Watch Out for White Men

The one demographic that is consistently profiled racially

From theTrumpetWhite males have taken a beating in recent weeks. First it was legislators in Arizona, branded as Nazis in some quarters, because they had the gall to clamp down on illegal immigration. Then it was Arizonans in general, labeled as racist for supporting tougher legislation, even though this majority support included many Hispanics—those who are legal citizens of Arizona.

Then there was President Obama’s snub of white males all across America. Trying to rally his base to carry Democrats to victory in 2010, Obama called on women, youths, blacks and Hispanics to get involved—as if white males had nothing to do with his 2008 victory. Back then, Obama was hailed as a great unifier of racial differences. And judging by exit polls, Obama the healer seemed to resonate with just about every demographic, including middle-aged white men. Forty-one percent of white males voted for Barack Obama in 2008. John Kerry only managed 37 percent of the white male vote in 2004. And given the immense size of the white voting demographic, one could easily argue that Obama’s popularity among white males was largely responsible for his comfortable win over John McCain. Yet today, judging by the president’s comment last week, the Obama Express seems to have left white males standing alone at the train station.

Then there’s the failed terrorist attack at Times Square last weekend. When these kinds of frightening incidents happen, our leaders generally coach us to not jump to hasty conclusions and to minimize any Muslim connections. For example, after Major Hasan murdered 13 people at Ft. Hood in November, U.S. Gen. George Casey, downplayed the role Hasan’s Muslim faith played in the killing spree. “As horrific as this tragedy was,” Casey added, “if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse” (emphasis mine throughout).

For his part, President Obama pleaded for Americans to refrain from making judgments until all the facts had been gathered.

These rules, however, do not apply when the suspect might be white.

On Sunday, hours after the U.S. barely averted another terrorist strike in New York, thanks to an alert T-shirt vendor who noticed a smoldering suv parked in Times Square, law enforcement officials informed the media that they were looking for a “white male in his 40s.” Surveillance video caught the man suspiciously removing his shirt on a warm day.

“He put the dark one into the bag that he was carrying,” New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly explained. “This happened about half a block away from where the vehicle was parked.”

The suspect wore a red undershirt. He stuffed a dark shirt into his duffle bag. He was spotted near the car bomb. And he was white—the one bit of evidence reporters found particularly noteworthy.

Earlier that same day, the Pakistani Taliban had accepted responsibility for the failed car bombing. But New York’s top police officer quickly dismissed the claim made on the Internet. “We have no evidence to support this,” Kelly said.

The next day, on cbs evening news, Katie Couric asked New York’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, if the failed terrorist plot might be a precursor to a larger attack. Bloomberg responded, “There is no credible evidence so far that this attack was more than at least one person, the driver. After that, there’s no evidence that anybody else was involved.”

When prodded to speculate on who this loner might have been, Bloomberg said he was probably “home-grown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill.”

Meanwhile, investigators were quickly closing in on the actual terrorist—Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani Muslim who had obtained American citizenship in 2009. In February, Shahzad returned to the United States from Pakistan, where he learned about bomb making for five months in the Taliban stronghold of Waziristan.

Soon after he arrived in the States, Shahzad paid $1,300 in cash for a 1993 Pathfinder—the suv he later rigged with explosives. On Wednesday of last week, Shahzad parked his other vehicle, a white Isuzu, in Times Square to serve as a getaway car on the night of the would-be bombing.

After fleeing the crime scene last Saturday night, Shahzad inadvertently left his keys inside the bomb-laden Pathfinder. So instead of driving away in the Isuzu, he took a train back to his apartment in Connecticut, where his landlord helped him obtain a spare set of keys. On Sunday, Shahzad went back to Manhattan to retrieve the Isuzu.

That same day, while going through the Pathfinder, investigators found fertilizer, gas, firecrackers, propane tanks, a gun and the keys to Shahzad’s apartment and two cars. Shahzad had stripped the Pathfinder’s identification number (vin) off the dashboard, but made the mistake of hiding it elsewhere in the suv he intended to blow up. Once investigators located the vin, they quickly linked the car bomb to its Islamic triggerman.

After discovering the terrorist’s identity Monday afternoon, customs officials immediately put Shahzad’s name on a national no-fly list. Later that evening, at about the same time the New York mayor was speculating about a deranged tea partier being responsible for the attack, word leaked that authorities were hunting for a Pakistani-American.

The manhunt was on. And Shahzad vanished.

As we now know, when Shahzad learned that he had been targeted, he hopped in the Isuzu and rushed to jfk Airport. On the way, he contacted Emirates Airlines via cell phone and reserved a one-way ticket to Dubai. Because the airline failed to update its no-fly list, Shahzad was able to pay for the ticket at the counter, in cash, and make it through tsa security and onto the plane without incident. Only after a last-minute review of the passenger list by federal agents was Shahzad finally captured and taken into custody.

Since then, we have learned more about Shahzad’s background and his links to terrorist organizations. In his apartment, authorities found a Koran and prayer beads. Shahzad was also an amateur artist whose masterpiece was a wooden carving he made to look like a mosque. Neighbors described him as strange and distant.

But, as we have also learned, he was no loner. According to yesterday’s New York Times, evidence is mounting that the Pakistani Taliban, as it claimed immediately after the bombing, is responsible for inspiring and training Shahzad. In Pakistan, authorities have already detained several suspects believed to be connected to the bombing. According to the Times, American officials said “it was very likely that a radical group once thought unable to attack the United States had played a role in the bombing attempt in Times Square, elevating concerns about whether other militant groups could deliver at least a glancing blow on American soil.”

In other words, this may well be the precursor to a much bigger attack. But before we jump to any conclusions about Muslim men, or their faith, let us remember the fundamental doctrines of political correctness: America’s greatest strength is its diversity. Any perceived threat against our diversity is of greater concern than terrorism itself. Also remember that Islam almost never inspires terrorism. And in the rare case that it does, we should downplay that reality. And why? Because the best way to fight terrorism is to avoid offending Muslims.

Added to that list, we now know, is that those who violate the above rules are more dangerous than the terrorists themselves. And these violators, generally speaking, are middle-aged white males.

On Tuesday, rather than apologize for targeting Republican tea partiers who oppose Obamacare, Mayor Bloomberg responded to Shahzad’s arrest by offering praise for the Pakistani community and its positive impact on New York. He then issued this stern warning to every non-Muslim in the region: “We will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.”

Every ethnic group has “a few bad apples,” Bloomberg lectured, after dabbling in a bit of his own racial profiling the day before.

And so, now that the dust has settled on yet another Muslim terror attempt on U.S. soil—in the past two years, more than a dozen people who fit the exact same mold as Faisal Shahzad have either supported or instigated terror attacks in America—we return to the status quo.

Watch out for middle-aged white men.

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