Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Maybe with less hate

I wanted to point out President's rather great tweet in response to Ahmed Mohamed's totally-not-a-bomb:

The reason this tweet is great is that it points out the great stupidity of the teachers/police, but by bringing Ahmed up rather than bringing them down. It brings all America up. Though the school/police did something wrong, the President isn't attacking them with hate.

The teachers/police were almost certainly racist, of course, but they don't see themselves that way. Attacking them with hate is therefore unlikely to fix anything. It's not going to change their behavior, because they think they did nothing wrong -- they'll just get more defensive. It's not going change the behavior of others, because everyone (often wrongly) believes they are part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Issues like Ahmed's deserve attention, but remember that reasonable people will disagree. Some believe the bigger issue is the racism. Other's believe that the bigger issue is the post 9/11 culture of ignorance and suspicion, where common electronics projects are seen as bomb threats.

But in today's political discourse, anybody who disagrees is labeled unreasonable. Those who think "ignorance" was a bigger issue than "racism" are viciously attacked for not taking racism seriously enough.

Even that is not enough hate. "Social justice" activists have used this incident to attack all white people for the crime of being "privileged".

We need less hate in the discussion. If you are a white nerd who believes the problem was ignorance more than racism, your opinion matters, too.

Personally, while the racism angle is more objectionable, the ignorance issue is more easily addressed. I've tried a little with humor:

My point is this. Less anger and hate, that'll just drive people away from the lessons they could learn from this incident. Instead, more humor, and more bringing people up -- like the President's tweet.

1 comment:

Fazal Majid said...

Obama learned long ago it is necessary for him to always keep an icy composure, to avoid being typecast as the stereotypical angry black man (i.e. dangerous, threatening, deserving to be shot). He was reminded first-hand during the fracas on the arrest of Prof. Henry Louis Gates when he was severely criticized for calling the police's actions "stupid" and had to engage in a pointless and demeaning beer diplomacy exercise to appease the police unions.