What to know about what you don’t know you know. #1: Intuition is very efficient—if you don't overthink it.
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"Please remember, it is leftists who are getting offended by hats and beating up people"
The right:Flipping out if someone wishes them "happy holidays," crying and covering their ears if someone mentions the fact that systemic racism exists. Whitter College in California, guest speakers were heckled by angry members of the audience, forcing organizers to end the event early.
This time, the hecklers were neither liberal nor students. They were conservative activists, and adults (in age, if not temperament). President Trump, whose repeated calls for muzzling of the press and abridgments of the speech rights of people he dislikes.
Trump supporters flagellate political correctness for dampening expression, while the emperor himself requests media companies to censor unflattering photos of his face. Is it fair to place the blame for polarisation on the left, some of whom wrongly ban individuals from speaking at universities for their views, while Trump and his alt-right clan ban Muslims from entering the country for theirs?
It’s undoubtedly unfair to brandish all right-wing thinkers with the alt-right brush, but nor would I want to be associated with the juvenility of some leftist identity politics. If we’re going to play the gutter game of extrapolating extremes, then let’s acknowledge the hermetic bubbles on both sides. Each has their own set of conduct for immunising against panoply of diverse outlooks in order to keep their self-reflecting universe intact.
As far as violence goes... An analysis of the Global Terrorism Database a study published in 2017 shows a “sharp increase” in the share of attacks by right-wing extremists, from 6% in the 2000s to 35% in the 2010s. The share of attacks by religious extremists also increased, from 9% to 53% between the two decades. Meanwhile, the share of attacks by left-wing terrorists and environmentalist extremists dropped from 64% in the 2000s to 12% in the 2010s. The trend persisted in 2017, when most attacks in the US were committed by right-wing extremists. Out of 65 incidents, 37 were tied to racist, anti-Muslim, homophobic, anti-Semitic, fascist, anti-government, or xenophobic motivations.
That list includes an attack by neo-Nazi extremist James Fields against a crowd of counter-protestors in Charlottesville, which left one person dead. It also includes attacks against a gay bar in Puerto Rico, mosques in Washington, Texas, and Florida, and a vehicle decorated with Jewish iconography in New York.
In the same period, seven attacks were linked to Islamic extremists, and 11 attacks were inspired by left-leaning ideologies.
That right-wing activity is fueling a surge in terrorism in the US. Overall, the US had only six attacks a decade ago, but 65 in 2017. The number of fatalities is also increasing, in contrast to a global decrease in terror attacks.
Terror attacks around the world fell from about 17,000 in 2014 to about 11,000 in 2017. They dropped almost 40% in the Middle East.
The Global Terrorism Database, published yearly by the University of Maryland, counts cases where violence is used by non-state actors to achieve political, economic, religious, or social goals through fear and coercion. It includes ideologically motivated attacks like the Charleston church shooting, but not ones such as the Aurora movie theater massacre.
The database classifies cases according to attackers’ affiliations (like “Ku Klux Klan”) or, when it can’t find a group, by its author’s identity (“white extremist” or “jihadi-inspired,” for example).
It's amazing what research can do...
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