Here’s a question for you: If one person speaks out against “radical Islam,” and another person insists that the first person’s condemnation be taken in the context of all Muslims, which of those two people is stereotyping Muslims?
If your answer is the second person, it’s probably because you noticed that the first person is describing a highly distinguishable subset of a particular faith, whose categorization is based on their actions.
If your answer is the first person, you’re probably a Democrat — or even more likely a Democratic politician.
Earlier this month, at the CBS Democratic presidential debate, a moderator asked candidate Hillary Clinton if she agreed with Senator Marco Rubio’s statement that the United States is at war with “Radical Islam.”
Clinton answered, “I don’t think we’re at war with Islam. I don’t think we’re at war with all Muslims.”
Of course, that wasn’t the question she was asked. Neither Rubio nor any of the other Republican presidential candidates have claimed that we’re at war with Islam or all Muslims. Yet, Clinton chose to twist Rubio’s statement into an indictment of everyone of the Muslim faith.
Clinton is by no means alone in her assessment that a critique of ‘radical Islam’ is a critique of Islam. Much of her political party wholeheartedly agrees. In fact, the DNC put out a YouTube video this week entitled “Inciting fear isn’t presidential,” that features clips of GOP candidates speaking out specifically against radical Islamic terrorists. Following each clip is a caption like “equating Islam, all Muslims, with terrorists…”
The video is truly extraordinary in its insulting attempt to convince viewers that they didn’t really hear what they just heard leaving the candidates’ mouths. It’s a technique I actually use quite regularly with my children in my car when they ask if I can turn down the radio, and I respond by saying, “Turn it up? No problem!”
The video goes on to show clips from old George W. Bush speeches, in which the former president is careful in his wording not to equate Islamic terrorism with all Muslims. The intent of the video-makers is apparently to draw a contrast between Bush’s rhetoric and that of the 2016 candidates, even though there’s no notable difference. In all cases, Republicans are singling out the radical elements, while the Democrats are assuring they all be lumped together.
Going back to Secretary Clinton’s answer at the CBS debate, she was surprisingly (and refreshingly) called out by the moderator for her misrepresentation of what Marco Rubio had actually said. She was then forced to start her response over, and she finished her answer this way:
“We are at war with violent extremism. We are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression. And yes, we are at war with those people, but I don’t want us to be painting with too broad a brush.”
The problem is that Hillary Clinton and her fellow Democrats do want Muslims to be painted with that broad brush, at least when it serves them politically. Much like how the Dems willfully omit the word “illegal” from the term “illegal immigration,” they’ve once again created a bigoted straw man that they have applied to the opposition party, in hopes of garnishing votes.
Whether the topic is terrorism, immigration, law enforcement, or the War on Women, people like Hillary Clinton are, in fact, enthusiastic proponents of stereotyping ethnicities. It’s something they take pride in, and it’s the lifeblood of the grievance culture for which they rely on to stay in power.
Adjectives matter, and the calculated omission of adjectives by the party of diversity says a lot about how it views its supporters.