Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Toddler Taliban: Silly Comparisons from Zak Cheney-Rice and Linda Sarsour

Recently, Linda Sarsour shared a seemingly illuminating article written by Zak Cheney Rice:



The article is amazingly and shamelessly titled, "In 2016, Toddlers Have Shot More People in the US Than Muslim Terrorists Have".

The article continues:
According to the Washington Post, our nation's nurseries are housing more than just unbearable levels of cuteness: Twenty-three people have been shot by toddlers in the U.S. since the start of 2016 — exactly 23 more than have been shot by Muslim terrorists over the same period.
[...]

Then there's the other problem: Muslims in America haven't been afforded nearly the same benefit of the doubt as their diaper-wearing counterparts.
[...]
Despite Muslim terrorists having killed nobody in the U.S. in 2016, Muslims across the country are routinely made to suffer due to Islamophobic perceptions. There are now at least six documented incidents of Muslims being removed from commercial airline flights since November because their fellow passengers felt threatened by them — including an Iraqi refugee who got kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight in April because a woman heard him speaking Arabic on the phone and got scared.

Apparently one is "islamophobic" is one is not prepared to literally treat muslims like big babies. At this point, this whataboutery is not unique, it fits a formula that has been well regurgitated among "liberal" blogs.

The template is as follows:
  1. Nonsensical focus on concerns in the United States
  2. Cynical comparisons that apply only to Islamists
  3. Gross errors of category and logic
  4. Application of a completely meaningless timescale

 Let's go over each point.

Nonsensical focus on concerns in the United States

Ultimately every liberal "Islamism is a problem but what about this?" blog is about the United States. It's about the United States because the United States is a western nation with many complex social problems and one populous enough (over 300 million people) to allow for every absurd improbable scenario to be witnessed dozens of times in a given year.

Nevermind that Islamism is itself a multifaceted problem with global negative impact that extends beyond simple casualty numbers in the metro area of Omaha Nebraska. The grand comedy is that it's absolutely okay to ignore outcomes for non-Americans if it makes Americans appear paranoid and xenophobic.

Cynical comparisons that apply only to Islamists

Nobody is writing a liberal thinkpiece about how toddlers have killed more Americans than North Korea, the Klan, Craig Hicks, or pro-life activists. These absurd comparisons of death counts to nearly every social ill only apply to Islamists, as establishments like ThinkProgress, Mic and Salon are still willing to cash in on page views on this nonsense as too many otherwise educated people are led to believe that these are deep truths.

Ironically, an article complaining about the dangers of Islamophobia neglects to mention that toddlers have also killed more people than Islamophobes. In spite of this obvious question, the crisis at hand is apparently a few people missing their flights due to a misunderstandings and then being adequately compensated for their trouble.

Gross errors of category and logic

The comparison of toddler accidents and Islamist attacks aims to treat Islamism like the weather - as if the public should pay it no heed as "bad things happen". Islamism is to be treated as a new normal part of daily life, like car accidents. Conveniently ignored for the sake of argument is the enormous superstructures of engineering and bureaucracy built even to avoid typical threats like fatalities due to accidents on the roads and elsewhere. The story is that Americans are not focused on the "real threats", no matter how much diligence and effort is spent on these endeavors.

In addition to this, the reality is that Islamists are people with capabilities that may prove to be unbounded. Nobody has any reason to believe the vile murderous toddlers of America will be emboldened by their early success with living room pistols and find the courage to hijack planes, assemble improvised explosive devices and establish nations of barbaric fantasy in power vacuums in the mid east.

Application of a completely meaningless timescale

The most famous and widely used timescale is "after 9/11". The words "after 9/11" are usually followed by numbers games played by people with no background in statistics, or perhaps even addition.

However there is a certain chutzpah in using a timescale that this article uses, which uses a span from January 1, 2016 to May 1, 2016 based on some article unrelated to Islamism published by the Washington Post.

It is, apparently, 2016. As such, all 2015 datapoints are sooooooo last year.

In this timespan, toddlers shot 23 - a number that includes the toddlers themselves - and as a result caused 11 fatalities. Nine of the 11 were the toddlers.

Let's ignore the self-inflicted nature of injury and assume that toddlers were going to kill 11 other people consistently over every 121 day span.

It would take toddlers:
  • 132 days to match Charlie Hebdo fatality count
  • 154 days to match San Bernardino fatality count 
  • 4 years to match November 2015 Paris attacks fatality count 
  • 6 years to match Bali bombing fatality count 
  • 6 years and 9 months to match Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings fatality count 
  • 90 years to match the 9/11 fatality count
  • 566 years and 5 months to match ISIS' fatality count in Iraq
Despite this, it must be decided that the true threat to modern safety is the hedonists in Huggies, the prophets of the Pampers waiting to for their millenium to wage a final war of wipes and rightfully claim the world that the gracious Gerber god has granted them.

Psycho killer, Qu'est-ce que c'est?

#justsaying

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