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Finding the Middle Ground

December 4, 2015

Oh no! A neighbor saw a bunch of adult male Middle Eastern people visiting the home of the San Bernardino shooter and DIDN’T CALL THE POLICE! The Internet is up in arms about it! That neighbor could have prevented the shootings if he only notified the authorities! Only he didn’t because he was afraid of being accused of racism!

Maybe that’s because it would have been racist to do so. He didn’t see them toting boxes marked DYNAMITE, or cases of long guns, just some brown guys visiting another brown guy.  Heavens to Betsy!

In this time of global terrorism, I understand getting nervous by people who fit the profile of terrorists gathering together. The problem is, we tend to hang out with people of our own race (still a dumb term). We tend to share a personal culture and it feels homey to gather together as friends. Arabs shouldn’t do that?

I know it’s evil of me to consider that SOME profiling is good.  You see a Middle Eastern man in security at the airport, maybe it’s okay to give him extra scrutiny. Not too much, but a little.  You see an elderly woman, maybe not so much, but still a little.

But out in the wilds of America?  Please, not without just cause.  If you hear one say, “Die, Capitalist Pig!” by all means, call the cops. See some ordinance unusual for a backyard barbeque, call away. A guy, any guy, hitting his wife, 911 is your friend. But visitors?  Even a Kuran Study, remember they’re your neighbors.

Ah, ha! You say. But what if they are bad guys? I could have stopped them! I’m sorry, but if you apply that standard to everyone, you’ll be on 911 all the time. If all you look at is color, everyone is a Black Panther, KKKer, Jihadist, or Democrat.

Indiscriminate prejudice is exactly what Ben Franklin was warning about when he said, “He who gives up essential liberties for security deserve neither.”

By all means, keep your eyes open, but please know the difference between just cause and innocent gathering.

Let me say again that Trump is an idiot. I think both parties play on fear, but that guy isn’t playing. He is fear-mongering, lathering up a mob to vote by their own darkest fears rather than their brightest hopes.

Be vigilant, but not stupid or mean-hearted. This is still America.




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