Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Conservatives' Planned Parenthood Response: Who Are You Calling a Radical Terrorist?

Brian Beutler, newrepublic.com

When the killer is a Christian, it seems, the rules are different.

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The right’s reaction to the deadly holiday weekend shootout at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs—a white evangelical redoubt of a rapidly diversifying state—followed a predictable trajectory ... of information loop closure. ...
The hopeful window in which conservatives might have engaged in group reflection was open for less than 24 hours before they slammed it shut decisively. That’s doubly frustrating, because the tragedy unfolded against the backdrop of an ongoing debate over the strategic merits of using the term “radical Islamic terrorism” to describe the crimes of groups like ISIS.
The confluence was an opportunity to reckon with the contradiction between the breezy way conservatives generalize their perceived antagonists, and the zeal with which they demand antagonists treat them with nuance. Needless to say, it was an opportunity missed. Conservatives’ defensive reaction to the Planned Parenthood shootings exquisitely underscores both the moral and the strategic imperative of using precise language in our public diplomacy with the Muslim world. But they lack the empathic thinking required to make the connection. ...

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