Now that we’re a couple days out from it, and the cleanup and recovery has begun, let me be the first to ask: When will all the moderate white Americans condemn the Las Vegas mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay, and every other senseless act of violence ever committed by a white person?
I mean…isn’t that how this works? Aren’t we supposed to demand genuflection and a tearful, baleful, emotional plea for forgiveness from every member of a group just because one of them committed an act of terror? Because if that’s not how it works, that means that conservatives and Republicans have just been finding a way to make their dislike and distaste for Muslims more acceptable to the mainstream, and that’s why they demand that “moderate Muslims” condemn terrorism every time a jihadi blows themselves up.
…and there’s just no way that they’d be that transparent, right?
It’s funny — conservatives don’t like to be generalized about, but they sure do love to generalize. They rightly point out they’re not a monolith, and not all of them are Bible thumping evangelicals. Not all of them are homophobic. Not all of them think Donald Trump is a good person, and not all of them will go blindly along with his agenda. Yet, when it comes to them generalizing about others — liberals, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, minority groups, and Muslims — they just can’t wait to find the biggest paint brush possible so they can slather those groups up in broad strokes with generalizations and pejoratives.
So, again, I have to ask: When are moderate white people going to condemn Stephen Paddock, out loud, and in a group large enough to appease the rest of America? When will they stand up and say, “Hey man, terrorism is wrong, so don’t do it under my name, mannnnnnnnnn!”? They have to do it soon, right? Otherwise we’d be forced to think, horror of horrors, that they’re just utterly full of shit and merely want to create yet another reason to go to war…unending, expensive war.
And don’t forget, these are the same folks telling you we can’t afford healthcare or education, but we can afford to gin up every excuse under the sun to attack Muslims because “reasons” and “national security.”
Then you have to wonder why so many conservatives are ready and willing to embrace the “lone wolf” narrative about white dudes with semiautomatic weapons and can’t call it an act of terror. You almost have two subgroups within the bigger group. Some conservatives can call what Paddock did terrorism, but others for some reason seem to genuinely think that only Muslims commit terrorism. Maybe Paddock didn’t have a political goal, but clearly he used fear as a weapon against the people at that concert, and so maybe he was just a terrorist with a specific cause or goal in mind.
I also find it kinda hilarious when conservatives get outraged at liberals calling the NRA a terrorist group. But if ever there was a group that used fear to get people to believe in and push for a certain political outcome, it’s the NRA. If you listen to Wayne LaPierre, the streets of America are a violent cesspool (where’d they get their guns from, I wonder, Wayne?), and the only way to keep yourself alive is by buying bigger and bigger guns and more and more ammo. Again, conservatives have no problem calling liberals “commies” or “takers” as if we’re all communists or don’t want to contribute, but how dare we rightly point out what the Nationalist Rifle Association’s business model is?
No, the NRA didn’t tell Paddock to kill those people; they just helped foster the political environment necessary to make arming himself to the teeth easy as baking a cake.
It’s of course downright stupid to assume that one person is responsible for another’s crimes. It’s therefore beyond stupid to be offended when a whole group of people doesn’t apologize for and condemn a crime they didn’t commit. We used to assume that reasonable people agreed murder was bad, no matter who carried out or what their political affiliation was. But all of a sudden when it comes to Muslims, we’re supposed to just swallow their generalizing as if we don’t all know Muslims who are the same as you and me?