Someone I know posted this online today along with a screed about how profiling is justified and that liberals and pacifists (like me) are as guilty of murder as “the Muslims” by not agreeing with the logic of their racism. The person who posted it actually said, “any and all Muslims are potential murderers of you and your family.” I can’t imagine living in such fear of other people and classifying an entire group of people based on the actions of a handful. On this post there are a whopping 17 incidents perpetrated by “Muslim males” listed over the course of 45 years.
“Do You Remember?
“1. In 1968, Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed…By a Muslim male.
“2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred…By Muslim males.
“3. In 1972 a Pan Am 747 was hijacked and eventually diverted to an Arab country where a fuse was lit on final approach and it was blown up shortly after landing…By Muslim males.
“4. In 1973 a Pan Am 707 was destroyed in Rome, with 33 people killed, when it was attacked with grenades…By Muslim males.
“5. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over…By Muslim males.
“6. During the 1980’s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon…By Muslim males.
“7. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up…By Muslim males.
“8. In 1985, the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair…By Muslim males.
“9. In 1985, TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered…By Muslim males.
“10. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed…By Muslim males.
“11. In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed the first time…By Muslim males.
“12. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed…By Muslim males.
“13. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take down the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon,
and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed…By Muslim males.
“14. In 2002, the United States and Canada and others fought a war in Afghanistan…Against Muslim males.
“15. In 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded by—You guessed it—Muslim males.
“No, I really don’t see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? These 15 incidents are merely coincidence. So, to ensure we Americans/Canadians never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. Absolutely No Profiling!
“They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President’s security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winner and former Governor Joe Foss, but………….. Leave Muslim Males alone lest they be guilty of profiling.
“Have the American/Canadian People completely lost their Minds, or just their Power of Reason?
“Each opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media outlet……..do it!
“Just the facts……better add (and continue to add….)
“16. In 2012 … US Consulate in Benghazi…..Muslim males.
“17. In 2013 … Boston marathon bombers….Muslim males.”
Of course Internet memes like this are used to justify political opinions, racism, and plenty of other things. They appeal to raw instincts and base emotions, without allowing the time to process or to put things in context. So to put things in context I have created my own list of horrible acts:
Do you Remember?
In 1963 President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed . . . by a white male (as were Presidents Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901, not to mention multiple attempts on Ronald Reagan and others—by white males).
Also in 1963 four young girls were killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama—a church—in what was considered an act of racial “terrorism” perpetrated by—you guessed it—white males.
In 1966 seventeen people were killed and thirty-two wounded by a gunman in the bell tower at the University of Texas. The killer was Charles Whitman, a white male.
In 1968 civil rights and peace activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated . . . by a white male.
In 1969 several people (at least seven or eight) were murdered by the followers of Charles Manson (a white male). His followers were white males and white females.
In 1978 more than 900 people died by suicide at the urging of their leader, the Reverend Jim Jones, a white male.
Between 1978 and 1991 at least 17 men and boys were killed by Jeffrey Dahmer, a white male.
In 1984 a gunman opened fire at a McDonald’s in California. He killed 21 and wounded 19. He was a white male.
In 1989 five people were killed and many others wounded in a school shooting by Patrick Purdy, a white male who hated Asians. Those killed were four of Cambodian descent and one of Vietnamese descent.
In 1995 a bomb rocked the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, including nineteen very young children in a domestic terrorism incident perpetrated by two white males.
Between 1996 and 1998 two people were killed and more than 150 injured by bombs set off by anti-abortion and anti-gay activist Eric Rudolph—wait for it—a white male.
In 1999 the nation was shocked by a massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. 13 died. A couple dozen were injured. They were shot by two young white males.
In 2011 a man killed 77 people in two separate attacks in one day in Norway, the first with a bomb, the second with guns on an island that was inhabited mostly by children. He was a white male.
In 2012 six people were killed and several others injured at a temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin when a white supremacist (male) started shooting right before the weekly service.
Also in 2012 was the Sandy Hook shooting. The gunman was a white male.
No, I really don’t see a pattern here to justify profiling. Do you?
Oh, and let’s not forget Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and other white male world leaders who have killed massive numbers of their own citizens.
The point is, you can take any group of people—gay, Asian, white, black, Muslim, Catholic, etc.—and find incidents where members of that group committed heinous acts. If you are racist you can then extrapolate from those examples that all members of that group behave the same way and deserve our enmity. But you would be wrong. Why don’t we create lists of the good that people do? Why don’t we try to see beyond generalizations and find ways to get to know each other better and make the world a better place for all of us? That is the way I want to move through the world. So no, I do not see justification for profiling. I see it as racist generalizing that does nothing to move our world forward in a positive way. You can call me a liberal, pacifist, or whatever you want. I know you will—because all you can do is generalize and hate those you don’t understand.