America And The “Others” In Our Midst

Conor Friedersdorf has an outstanding piece on why the Aurora, Colorado and Oak Creek, Wisconsin shootings seemed to evoke such different levels of coverage and attention:

Having flattened so many laws (and a good many innocents) in pursuit of the terrorist, the American majority is naturally loath to focus its attention on a terrorist who looks, talks, and dresses as they do. It is particularly uncomfortable for those in the country who feel most reflexively safe when “an American” is beside them on a plane, instead of a bearded man with a turban. Watching Oak Creek, that subset of Americans was put in a position to realize that a day prior they’d have identified with the terrorist more than his victims. 

And so they quickly looked away.

And we’ve been looking away–or worse–since the late morning of 9/11.

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