America’s Empty Slogan: “See Something, Say Something”

MalkinIn brief remarks to the nation yesterday on the Boston Marathon bombings, President Obama said that “we all have a part to play in alerting authorities. If you see something suspicious, speak up.” In Washington, D.C., electronic signs urged commuters to be on guard. Law enforcement, big-city mayors and security experts all echoed that famous post-terrorism refrain: “If you see something, say something.”

But who really means it?

In post-9/11 America, the truth is that our politically correct guardians only want you to see, say or do something if it can’t be construed by grievance-mongers as racist, sexist, Islamophobic, homophobic, nativist or any other “-ist” or “-ic.”

Face it: We live in a self-defeating culture that pays lip service to heroic action in times of crisis, yet brutally punishes the very kind of snap judgments and instant security profiling that make such heroism possible in the first place.

Just take a look at some of the caustic reactions to citizens and watchdogs who stuck out their necks during and after the Boston Marathon bombings. A quick-thinking spectator at the race reportedly tackled a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian student visa holder he believed was acting suspiciously. The student is not considered a suspect at this point, but remains a “person of interest” in the case. The student’s home was searched Monday night in Revere, Mass., by a phalanx of law enforcement agencies.

Time magazine correspondent Michael Crowley clucked: “It’ll be a real shame if a Saudi guy was tackled and held simply for running in fright — and for being an Arab.” Music producer Sledgren took to Twitter to bemoan “prejudice America.” Indian television anchor Gargi Rawat called the civilian’s actions “sad.” Gawker editor Max Read declared: “(T)his poor Saudi kid should sue the guy who tackled him.”

For what? For taking all those “See Something, Say Something” ads seriously? Hang him!

If the Saudi student tries to sue, we already know who will provide legal aid and comfort. In 2007, when passengers reported concerns about a group of rowdy flying imams, the Council on American-Islamic Relations threatened to sue the unnamed “John Does” who went to authorities. Thankfully, Congress passed legislation protecting whistleblowers.

As GOP Rep. Bill Shuster said at the time: “No American should ever be sued because they tried to stop a terrorist act. No American should be forced to second-guess a decision to alert authorities that could save the lives of others.”

Nobody knows what’s going on behind closed doors as the current bombing investigation continues, yet media scribes, foreign journalists and social media sideliners are convinced: The tackler is racist. Anyone who mentions the nationality of the tackled student is racist. Forget terrorism. RAAAAAAACISM is the real homeland security threat to our nation.

The same unserious response greeted anyone who breathed public mention of the fact that the Boston Police Department issued a BOLO alert Monday afternoon for a suspicious individual. Investigators warned police officers to be on the lookout for a “darker-skinned or black male” with a “possible foreign accent.”

Incredibly, BPD got blasted for issuing an alert that was both too broad and too specific. “That’s all of Boston,” one critic carped. Others protested disclosure of any descriptive details. A common retort: “Why?”

Why? Well, if we’re all serious about bringing the killers and their conspirators to justice, it kinda helps to know what they might look like. Just saying.

The Shut Up Brigade struck again after a U.S. Airways plane at Boston’s Logan Airport was evacuated Tuesday because of suspicions about two passengers seated apart and speaking Arabic. “Racist paranoia,” blogger Shymala Dason decried. “Ugh,” wrote Newsweek social media editor Brian Ries. “This is ridiculous,” fumed Arabic language educator Jinanne Tabra.

Ridiculous? Tell that to shell-shocked marathon runners and their families traveling home after the Boston terror bombing. They were the ones on the plane, at the very airport where Arabic-speaking 9/11 jihadists hijacked two flights and brought down the Twin Towers. I won’t second-guess any of them or the bystanders who tackled the Saudi student — because I have not forgotten.

I still haven’t forgotten the passengers and crewmembers who tackled al-Qaida shoe-bomber Richard Reid on American Airlines Flight 63 before he had a chance to blow up the plane over the Atlantic Ocean.

I still haven’t forgotten Brian Morgenstern, the teenage Circuit City worker who contacted authorities in 2007 when suspicious Middle Easterners brought in tapes of themselves shooting off guns and shouting “Allahu Akbar.” The men were convicted of plotting to kill American soldiers at Fort Dix.

I still haven’t forgotten the alertness of actor James Woods, who notified a flight attendant that several Arab men sitting in the first-class cabin on an August 2001 flight were behaving strangely. The men turned out to be 9/11 hijackers on a test run.

Hindsight hypocrites will only give you immunity from public excoriation if you can guarantee in advance that your fears or suspicions are 100 percent right. And no one can.

To hell with the “See Something, Do Nothing” cowards who sit on the sidelines wielding their “racism” and “Islamophobia” cards in the aftermath of every terrorist attack. I would rather be damned if I do than dead if I don’t.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is


  • Mike Jackson

    See something, say something. But, don’t do anything.

  • Uncle Dave

    What I would like to see is the Islamic Arab world loudly condeming these terror acts. I hear much too much silence, or a token mention of the tragedy. Why ären’t people from the Muslim communities coming forward when they “see something”? People from Arab nations, you’re either in America to help or you are hindering us.

  • Douglas Makinen

    What I would really like to see is people like you to be given a free plane ticket to explore the countries and people you love and defend, say Afganistan or Iran for example. With money like Bill ORielly and Michelle make, I’m sure they could pony up the bucks to make it happen. Just think, a 30 day all expense paid vacation for you and a couple of family members. Then you could come back and give us a report.

  • wally12

    I’m with you Michelle. Keep it up.

  • Adrian Vance

    Right on, Michelle. Liberals make me want to vomit with all their goofy thinking.

    See The Two Minute Conservative at: and when you speak ladies will swoon and liberal gentlemen will weep.

  • Brian_Bayless

    Another nasty article from Malkin. Sure, there are some valid points here but the tone of this and your other articles make your work a total turnoff. Are you this miserable in real life or is this just your gimmick?

  • ARJ127

    I can sympathize with the criticism of political correctness. However, let’s also remember that a lot of Americans form their opinions and judgments from racial stereotypes. You may remember the Sikh who was killed by some angry American after the 9/11 attacks. The only thing the victim had in common with the terrorists of 9/11 was the brown skin. I don’t see Malkin acknowledging this. Political correctness is a flawed response, but until someone comes up with a better idea, we should continue with it.

    • Patrick H.

      No, we shouldn’t. We need to be more honest about the problem of Islamic extremism. We should also encourage the moderate Muslims to become more vigilant and to strongly condemn the acts and not to be afraid to stand against them. I fear that the moderates are becoming like the good Germans in World War II Germany who knew the Holocaust was happening and what the Nazis did, but stood aside and neither said or did nothing.

      • ARJ127

        This isn’t about Islamic extremism. It’s about racial stereotyping. It seems that the bombers in Boston were “white” not Arabic or African. They could be Muslims. But Islam is a religion, not a race. Not all Muslims are nut cases, either just as not all Christians are nut cases. However, there are nut cases in all religious groups.

  • I Hate Fascists

    Hey Dragon Lady you look like a terrorist. Let’s see if you are still singing the same tune if someone tackles you

    • Patrick H.

      Hey, you look sound like a fascist and probably look like a troll. You act and smell like one too.

    • Wil

      She is scary looking and meaner then cat turds!

    • John Daly

      Dragon Lady? Please explain.

      • I Hate Fascists

        It’s a term of endearment. She likes to dish it out, she should be able to take it. Here she is talking out her blowhole out of ignorance, as usual. And now the Saudi student has been determined to not be a suspect or even of interest, she owes an apology, to him and everyone else she slandered, don’t you think?

        • Allen Goldberg

          MM’s reality is on target. Your’s like so many libtards is from fantasyland

        • John Daly

          It was a racist comment, man. I hope you feel good about yourself.

          • I Hate Fascists

            So what sort of response to her racist comment would you consider appropriate? And to reiterate the previous question that you did not answer: Do you think she owes an apology to the Saudi student and the others that she slandered?

          • John Daly

            First of all, you’ve made it clear that pretty much anyone who disagrees with you is a racist, so you don’t have much credibility to begin with.

            But let me try and understand your point anyway. You’re saying that if someone says something you believe is racist, it’s then appropriate for you to make a racist comment about them?

            Are you really standing by that? If so, that’s pretty appalling.

          • John Daly

            … and to answer your question, no. She didn’t even slander the student in the first place. She criticized the people who criticized the student’s detainment. You did read the column, right?

          • I Hate Fascists

            So the Saudi student deserved to be tackled, and the “quick thinking” spectator deserves a medal. Why? Because Michelle Malkin Herself said so. The audacity of some bleeding heart liberal sissies who dare to even consider any other possibility. Except of course the facts turned out otherwise. the bleeding heart liberal turned to be right and Malkin turned out to be wrong as usual. So does that warrant an apology? Nah, since when do facts matter to a right winger?

          • John Daly

            Deserved? No. Understandable in a chaotic circumstance? Yes. That’s the point she’s making. I’m sure the student was apologized to for the physical treatment… and from the reports on the incident, it sounds like you’re more upset about it than he was.

          • I Hate Fascists

            Too much drugs bro? An apology from Malkin is what we’re talking about here. Not just to the student but those she castigated for sticking up for him. Because she did in fact run her mouth out of ignorance. Agreed?
            More upset? It sounds like you are more upset about this than Malkin is. Why don’t you let her speak for herself. Maybe she likes being called Dragon Lady.

          • John Daly

            Not agreed. And she said nothing derogatory about the student. You, on the other hand, made a racist slur. And your exhaustive attempt to rationalize it is over-the-top pathetic.

          • I Hate Fascists

            She said that profiling is how Us Real Americans roll, and that anyone that “clucks” about it is RAAAAAAAAAAAACIST. Spare me your phony angst bro. You are like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Why isn’t Malkin coming to your aid? Or your little Daly Maniacs?

          • tool4rage

            Yet here you are calling her a “dragon lady”, clucking as loud as possible to deny it’s racist, when you know damned-well that it is.

          • John Daly

            Oh, he’s not even denying that what he wrote is racist anymore. He’s trying to justify his racist rhetoric as being okay. Shameful.

          • John Daly

            She was mocking your point of view. Did you honestly not pick up on that?

            And why would Malkin come specifically to this site to defend her work when her columns are syndicated and show up on a large number of sites, including her own?

            Genuine racism is something that should be called out when it’s seen, and that’s why I have no trouble taking you to task for your own words. A real man would have just claimed to have used a poor choice of words, but you actually believe that it’s okay to say something racist, as long as you don’t like the person you’re saying it too.

            Like I said… Pretty telling.

          • I Hate Fascists

            What point of view exactly do you think she is mocking?

          • I Hate Fascists

            Never mind. You are becoming very tiresome so I will answer the question for you. She is mocking anyone who dares not display sufficient hatred of Saudis as She, Michelle Malkin, deems appropriate. As we all know, the world revolves around Michelle Malkin Herself. And Michelle Malkin hates Saudis. ALL Saudis. And that should be sufficient for everyone to hate them. It is the product of a feeble brain seeking simple solutions to complex problems. All terrorists are Saudis? Well then all Saudis must be terrorists. Now turning to Dragon Lady that pushes your buttons so much, it is a verbal slap in the face to her, to wake her up, so she will realize that this kind of simplistic thinking can be, and has in fact been, easily turned against her and her people. I hope this clears it up for you.

          • I Hate Fascists

            I’m making a very specific point. Shoot first and ask questions later is great except when you are the one being shot. If this was WW2 she would be in a concentration camp right now. Maybe she should stop and think about that before she starts bloviating. But thinking isn’t the right wing game is it? Quite the opposite it is hostility, condescension, and pushing the hot button as often as possible. And sometimes you throw punches, you get punched back. Sorry if you find that appalling

          • John Daly

            No. You made a racist comment, and defended it by claiming it was okay to do so because you believed she wrote something racist first (which she didn’t even do, but that’s not the point).

            Pretty sad, man. What caused your hostility toward Asians?

          • I Hate Fascists

            Fascists bro, I Hate Fascists, Asian or otherwise. So basically the only thing that interests you is Dragon Lady? Nothing else? That’s pretty sad. But ok you want to talk about racist comments, I have seen plenty on this site. For example one of your Daly Maniacs always refers to Obama as Skeeter, and I don’t hear a peep out of you. But I digress. It’s real simple: If you can’t take abuse don’t dish it out. See if you can wrap your feeble right wing brain around that.

          • John Daly

            Keep trying to justify your racist comment, man. It says a lot about your character.

          • I Hate Fascists

            Flattery will get you nowhere bro. What part of If you can’t take it than don’t dish it out do you not understand?

          • John Daly

            The part where you make a racist comment.

          • I Hate Fascists

            Is that all you know how to say?

          • John Daly

            Racism kills any argument you’re trying to make.

          • I Hate Fascists

            Is that all you know how to say?

  • Bruce A.

    Great article. Reminds me of the politcians like Mayor Bloomberg when he talks out of both sides of his mouth. Don’t profile people, but report. Totally nuts!