If you have virtually any fear at all that a brown-haired, bushy-bearded “terrorist” is about to stand in the town square and explode a bomb or enter the area and start shooting, you really need a clue. Just. As importantly, if you believe that threatening Muslims and taking away their rights will lessen that possibility,, well, that fear is not rational; it’s a fear that your right wing Republican Party has instilled in you because their base is irrational morons and they’re playing to them because it’s the only chance they have of winning anything political, and that is all they care about, if we’re being honest.
Fear is one of the most powerful tools humans have when it comes to avoiding disaster, but it should appear sparingly. If a bus is barreling down the street and headed straight for you, of course you should be afraid. If you’re about to get on an elevator and an alarm goes off inside, listen to it and take the next elevator because your instincts are trying to tell you something. Likewise, it is absolutely natural for you to be apprehensive when you see three rednecks walk into the Target carrying assault weapons and want to leave. Those are all rational fears.
But this country is too often not ruled by rational fear.
We currently have an entire political party, called the Republican Party, that operates primarily based on engendering irrational fear in the populace. And fear of terrorism is an irrational fear.
The best way to tell is a fear is rational is to ask how it affects your life? I mean, if you’re scared of Muslim people because they may be terrorists, how do you function? For that matter, how do you function when you don’t even know what a Muslim looks like? Last week, there was an incident in which three Sikhs were denied entry to a San Diego Chargers game because of their turbans; some racist moron complained and whoever was taking tickets decided that protecting the rights of people with turbans was far less important than protecting the rights of ignoramuses.
What the hell are people like this afraid of? Seriously, we live in a country that once defeated the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese at the same time and now, we’re deathly afraid that a few stray radicals may come over here and shoot us or set off a bomb somewhere at some time? Land of the free and home of the brave, my ass. Grow a proverbial scrote, America!
You wanna talk about risk? Why do you drive? Roughly 32,000 people are killed on the nation’s highways every year. For Chrissakes, folks, you drive within several feet of large trucks than can be hauling as much as 40 tons every single day of your life and many of you drive stupidly around them. Many of the people on the road are talking and texting and eating and drinking and lighting cigarettes and trying to smack their kids while they drive and sometimes all at once. And yet, you drive everywhere every day of your life, regardless of the risk.
For that matter, 33,000 people are killed by guns every year. In all, 100,000 people are shot every year. And let’s be clear; only a few of them are shot by Muslims every year. In fact, if you are one of those white suburbanites who seems to be afraid of Daesh/ISIL, the odds are far greater that you will be shot by another white suburbanite than by a jihadist. In fact, more people have been killed by white people in shopping malls since 9/11 than have been killed by Muslim terrorists, at least in this country.
Now, let’s have a show of hands; how many of you white people who live in the suburbs will refuse to head to the local mall, or the local Target or Kohl’s, because you’re scared to death that a white suburbanite might shoot you?
The reason terrorists do what they do is because we keep handing them wins. They have two goals with their actions; they want us to fear them — check. And they want to establish that there really is a war between the rest of the world and Muslims — double check.
If you are afraid of terrorists, you are a full-on weenie. But more than that, you are helping to perpetuate terrorism by making the bad guys think they’re winning. It’s almost Christmas, so consider a traditional story of the holiday season, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Surely you remember what changed the Grinch’s heart, right? It was when he realized that the Whos down in Whoville proved that what he had done to them didn’t faze them at all.
That’s how we win the terrorism game, and our Presidnet has been trying to tell us this all along. If you want to stop terrorism, don’t be fearful of them, flip them off. When there is a terrorist attack, mourn the victims and then stand up to the bullies who shot them or bombed them. Instead of threatening to take away people’s rights, double down on protecting them. Fuck Daesh! Instead of threatening to lock up all Muslims and throw them out of the country, embrace Muslim Americans and double down on making sure their rights are protected. Instead of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees, take in 50,000 and greet them at the airport to let them know they are loved. When someone burns down a mosque, do everything possible to catch the arsonists, condemn them and make an extra effort to rebuild the mosque for our Muslim brothers and sisters.
Showing fear is for chumps and losers. If you really want to stop terrorism, show them who’s boss. Show them that, not only are we not afraid, but we’re bound and determine to double down on the rights our ancestors fought for. And that doesn’t just mean Muslims; we should double down on our fervent belief that all people are created equal, and treat everyone the same, regardless of their race, religion or even sexual orientation. Show that we’re better than the terrorists, and we can end most terrorism. And I don’t just mean Muslim terrorism; I’m talking about the terrorismperpetrated by white supremacists and that of police in black neighborhoods, as well.
If you want to stop terrorism, you have to kick its ass, not kiss it. Dropping bombs on Daesh is a good start, but being tough at home is even better. Stop giving the terrorists what they want; terror.