Barely a month after Republicans voted a self-confessed pussy grabber to be president, but before they elected a pretend Montana cowboy who assaulted a journalist as a congressman, there was Captain Clay Higgins. A disgraced former police captain who was essentially forced to resign after a series of controversial videos that not so subtly shilled his Captain Clay Higgins gear landed him in hot water with the sheriff and the ACLU, according to KATC. In response to his blatant grifting and strongman horseshit, Higgins was rewarded by Republican voters with a seat in the House of Representatives because America.
Jump to Sunday, where Higgins posted the following message to his Facebook page in response to the latest terror attack in London:
The free world… all of Christendom… is at war with Islamic horror. Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals. Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter. Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identify them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.
Jesus Christ, where to even begin?
First, as Gizmodo points out, for someone who claims to represent “Christendom” and “all that is good and righteous,” Higgins is on his fourth wife and owes over $140,000 in child support. On top of that, Salon has an extensive report on Higgins exploitation of Sheriff department resources for his own gain and his preference for being paid for personal appearances in cash. Payments which never made it on his tax returns, and I’m pretty sure doesn’t count as rendering unto Caeser that which is Ceasar’s. Yet all of this information came out two months before his election, and Higgins still won because the GOP can’t get enough of big, burly white guys promising to keep them safe.
Second, while I don’t want to minimize the tragic events in London or the lives lost – and by no means am I defending radical Islamic terrorism – but the cynical reality is that only seven people died, which is still fucking awful by every measure. On the same token, Monday morning in Orlando, a white American male shot and killed five of his co-workers before turning the gun on himself. Oddly, Captain Higgins didn’t call to restart the Crusades over that one.
Which brings me to my final point: Raw numbers.
Earlier this year, Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu pointed out that the chances of being killed by a terroristic attack committed by a refugee is 1 in 3.6 billion, which Politifact verified by researching numerous studies. A month later, Gary Younge noted in The Guardian, that Americans are twice as likely to be shot by a goddamn toddler than being killed in a terrorist attack.
But let’s take it even further. Here’s a little numbers game I play whenever I’m pulled into a conversation with conservatives who try to tell me that my children are in danger because every single Muslim is an absolute threat to the West and they’re going to start blowing up Starbucks at any moment. (I really wish I was exaggerating those remarks.)
In 2015, the Pew Research Center estimated there are about 3.3. million Muslims in America. Which is a pretty high number, but barely one percent of the population. And yet since 9/11 there have only been 123 deaths from Islamic terrorism on American soil. To put things in perspective, there have been 230,000 murders in that same time. So if all Muslims are supposedly hell-bent on destruction of the West, with 3.3 million of them in the U.S. wouldn’t there be a significantly higher death toll?
At the same time, in 2016, the UK had a Muslim population of roughly 2.8 million, which is only about five percent of the population. Granted, there have been two terrorist attacks in just the past two weeks – which were both horrific tragedies – but these were committed by reportedly four individuals out of 2.8 million. Once again, the numbers just don’t support a cataclysmic threat requiring the calls for another Crusade. Increased vigilance by law enforcement in London? Absolutely. But mass genocide of an entire religion? Come the fuck on.
Here’s the bottom line, despite what frothing bullneck assholes like Trump or Captain Clay Higgins keep pissing their pants about, Americans are overwhelmingly safe from Islamic terrorism. Even with a low tech attack like we’ve seen in Europe almost definitely on our horizon – which are exceedingly difficult to prevent – there’s no reason to be arming ourselves to the teeth and purging Muslim communities who escaped the Middle East to peacefully make a living while practicing their faith. That’s what America is supposed to be all about.
Look at it this way, in several cities and towns across the U.S. it’s not uncommon to have Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, and Islamic mosques. Yet all three worship together in the same proximity of each other without the violence that’s seen in similar situations across the globe. That said, one of those groups is repeatedly terrorizing the other by trying to make their lives as miserable as possible, which in turn, creates a self-fulfilling prophecy by giving groups like ISIS exactly what they want. Can you guess which one it is?
I’ll give you a hint: It’s the one with a hypocritical asshole trying to start a Holy War on Facebook.