behavioral profiling was more
accurate than profiling by sex, age, or religion. In response, several
conservative websites, including Beck's, accused her of defying "logic" and
The logic of Muslim profiling is simple. First, Muslims are more likely than
non-Muslims to plan or commit acts of terror against the United States.
Second, Muslims are more likely than non-Muslims to sympathize with al-Qaida
or believe that suicide bombing can be justified. Previous polling by the
Pew Research Center supports this claim. But a new survey report from Pew
adds a twist to the data: Statistically, the group most deserving of
scrutiny under this rationale isn't Muslims. It's black Muslims.
The survey report, released yesterday, presents a table (on Page 5) breaking
down the data by race. One question asks: "How much support for extremism,
if any, is there among Muslims living in the U.S.?" Among all U.S. Muslims,
21 percent say there's a great deal or a fair amount of support. Among
native-born U.S. Muslims, the number is 32 percent. Among black native-born
Muslims, it's 40 percent.
Another question asks: "Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of
al-Qaida?" Among all U.S. Muslims, 5 percent report a favorable view. Among
native-born U.S. Muslims, the number is 10 percent. Among black native-born
Muslims, it's 11 percent.
A third question asks: "Some people think that suicide bombing and other
forms of violence against civilian targets are justified in order to defend
Islam from its enemies. Other people believe that, no matter what the
reason, this kind of violence is never justified. Do you personally feel
that this kind of violence is often justified to defend Islam, sometimes
justified, rarely justified, or never justified?" Among all U.S. Muslims, 8
percent say suicide bombing is often or sometimes justified. Among
native-born U.S. Muslims, the number is 11 percent. Among black native-born
Muslims, it's 16 percent.
If you think the way Cain did-that we should take "extra precautions" with
certain groups because the percentage of people in those groups who might
want to kill us is bigger than it is in other groups-then Pew's findings
suggest scrutiny of Muslims isn't enough. You need to zero in on black
Muslims. Look at the two guys who have been caught trying to blow up planes
to the U.S. since 9/11: shoe bomber Richard Reid and accused underwear
bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Not to mention Abdulhakim Mujahid
Muhammad, the guy who shot up the military recruiting center in Arkansas.
I don't see presidential candidates advocating this kind of heightened
scrutiny. Evidently, racial profiling of blacks is out of fashion. It's been
replaced by discrimination against Muslims, ostensibly justified by 9/11 and
the threat of Islamic terrorism. But if group data warrant extra screening
of Muslims, they also warrant extra screening, in particular, of blacks. Or
they warrant neither. Logically, those are your options.
(Readings I recommend: Asra Nomani in the Daily Beast writes: "'Profile me.
Profile my family,' because, in my eyes, we in the Muslim community have
failed to police ourselves." Nomani, Robert Baer, and Deroy Murdock defended
racial and religious profiling at airports in a debate at Intelligence
Squared. Juan Cole at Salon made the case against profiling. Faiz Shakir at
Think Progress has the best compilation of statements from politicians and
pundits advocating Muslim profiling. Rachel Slajda at Talking Points Memo
quotes Sarah Palin: "Profile away." Andrew Breitbart's Biggovernment.com
shows a black Muslim terrorist plotter under the sarcastic headline, "Please
Don't Profile." Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch ridicules Janet Napolitano for
imagining "it's only a coincidence" that so many terrorists are "all Muslim
men under age 35." Noreen Malone at New York magazine examines an ethnically
organized Muslim surveillance program by police that "sounds an awful lot
like racial profiling." Alan Duke at CNN's "Belief" blog looks at Gallup
data showing that 81 percent of Muslim Americans, but only half of other
Americans, think demographic profiling can't identify terrorists.)
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