Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Letter From America (Ouch . . . )

The Other Side of the Coin

Blogger Patterico turns the tables on the NY Times over the matter of the Orlando Mass Murderer.

The Corrosive Politics of the New York Times Editorial Board That Led to the Orlando Shooting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:59 am

The New York Times editorial board is blaming the Orlando shooting on Republicans:
While the precise motivation for the rampage remains unclear, it is evident that Mr. Mateen was driven by hatred toward gays and lesbians. Hate crimes don’t happen in a vacuum. They occur where bigotry is allowed to fester, where minorities are vilified and where people are scapegoated for political gain. Tragically, this is the state of American politics, driven too often by Republican politicians who see prejudice as something to exploit, not extinguish.

To the contrary: the precise motivation for the attack is quite clear, actually. John Sexton explains:
Omar Mateen told a 911 dispatcher what his motivations were. He killed 49 people in solidarity with ISIS and their extreme Islamic beliefs. ISIS, it must be noted, routinely murders gays (or people suspected of being gay) by throwing them off tall buildings. In other words, there is no reason to doubt his hatred of gays could stem from his religious leanings.
In addition, we know the FBI had twice investigated Mateen for possible Islamic radicalism. Every authority from the president on down has indicated this was an act of home grown terrorism, an apparent case of self-radicalization. How much more precise to do we need to get on the killer’s motivation?
Despite the clear influence of radical Islam generally (and ISIS specifically) on Mateen’s actions, the words “ISIS” or “Islam” or “Muslim” appear nowhere in the New York Times editorial. Nor do the editors mention that the shooter, who was supposedly driven to violence by that Republican hatred, was a registered Democrat. I have not noted the shooter’s political registration before today, because I believe that doing so would amount to pointless and unnecessary partisan point-scoring. But the editors’ equally pointless decision to drag Republicans into this discussion has compelled me to name Mateen’s political affiliation as a defensive measure, even though I am no longer a Republican — because I spent enough years as one that I am still outraged when they are absurdly blamed for something that is not their fault.

I’m now going to make an argument for rhetorical effect. It is an argument that I don’t believe, because I believe the moral responsibility for the shooting lies exclusively with Omar Mateen. But my argument is far more plausible than blaming Republicans, and in any event I need to justify the headline of the post — and it’s an argument that I’m willing to bet a lot of you will believe.

That argument is this: if anyone besides Omar Mateen is morally responsible for this shooting, it is the very people who deliberately and repeatedly ignore the danger posed by radical Islamic terrorism, to the point where they strain to overlook red flags raised by the behavior of a Muslim. After all, we have heard allegations that Mateen, while working as a security guard for a federal contractor, talked about killing people — and yet, his former co-worker alleges, these complaints fell on deaf ears because he was a Muslim.

And nobody has been more staunch in their refusal to ignore the dangers of radical Islam than the editors of the New York Times, who do not even mention ISIS in this editorial, much less tell their readers that the shooter “pledged allegiance to ISIS and referenced the Tsarnaev brothers, the terrorists who exploded bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon.”

So if you’re going to blame someone besides Mateen for this shooting, blame the members of the New York Times editorial board. Those members include James Bennet (@jbennet), Terry Tang, Robert B. Semple Jr., Linda Cohn, Vikas Bajaj (@vikasbajaj), Francis X. Clines, Lawrence Downes (@lawrencedownes), Carol Giacomo (@giacomonyt), Mira Kamdar (@mirakamdar), Ernesto LondoƱo, Anna North (@annanorthtweets), Serge Schmemann, Brent Staples (@BrentNYT), Teresa Tritch, Jesse Wegman (@jessewegman), and Elizabeth Williamson (@NYTLiz).

These are the people whose corrosive politics contributed to the murder of 49 people in Orlando.   Go hold them responsible.

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