This is a powerful reminder of what we’re not doing after the Planned Parenthood shooting, courtesy of Chemi Shalev at Haaretz:
Unlike the seemingly endless stream of demands and condemnations that followed the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, no one has suggested that churches in which Planned Parenthood are routinely depicted as the devil’s spawn be closed; no one has demanded that Evangelicals who believe performers of abortions are committing crimes against humanity should be issued with special identity cards; and no one has called for arresting or deporting the inciters who exploit such incidents to whip up hate (and garner more votes).
The tragedies aren’t exactly the same, of course, and there is plenty to fill in regarding what motivated Robert Lewis Dear, but there’s a very obvious difference in how conservatives are responding to the two acts of violence.
Imagine the sort of outrage we’d be seeing right now if the shooter in Colorado Springs was a lone wolf Muslim. Surely the candidates vying for the Republican nomination wouldn’t be nearly as silent as they’ve been. Even Donald Trump would find a way to turn it up to 12 (since he’s been stuck on 11 for a long time).
That’s how good it is to be a white conservative in America. If someone commits a violent act, supposedly to defend the values you hold so dear, you can deny any connection to what happened in a way that Muslims cannot. And that’s not to suggest that pro-lifers and evangelicals wanted this to happen — of course they didn’t. But damn near all Muslims don’t endorse what terrorists are doing in the name of their faith, either. That hasn’t stopped Republican politicians from wanting to put them all on a registry or saying we should shut down their places of worship.
It was wrong to do that before the attacks in Colorado Springs, and it’s even more glaring how wrong it was now that they’re doing nothing of the sort following an act of domestic terrorism.
***Update***: Orlando Sun-Sentinel columnist Michael Mayo made similar comments on WPLG-TV: