Tuesday, July 7, 2015

When "terrorists" look like Stu Bykofsky

When "terrorists" look like Stu Bykofsky

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Stu Bykofsky weighs in on the inevitable implications of, in his words, "when terrorists look like us."

JIHADJANE has a message for racial-profiling fans: Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah.

JihadJane blew up the notion - never really widely held - that being a blue-eyed blonde should slide you through airport security like grease through a goose while everyone with a Middle Eastern name, a swarthy complexion or a turban should be strip-searched by Transportation Security Administration screeners.

Well, he certainly has a point about racial and ethnic profiling -- it will be interesting, if I get a chance, to hear Smercomish's take on this. But I think the broader point here is that Colleen LaRose was a woman with a world of problems before she discovered al-Qaeda. In all honesty I think it makes more sense to view her as Act III after the Austin IRS attack and the Pentagon shooting -- people who were deranged or narcissistic or both and who turned their demons toward something political. And I think that is a commentary on our times:

For too long in America we've had people committing random acts of violence -- usually toward their own family, unfortunately, and occasionally at crowded places like a McDonald's; in 2010, the focus is anti-government and anti-Americanism -- that's partly a reflection on the deep anxiety in U.S. society right now and partly because of the hypercharged media atmosphere (and yes, I mean on all sides) that we live in today. The Internet, in particular, enabled all three of these people -- to obsess on conspiracy theories or to post a death rant where millions could read it or, now, for a blonde, blue-eyed and deeply troubled woman from the Philadelphia exurbs to hook up with al-Qaeda. And if you believe in free speech and unfettered Internet access, as most of us do, there's no easy solution for that.

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