Media anxieties over "lynch mobs" and "brownshirts" demonstrate a telling lack of faith in contemporary America
Matt Welch August 25, 2009
I remember very well the last time America was gripped with panic over impending
racial violence. It was in the fall of 2001, after 19 Middle Eastern hijackers,
mostly from Saudi Arabia, pulverized the World Trade Center and ripped a gash
into the Pentagon, murdering nearly 3,000 people while trying to massacre
several times more.
. . .
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Arab-American lynching: not bloodyRead the whole thing from the link at the top.
much. A Sikh gas station owner was murdered in Mesa,
Arizona. A Hindu temple was firebombed in Matawan, New Jersey. Reports of
harassment and non-deadly violence briefly spiked up. Each was awful enough, but
as a tapestry of violence it fell far short of the widely predicted wave of hate
crime. Americans, derided as "hateful" bigots by the likes of Kingsolver, and
revenge-minded rubes by those with better manners, were not only opting out of
vigilante violence, they were cramming
bestseller lists with musty old books about Afghanistan and the Middle East.