How Political Correctness Kills
by Kevin Martin (bio)
Nidal Malik Hasan faces murder charges in the shooting deaths of 12 soldiers and one civilian at Fort Hood.
His co-conspirator, "political correctness," remains at large. While political correctness runs amok, no one is safe.
In Hasan's case, political correctness protected his extremism and apparently allowed it to fester until it exploded with deadly consequences. Why? Apparently no one wanted to be considered a bigot. To act against Hasan would open up allegations that one was anti-Arab or anti-Muslim.
Hasan's embrace of radical Islam - including advocacy of violent jihad and trying to contact al Qaeda terrorists - was known to fellow soldiers, people at his mosque and even our government's intelligence community.
Lt. Colonel Val Finnell, Hasan's classmate at the Uniformed Services University, told Fox News: "They should've confronted him - our professors, officers - but they were too concerned about being politically correct."
Rather than confronting Hasan's radicalism, his superiors passed the buck. Walter Reed Army Medical Center sent him to Fort Hood. Fort Hood tried sending him overseas, but that set him off.
By ignoring the signs and trying to wash their hands of him, Hasan's superiors may be nearly as guilty as Hasan himself. It's not the first time political correctness has been an accessory, and it likely won't be the last.
The politically correct crowd instead speculates Hasan was burdened by the combat stories of returning soldiers he counseled as a psychiatrist. Yet no other psychiatrist has acted out so violently. Despite his rantings and possible terrorist ties, government officials - including President Obama - are going to great lengths to say what he did was not an act of terrorism.
Rather than focusing on Hasan, the rest of America must be corrected and enlightened. But, as Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie points out: "Political correctness threatens our security because it would have us deny the truth of the obvious."
Political correctness can even be used to enhance the liberal agenda. Asked his opinion on Hasan's murderous rampage, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D) used Hasan's act to launch an attack on guns. Daley remarked: "We love guns to a point where that, uh, we see devastation on a daily basis. You don't blame a group." One can't blame gangs or radical political or religious movements, but inanimate pieces of metal are fair game.
And it goes on.
John Allen Muhammad was recently executed in Virginia for his part in the 10 "D.C. sniper" murders of 2002. He was discovered sleeping in his car in Baltimore by police early in his killing spree, but it is likely concern about charges of racial profiling may have led police not probing further at the time and allowing him to simply drive away. After authorities stopped obsessing about a white van and a presumably white suspect did police once again find the black Muhammad and black accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo sleeping in the same car and brought them to justice.
Even 9/11 attacks could be blamed in part on political correctness. How many of the hijackers who overstayed their visas did so with impunity because someone was worried about racial profiling? Indeed, what would Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-CA) - who thinks the Bush Administration knew the hijackers' plans but did nothing - do if former Attorney General John Ashcroft had ordered federal agents to storm airliners throughout the nation that morning detaining Arabs at will? Might there have been a call for his head for racial profiling?
As we salute and bury our dead, it is time for Americans to wake up and understand that our enemies are not allowing political correctness to get in the way of their mission of inflicting as much damage to our way of life as they can. So it shouldn't be a distraction to us either.
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Kevin L. Martin is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network. Comments may be sent to [email protected].
Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
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