Progressive Programmer

Progressive Politics or idle geek banter. What's on my mind when I'm irked, intrigued, bored or up too late.

Location: Michigan, United States


The Next mAnn Coulter

Um. Wow.

UNC--A school not far from my adopted home state--has a winner of an article on their hands.

I want all Arabs to be stripped naked and cavity-searched if they get within 100 yards of an airport.

I don’t care if they’re being inconvenienced. I don’t care if it seems as though their rights are being violated.

I care about my life. I care about the lives of my family and friends.

And I care about the lives of the Arabs and Arab Americans I’m privileged to know and study with.

They’re some of the brightest, kindest people I’ve ever met.

That's quite an attention-getter, Jillian. Such contrasting statements.

Racial profiling is a subject that even some staunch liberal voices have gotten behind. But I don't think any of them openly sanctioned rape. Perhaps she's just a little worked up, and will calm down a tad as she continues.

Four years and two days ago, we stood somewhere between apathy and ignorance. Sure, there were heinous acts of terrorism being committed in far-away lands, and sure, there was always the threat that some psychopath might do something.

No, four years and two days ago the Bush Administration stood somewhere between apathy and ignorance (they prefer to stand closer to ignorance, as apathy seems a bit sloth-ish, and sloth is a deadly sin, remember). The Clinton Administration had laid the Bin Laden situation on the table for them in plain english. But chasing Bin Laden wasn't going to spend hundreds of billion dollars on a missile defense system that didn't work, and it wasn't going to get back at Saddam for trying to kill W's daddy. Hell, the morning of 9/11, I assumed it was Bin Laden right away. And all I had was a fucking Newsweek subscription and an affinity for NPR.

After all, we’re the generation of Timothy McVeigh, the Unabomber and Columbine. The news was littered with coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nerve gas on Japanese subways and terror in the Balkans.

But those attacks weren’t in the same buildings we toured on our eighth-grade class trips.

They didn’t kill 3,000 of our relatives.

They weren’t in our face.

How are you stupid? Let us count the ways...

Let's start with the fact that not only might an 8th grade class tour the Oklahoma City Federal building, a whole school full of kids toured Columbine High every damned day! Are you just plagiarizing sentences from other works that sound cool, without considering the context laid out in your preceding paragraphs? Cuz I'm sure people will be accused of quoting you out of context, but hell, if they keep the context you're even worse off!

They didn't kill 3000 of our relatives? They weren't in our face? I would think that the aggrieved in Oklahoma and Colorado might take offense at your comment. They might think McVeigh and Harris were in our face, and I should think the total number of dead--to those aggrieved--doesn't matter nearly as much as how the loss of just one can hit home.

So Bushie waged war on ’em. He set out to knock the evil off its axis, and we’re still there, duking it out.

Did you see that? She didn't do it blatantly, but she managed to glom Iraq and Afghanistan into one big lump, along with all of the would-be-terrorists she is encouraging us to actively violate in our airport terminals.

Ugh, the volume at which one must have to yell "IRAQ DID NOT ATTACK US" must be equivalent 12 on the Spinal Tap scale. She didn't do it blatantly, but Bush has it so ingrained in the minds of his supporters, they are no longer capable of separating what is happening in Iraq from what happened in Afghanistan.

And for good reason. You can debate a lot of things about post-9/11 foreign policy, but one thing you can’t debate is that taking out terrorists — or blatant human-rights violators — is a good thing.

You also can’t debate that of the 19 hijackers on those planes, all 19 were Arab.

And you can’t debate that while most Arabs are not terrorists, sadly, most terrorists are indeed Arab.

Given this combination, I want some kind of security.

No, Jillian, YOU can't debate that taking out terrorists is a good thing. The sane among us can debate it so long as Bush mixes the bombing of suspected terrorists with the bombing of innocents. So long as Bush intentionally misleads us into wars in countries that had nothing to do with 9/11, we can debate what Bush calls a mission to defeat the terrorists (which he called a war to disarm Saddam before he called a mission to defeat the terrorists--in no way is this to be construed as a flip-flop or any such nonsense).

It is the next two sentences that are the only two in your piece that make sense. It is those two sentences that connect your sick commentary to a legitimate discussion of the merits and mis-steps that come from racial profiling. Had your piece been more descriptive and less argumentative on these two points, you might have gotten away with it.

We all want security. The sane among us just choose to debate whether guaranteeing that security requires the killing of innocent civilians--in countries that didn't attack us--for reasons that are deliberately muddied by the very leaders claiming our security requires it.

Done in a professional, conscientious manner, racial profiling is more likely to get the bad guys than accosting my 12-year-old pipsqueak of a brother on his way to summer camp.

When asked if she had a boyfriend, Ann Coulter once said that any time she had a need for physical intimacy, she would simply walk through an airport’s security checkpoint.

I want Arabs to get sexed up like nothing else.

What part of stripping someone naked and searching his or her cavities coincides with a professional and conscientious approach to anything? What part of being searched like that could be mistaken for being "sexed up"? Perhaps in your perverted mind, or in your dormroom, that sort of thing is all fun 'n' stuff, but everywhere else in reality it's pretty frickin' nasty.

The mAnn Coulter reference is a sick namedrop. Like a John Waters movie, intended to shock for the sake of shock. Unfortunately, the sentence you picked is apt for your topic, and just as is your take on the topic, fucked up.

And Arab students at UNC don’t seem to think that’s such a bad idea.

“(Racial profiling) really doesn’t bother me,” said Sherief Khaki, a first-generation Egyptian-American and representative of the UNC-CH Arabic Club.

“So a couple of hours are wasted. Big deal.”

Said Muhammad Salameh, a junior biology major: “I can accept it, even if I don’t like it. I don’t want to die.”

Professor Nasser Isleem, a man for whom I have complete and utter respect after merely two weeks of sitting in his Arabic 101 class, said, “Let them search.”

“It depends on how I’m stopped, but if it is done in a professional manner … ”

Then he nodded.

“There were Muslims in those buildings, too.”

Something tells me it's not just everyone quoting your article that is wrapping a little contextual liberties around a quotation or two. Oops, I was right. That's pretty twisted. But hey, if you're that good at taking things wildly out of context to further your worldview, I'm sure the RNC has a slot ready-made for you.

Some people say that racial profiling will make terrorism a self-fulfilling prophecy, or that it’s somehow unfair to designate certain individuals as being more likely to commit an act of terror than another.

They’re wrong.

If 19 blond-haired, blue-eyed, Caucasian Jews had plowed into the World Trade Center with two jumbo jets, I would demand to be interrogated every time I browsed

After each interrogation, I would offer the official a cup of joe, then heartedly thank him for his efforts. And I would not be any more inclined to blow up innocent civilians as a result of it.

This is like a rich person wondering why a poor one doesn't pull themself out of the gutter, claiming that if they were poor, they would do something about it. It's self-aggrandizing and condescending to say that you would be a better person in a shitty situation when you know full well you could never be in that situation. It's insulting. It's pandering to your base and I'm about sick of people pandering to their beloved base to the detriment of everyone else, i.e. the majority.

Neither would Sherief Khaki. Or Muhammad Salameh. Or Nasser Isleem.

Nearly every Arab American I’ve spoken with has done nothing but condemn the evil that was done just four years ago, and at least tacitly recognize that some profiling is necessary.

I have enough confidence in my country’s imperfect but steadfast law enforcement systems to carry out such profiling the way it should be done: in a professional and thorough manner, without going down the slippery slope of pointless and disrespectful encroachment on the livelihood or decorum of everyday Arabs and Arab Americans.

Methinks you failed to mention that whole "sexed up", Arab anal grab-bag meme when you paraphrased these bright, kind individuals. Oh, yeah, you did do that.

And while you have confidence in your country's "imperfect and steadfast law enforcement systems" to professionally and thoroughly sodomize your fellow citizens, you're disregarding some of that whole Declaration of Independence thingy, and maybe a bit of that one U.S. Constitution thingamabob. The Declaration lists a number of things that used to piss them off and made them want to part ways with the Monarchy, and the 4th amendment of the Constitution happens to deal with unlawful searches, I seem to recall.

"Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety", was what Ben Franklin had to say. But like most Bush supporters, you likely prefer "God helps them that help themselves", which Franklin also said. After all, that's the deified comment that rings true to everyone that subscribes to the GOP Mindset, though it goes against Jesus' teachings and was never in the Bible.

But that's what you're willing to do here, Jillian. Except the essential liberties you're sacrificing are those of someone else. Unless you improve the way you substantiate the argument you're putting forth without pandering to the sickest of our citizenry, you really will have a place out there as the next mAnn Coulter.

I'm not liberal, I'm just paying attention


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