Observation of the Day: Conservatives Fear Social Justice

Conservatives who respond in opposition to social justice are not behaving with a clearly defined philosophy or ideology. Conservatives who oppose or deflect away from any discussion of equal rights or miscarriages of justice do so out of fear. And this fear fuels their backlash against change in social order. Their neat little world is rocked, as they thrash about in response.

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Bill Maher: Bill O’Reilly, Republicans, Don’t Hear What Obama Says

On Friday’s Real Time on HBO, host Bill Maher compared President Obama’s statement on African-American men and crime with Bill O’Reilly’s statement about statistical evidence on blacks and homicide. One Friday earlier, President Obama said, “Now, this isn’t to say that the African-American community is naive about the fact that African-American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system.” Obama said this during his much talked about and unscripted remarks on Trayvon Martin, the Zimmerman not-guilty verdict, and race relations in America.

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CHART: Fear Of Terrorism Makes People Irrational – Terrorism Fatalities vs. Firearm Homicides

Due to Homeland Security - photo by Thomas HawkAmerica is a country that prides itself on bravery and strength, but we have an irrational fear of terrorism in the post-9/11 years. You are more likely to die in a car accident, a fall, or even drown, than die in a terrorist incident. In some cases, many thousands of times more likely. But while we made no rash or illogical decisions regarding automobile deaths, we have done exactly that in response to terrorism. In addition to car accidents, falls and drownings, you are also more likely to be murdered by firearm than murdered by terrorist attack. And while car accidents, falls and drownings are accidents, murder by gun is no accident, and that makes it a good statistic to compare to terrorism.

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Boston Marathon Bombing: Terror And Fear In America

Fear - photo by dryheadWith some reflection on the tragedy a week ago at the Boston Marathon, it’s clear America is still deeply scarred by the events of 9/11 over a decade ago. Why is it so clearly obvious to so many Americans that we should label last week’s bombing as a terrorist act, but not the Newtown school shooting? What is our definition of terrorism? Was Newtown not sufficiently terrifying? On the contrary, while many more people were wounded from last week’s bombing, last December’s school shooting saw many more fatalities. On that measure, we should consider the Newtown shooting to be at least on the same level as the Boston Marathon bombing, yet we do not, at least not from a perspective of public safety.

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Post-Election: A Palpable Fear Of Change For Conservatives

I’m a big fan of routine, of knowing how things work, and not needing to constantly re-adjust my expectations. And I think this is true of most people. But post-election, it seems fear of change for many (white) conservatives is palpable. Conservatives see a rapidly changing America, and it scares them. Their fear is not based on a tangible threat, but rather a sense that America is heading to a different and unknown destination. I get it; change is scary. The unknown is scary. I get that people prefer the devil they know. — But should this fear of the unknown hold us back from embracing what makes America unique?

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