One in Six

After the bombings yesterday it was suggested to me (by a woman) that we should “resume” racial profiling. It was stated first, as though it is an effective method of detouring criminal acts, and second, as if it somehow doesn’t currently exist. I was embarrassed. I’m quite certain as she said that that she did not have an image of a woman in her mind, yet never once did she mention “male”, just race and ethnicity.

Who are some of the biggest terrorist organizations in the US? The Animal Liberation Front, Alpha 66, The Army of God, The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord, The Earth Liberation Front (classified as a top “domestic terror” threat in the United States by the FBI), The Jewish Defense League, The Ku Klux Klan, May 19th Communist Organization, The Order, Phineas Priesthood, Symbionese Liberation Army, and the United Freedom Front.  And what are some of the worst bombings in the US? The LA times building in 1910, The Wall Street bombing in 1920, The Bath School Disaster in 1927, Attacks by the Jewish Defense League in the 1980’s, The Oklahoma City Bombing in 2001, Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996, 2001 anthrax attacks, Knoxville Unitarian Church shooting in 2008, and the Fort Hood shooting in 2009.

Of the 13 incidents reported by the FBI in the 1990’s as being a terrorist act, one was perpetrated by a member of Al Qaeda which resulted in 6 people dead and 1000 injured. One was committed by a Palestinian and the rest by white American males. The 11 terrorist acts committed by white American Males resulted in 178 dead and 794 injured (not including the shooting spree by James Knopp).

If we are going to profile terrorist acts doesn’t it make sense to check our data? It not hard. In fact, it’s pretty obvious – we should be profiling white, christian males between the ages of 18 and 45, with former military experience. Statistically, they are far an away the most likely group to commit violent acts of every kind. The three most horrific shooting of the last few years, including the massacre in a Sikh temple, the shooting at a movie theater and the murder of school children on school grounds have all be committed by white males.

the Bureau of Justice statistics show that over 85% of violent crimes in the U.S are committed by men – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe data show that in the U.S. and Europe, 85%-100% of people convicted of assault are men. And 90% of murders are committed by men. Men are by far the principal perpetrators of rape, war, torture, incest, sexual abuse, sexualized murder, and genocide. –

All this evidence, and yet, the first conclusion some people jump to is that we should be assuming that everyone who is not “us” is a terrorist. When, in fact those we would describe as “us” are the biggest terrorist threat to the population of the US that we face. In all fairness, there has been a rise in Islamic terrorist attacks in the US since 1997 from 0% to 6% over the last 16 years. That increases your chance of becoming a victim of one by an average of 0.0038% each year.

A rough calculation suggests that in the last five years, your chances of being killed by a terrorist are about one in 20 million. This compares annual risk of dying in a car accident of 1 in 19,000; drowning in a bathtub at 1 in 800,000; dying in a building fire at 1 in 99,000; or being struck by lightning at 1 in 5,500,000. In other words, in the last five years you were four times more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist.

Don’t misunderstand me. My heart goes out to the people who were victims of this most recent terrible crime. How could I not be moved when a little boy the same age as my son was killed doing exactly what he and I do on occasion? But to scream racist bullshit rhetoric is no form of justice or comfort.

It may turn out that the very sad incident of the bombing in Boston yesterday was one of the 6% of all terrorist acts committed in the US by someone not white, but does that really warrant racism? If we want to live in a truly “safe” society, we would begin by profile white males (then Hispanics and African Americans, but there is actually little statistical evidence that we should profile any other male) we would stop teaching our son’s that violence is okay, we would improve our healthcare system, make pay gender-equal, fully fund public education, out-law fundamentalist Christian sects, and stop eating meat.

By the way, your chance of dying from a diet-related illness – 1 in 6. The chance of your children dying from one as they reach adulthood are even higher.



Bullworth: You know the guy in the booth who’s talking to you in that tiny little earphone? He’s afraid the guys at network are gonna tell him that he’s through/ If he lets a guy keep talking like I’m talking to you/ Cause the corporations got the networks and they get to say who gets to talk about the country and who’s crazy today/

Telecommunications is the name of the beast/that, that, that, that, that’s eating up the world from the west to the east/ The movies, the tabloids, TV and magazines/ they tell us what to think and do/ And all our hopes and dreams/ All this information makes America phat/ But if the company’s outta the country/ How American is that? But we got Americans with families that can’t even buy a meal/ Ask a brother who’s been downsized if he’s getting any deal/ Or a white boy bustin ass til they put him in his grave/ He ain’t gotta be a black boy to be livin like a slave/ Rich people have always stayed on top by dividing white people from colored people/ but white people got more in common with colored people then they do with rich people/ we just gotta eliminate them. White people, black people, brown people, yellow people, get rid of ’em all/ All we need is a voluntary, free spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction/ Everybody just gotta keep fuckin’ everybody til they’re all the same color


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