#BlackLivesMatter: a hashtag for a political movement funded by George Soros and others to the tune of over $133 million. The true purpose of Black Lives Matter, according to the most perceptive external observers, is to establish something between complete federal oversight for local law enforcement and the complete federalization of local law enforcement.
#SayHisName: A hashtag meant to memorialize African-Americans who are killed by the police. The idea is that by saying their names, we humanize them, allowing us to see them as people instead of statistics or mere criminals who “had it coming”.
#BuckeyeStrong: Some meaningless stupid shit that presumably is meant to riff on #BostonStrong, another meaningless hashtag that seeks to equate the death of people who were the victims of terrorist violence and the “struggle” of people who kinda-sorta live in the same neighborhood.
Stephanie Clemons Thompson is facing calls for her resignation/termination after expressing sympathy for Abdul Ali Artan, the nutjob who tried to run a bunch of OSU students down and/or attack them with a knife. I’d like to see her fired as well. I’d also like to see her publicly flogged, the way we used to treat enemy sympathizers and fellow-travelers before we all got so civilized. But Mrs. Thompson’s biggest mistake is, I think, not her sympathy for the Somali-immigrant terrorist and Muslim cry-bully, but rather her myopic, self-deceiving refusal to take him seriously.
Every time a Muslim carries out a terror attack in this country, the media repeats the same tired line: “We may never know why he did it.” Note that the same uncertainty is never applied to “white” or “fundamentalist” mass murderers. Dylan Roof’s “manifesto” is taken at its face value, as were Timothy McVeigh’s statements. (Apropos of nothing, McVeigh’s final actions before being put to death are worthy of at least a grudging nod, regardless of what you think about America’s Reichstag Fire(tm) and the almost-scripted way it saved Bill Clinton’s legcy.) Dylan Roof was a typical racist who disapproved of the practice once called “miscgenation”; McVeigh was a typical American gun owner who hated the government. Their motives are held to be crystal clear.
Mr. Artan’s motives are held to be somehow ephemeral, indistinct. Although he clearly states his motives, and although his distrust of normal Americans was so pronounced as to be the subject of a fawning story in the Ohio State Lantern prior to the attack, the media just can’t seem to figure out what he was thinking when he went on his weak-ass would-be killing spree.
(And weak-ass it was; reading the account of it was enough to give me my own personal Mark Wahlberg moment. Fifteen years ago, I used to ride my BMX bike around OSU’s campus fairly often. I can easily imagine dropping my Supercross “Dirt Devil” long enough to stuff this hapless mook’s knife up his own ass. Any experienced martial artist, even rusty hobbyists like your decrepit author, understand that the foot has a longer reach than a knife. And I can’t be the only one. Given the raw bulk and musculature of the fraternity brothers who walk up and down High Street if the afternoons, I can’t understand how Artan got as far into his plan as he did.)
This sort of hand-wringing isn’t just American; it happened after the Charlie Hebdo attacks and all the rest of the Muslim terror stuff on European soil of the past year, as well. Every time somebody makes an unequivocal statement of solidarity with “radical” Islam and starts killing people, the media enshrouds them in a sort of motivational fog similar to that which tends to swirl around adulterous husbands at the moment of discovery… “I don’t know why I fucked her! I’m not sure why we met approximately three hundred times? It’s beyond me how I signed that lease for her apartment! It’s just all so confusing when I think about it!” It’s a rare woman who will accept that from her spouse, unless she’s already done the math on her financial future post-divorce and disliked it. But there is no act of individual or small-group terror so explicit that we cannot pretend to be in doubt of the motives.
Yet Mrs. Thompson adds a couple of unique inanities to the usual willful left-wing ignorance. The first is to tag her post with “#BlackLivesMatter” and “#SayHisName”. In doing so, she is uncritically characterizing Artan as a victim of police violence against African-Americans. The mental gymnastics required to accomplish this would shame any of Bela Karolyi’s best students. Exactly how is this dude a victim? He was trying to kill as many “infidels” as possible. The cop who killed him was quite literally doing a public service, taking out the trash if you will. You would have to be mentally retarded to think that this fellow didn’t require immediate killing. Even if he could have been brought down with a shot to the leg or whatever, a task which is far more difficult in the execution than in the Monday-morning quarterbacking thereafter, to do so would have been a disservice to Americans. You might shoot a bank robber in the leg, hoping he’ll reform in prison. But somebody like this you treat with no more consideration than you would show a rabid dog. If you think killing him was an example of a cop abusing “people of color”, you have placed yourself beyond reason.
A more cynical writer than yours truly might suggest that the #BlackLivesMatter crowd knows perfectly well how imperfect most of its chosen martyrs are, and that therefore Artan fits right in. Maybe they’re right. For every Eric Garner, there appears to be more than one Michael Brown. But I’m not going to offer much opinion on #BlackLivesMatter except to say that the Venn diagram of its most earnest supporters appears to show the overlap of “people who are easily upset by media coverage” and “people who are bad at math”.
Mrs. Thompson’s second, and perhaps more grievous, error is plain from this phrase: “Think of the pain he must have been in to feel that his actions were the only solution.” This is a sentence of such breathtaking stupidity that it should cause everyone who reads it to pause a moment in contemplation. This woman is an officer of Ohio State’s Residence Life department. She has power over the young people who attend OSU. That power can be considerable; I spent my four and a half years at Miami in constant two-fisted battle with Residence Life, believe me, a battle that almost cost me a degree. And yet she’s a fucking fool, a moron, a half-wit.
And a bigot to boot, which in this society is a greater fault than being a rapist or murderer.
With that statement, Mrs. Thompson reveals the core conceit that animates her inept misunderstanding of Muslims, people of color, and religious people across this blue globe. She simply is unable to believe that Ali Artan was serious, sane, in full possession of his faculties. She’d have no trouble believing it about a white person. If I devoted a post on this site to the topic of “All Black Women Must Die” and then I drove over a bunch of black women with my Accord, she’d accept that without a moment’s thought. I’m simply a typical white racist. We all secretly feel this way. I spent most of my day hating black women. All white men do, when they are not engaged in the process, indistinguishable from magic to the average inmate of the university system, of making the world actually work. She would respect my thoughts, my process. She would hate me, but she wouldn’t ever suggest that I was “in pain” or that I wasn’t absolutely serious and committed in my actions.
Any crime that I undertake will be taken seriously by the media. I’m a 45-year-old white man with a house. In other words, I’m an adult. But Ali Artan was a Somali, a person of color, a believing Muslim. His goal was clear, and understandable: If Americans have to choose between their own personal safety at home and their support for this country’s anti-Muslim policies in Burma or elsewhere, they will choose the former. This is as fucking sane as you can possibly be. There are enough Somalis in Columbus, Ohio to bathe the city in blood. If we had to choose between supporting American actions in Burma and knowing that every pitch-black face in Franklin County could take our lives at any moment, we’d lay the fuck off Burma.
(In the interest of clarity, I have to say that the not-actually-existing Somali-militant-Islam community would find any attempt to violate the tranquility of Powell, Ohio to be a short and bloody one. Columbus has comprehensive gun control and is inhabited by a diverse rainbow community of gentle people. Powell has more AR-15s and ammunition than the 10th Mountain Division, as well as about two thousand dudes who are itchin’ to do some shooting in a worthy cause.)
Yet because of Artan’s color, and his belief, Mrs. Thompson has decided to treat him like a spoiled baby. He must have lashed out in pain! He’s mentally ill! He’s acting from ridiculous, ill-considered notions that no adult would take seriously! Would you put your Labrador puppy down just because he shit on your bedspread? No? Then why kill this poor silly African kid who got some stupid ideas in his head and decided to act out a bit?
This is the fundamental, thoroughly racist conceit that underpins much of modern liberalism: that black people, immigrants, Muslims, and others are only three-fifths of a rational white adult human being. That they need to be treated like children. That the adult police need to handle Black criminals with kid gloves because those criminals aren’t adults. That all nonwhite Muslim terrorists deserve our sympathy for their ridiculous caveman beliefs. That anybody who acts in service of Islam is really acting in the service of mental illness, childhood trauma, low IQ, or inadequate childhood nutrition.
The logical end of this progressive theology is simple: Anybody who is fully exposed to the catechism of The Huffington Post will naturally renounce all homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, and sexism. But they will also renounce all Islam, Christianity, or any other beliefs. It is the astoundingly bigoted certainty that only a very small community of doubleplusgoodthink people, most of them white women, truly understand the correct path. White men understand the path but reject it because they are evil. Everybody else is simply suffering from a delusion, because they are no better than children.
I cannot subscribe to this. I believe Ali Artan was sane, reasonable, in the absolute command of his mind. I understand why he acted as he did. I don’t agree with him. I’d have no hesitation in shooting him down like the aforementioned rabid dog. But I don’t think I’m better than he is. I’m just on the other side. In other words, I accept him as an adult human being of equal worth in the eyes of God as myself. Mrs. Thompson and her fellow-travelers would be well advised to adopt the same mindset, if only for that future day when they find themselves on their knees before someone just like Mr. Artan. After all, in any fight, you’re best off putting your money on the guy who believes in his cause.