Chris Matthews features a sensible Texas on extremists for a change
It was refreshing to watch the discussion on extremists on Hardball with Chris Matthews recently. Finally there was a Texan in prime time that was not sounding like a delusional person primed on misinformation and conspiracy theories. Jade Helm 15 notwithstanding, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee proves that there are in fact sensible Texans that the traditional mainstream media can interview.
The discussion on Chris Matthews was about the attempted terrorist event in Garland Texas where hatemonger Pam Geller was conducting a $10,000 contest for the best anti-Muslim cartoon, the drawing of the prophet. Two young men that seemed influenced by ISIS, attempted to attack the event. They were killed by security. In other words, law enforcement worked.
The discussion on Hardball could be paraphrased as free speech vs responsible speech. But more importantly they morphed the conversation into the necessity to stop stereotyping who is a terrorist.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee while supporting free speech acknowledged Pam Geller’s irresponsibility in being provocative. It is no different than an atheist desecrating the image of Jesus. While most Christians would simply complain about the insensitivity, it is not hard to imagine a devout extremist Evangelical Christian exacting violence on the perpetrator. This in not conjecture. Christians have been killing abortion doctors for a long time. However, the outrage is quickly attenuated after a few days unlike the outrage when violence is committed by Muslims.
That was the point terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann made. He reminded Americans about the attempt by white supremacist to detonate a bomb in Seattle and many other events from domestic terrorism. There is a tendency to treat terrorism by Muslims differently than home grown terrorism.
The reality is that there is much more home grown terrorism if one defined terrorism as it should. Minority and poor communities are in fact terrorized by police officers as a method of control. It has been happening for decades. The few incidences that were videoed are just the tip of the iceberg. Most American will gasp at that comparison. After-all we are supposed to be some sort of a democracy where freedom and moral values exude from our pores. If one does not allow themselves to be empathetic, then unless they live it they simply cannot know it.
Forceful discussions like the discussion between Sheila Jackson Lee, Evan Kohlmann, and Chris Matthews must continue. It is necessary that the discussion of terrorism be broadened. It is imperative that terrorism is made the law enforcement issue that it is and not the stereotyping of those some falsely believe are predisposed more than others to commit bad acts.