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Other Side of the Mirror

By Benjamin Franklin – Public Domain, Link

Let’s imagine that a group of armed Arab-Americans, wearing masks, invaded the Michigan state legislature in the months after 9/11 in protest of threats to their civil liberties. How then would we imagine the response of the state? It seems exceedingly likely that the police would have responded with immediate, pre-emptive violence against the demonstrators, that the governor would have called out the Michigan National Guard, and that the surveillance apparatus of the federal government would have bent towards Lansing and towards the Arab-American communities in the Detroit suburbs, probably turning Dearborn into the equivalent of a armed camp. Every effort would have been made to ferret out connections between the protestors (many of whom would be dead or injured) and jihadist terror organizations, and undoubtedly reasons would have been found to order pre-emptive detention of vast numbers of people vaguely associated with the protests. The punditry would decry the excessive use of force, but would likely concur that, given the emergency conditions, it was altogether necessary to protect public spaces from armed, masked men of uncertain ideological leanings.

In the world we live in, of course, white supremacist cranks get to invade whatever state legislature they like, whenever they like, and nothing of any consequence is done to stop them.

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