Um, White Males Don't Have A Collective Ideology
Some white men are Democrats, some are Republicans, some are Wiccans, some are vegans, and some don't really identify as anything in particular at all. All of those groups have different points of view and missions -- whether it's "Don't eat the bunnies!" or for some Republicans, "Abortion is murder, and P.S. so is birth control."
To make that a little clearer, white men, collectively, do not have a collective ideology of "Slay people! People not like us!"
I'm writing this in response to a ridiculous piece in Salon by David Sirota, "Let's hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American," subheaded, "There is a double standard: White terrorists are dealt with as lone wolves, Islamists are existential threats."
Um, there's a reason white terrorists are dealt with as lone wolves -- because they are, or if they aren't, their "wolf" packs are small and not representive of all white men or even large groups of them.
I have been reading extensively in and about Islam since 9/11. While many Muslims have no idea what the Quran actually says (how utterly evil what it calls for is) and are no more murderous than my snoring Yorkshire terrier, the problem is with what the Quran actually does call for: the death or conversion of "the infidel," and for Muslims to achieve this through violent jihad. (As another post I'll put up soon notes, it is a lie that jihad, as dictated by the Quran, is some inner struggle. The references to use of weapons make that clear.)
Islam also commands other things I find problematic, like the slaughter of gays and apostates and the stoning of women for "adultery" (which is sometimes what they end up calling rape). All of these things actually happen in Muslim majority countries, unlike the ridiculous stuff in the Bible. (When's the last time Joe Catholic ran over the lady next door because she cheated on her husband?)
To ignore what Islam commands -- and which not all, but too many Muslims actually do take seriously -- isn't helpful, and especially not as a way to shoehorn the words "white privilege" into a story about the bombs in Boston.
Here's an excerpt from Sirota's idiocy:
As we now move into the official Political Aftermath period of the Boston bombing -- the period that will determine the long-term legislative fallout of the atrocity -- the dynamics of privilege will undoubtedly influence the nation's collective reaction to the attacks. That's because privilege tends to determine: 1.) which groups are -- and are not -- collectively denigrated or targeted for the unlawful actions of individuals; and 2.) how big and politically game-changing the overall reaction ends up being.
This has been most obvious in the context of recent mass shootings. In those awful episodes, a religious or ethnic minority group lacking such privilege would likely be collectively slandered and/or targeted with surveillance or profiling (or worse) if some of its individuals comprised most of the mass shooters. However, white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those shootings -- even though most come at the hands of white dudes.
Likewise, in the context of terrorist attacks, such privilege means white non-Islamic terrorists are typically portrayed not as representative of whole groups or ideologies, but as "lone wolf" threats to be dealt with as isolated law enforcement matters. Meanwhile, non-white or developing-world terrorism suspects are often reflexively portrayed as representative of larger conspiracies, ideologies and religions that must be dealt with as systemic threats -- the kind potentially requiring everything from law enforcement action to military operations to civil liberties legislation to foreign policy shifts.
"White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for your group to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening or threatened with deportation," writes author Tim Wise. "White privilege is knowing that if this bomber turns out to be white, the United States government will not bomb whatever corn field or mountain town or stale suburb from which said bomber came, just to ensure that others like him or her don't get any ideas. And if he turns out to be a member of the Irish Republican Army we won't bomb Dublin. And if he's an Italian-American Catholic we won't bomb the Vatican."