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At Townhall: Ilhan Omar Defended by Media and Fact Checkers

31 Jul , 2019  

Dr. John Lott has a new piece at Townhall about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) comments about terrorism. The piece starts this way:

As if Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) hasn’t already said enough controversial things, a new video surfaced this week of an old interview with her on Al Jazeera.

In the clip, Al Jazeera asks her about attacks in the U.S. by Islamic terrorists. Omar responds: “I would say our country should be more fearful of white men across our country because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country… we should be profiling, monitoring, and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men.”

The video’s release coincided with Omar‘s op-ed in the New York Times, in which she ironically attacks President Trump for using “overtly racist rhetoric.” She claims: “The president of the United States is using the influence of our highest office to mount racist attacks on communities across the land.” In the video, when she is asked if Trump is a racist, she says: “I think that there isn’t a debate about whether Trump is racist.”

The media and left-wing fact-checkers quickly came to Omar’s defense, saying that Omar’s quote was taken out of context and being distorted. “She’s pointing out a double standard: Terrorism committed by white men has killed more Americans in recent years than terrorism committed by Islamist extremists, but many people continue to focus on the threat posed by Muslims as a group,” Vox.com explained. Snopes claims: “she was making the point that the Muslim community is targeted by anti-terror policies even though white, right-wing extremist men have committed the vast majority of acts of deadly domestic terrorism in recent years.” Politifact defended her by writing: “data from multiple sources suggest extremist attacks associated with white nationalism and far-right ideology is on the rise.”

But Omar’s claims are all incredibly misleading.

There’s a reason why Middle Easterners are profiled more than whites: they commit attacks at a much higher rate. Whites are by far the largest ethnic group in the U.S., so it’s not surprising that whites commit the most crimes. But the probability of a Middle Eastern individual carrying out an attack is higher than for a white individual, so it is understandable that police single out the former group for extra scrutiny.

The Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) collected data on the raceand ideology (political and religious) of mass public shooters. since 1998, most of these killers have indeed been white (58%), but this is smaller than the white share of the U.S. population (64%, as of 2015).Middle Easterners are by far the most overrepresented among mass public shooters, given that they represent about 1% of the U.S. population and 8% of mass public shooters. Blacks, Asians, and American Indians are also overrepresented. Hispanics are the most underrepresented, committing attacks at a rate that is little more than a third of their share of the population.

If a mass public shooter is a racist, the media identifies him as a “right-winger.” The New Zealand mosque shooter is the most notorious recent example in which the attacker was branded as “right-wing.” . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.

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