If they weren’t white guys

IF THEY WEREN’T WHITE GUYS…. Paul Campos, reflecting on the George Tiller Holocaust Memorial Museum shootings, raises a provocative point. (via Adam Serwer)

If radical Muslims had carried out terrorist attacks in Kansas and Washington DC over the past five days, we might be trying to pass legislation giving the president the legal authority to place people in preventive detention, and Daniel Pipes would be implying that we need to round up Arab-Americans (correction: Muslims) and put them in relocation camps.

But it was only a couple of old white guys, so our civil liberties remain unthreatened.

Indeed, it’s not just the Kansas and DC shootings. Richard Poplawski, a right-wing extremist and white guy, allegedly gunned down three police officers in Pittsburgh in April, in part because he feared the non-existent “Obama gun ban.” Jim David Adkisson, a right-wing extremist and white guy, allegedly opened fire in a Unitarian church in Tennessee last year, in part because of his “hatred of the liberal movement.”

Imagine if James Von Brunn, Scott Roeder, Poplawski, and Adkisson were all Muslims.

What would the rhetoric be like? What kind of legislation might congressional Republicans offer? How many special reports about the “epidemic” of domestic Muslim violence would Sean Hannity host?

How willing would the public be to give up civil liberties to respond to the attacks? How loud would the laughter be from conservative leaders when liberals warned against racial profiling?