I’m watching last week’s episode of 24 tonight. (I usually save it on my Tivo and watch it on Sunday; don’t ask why.) In case you don’t watch it, the premise is that it takes place in real-time. There are 24 episodes in a season, each one corresponding to an one hour of a particular make-believe day. The main character is an anti-terrorism expert. This season the plot is that Middle Eastern terrorists have tried to set off a nuke in Los Angeles, but the bomb actually went off in the California desert. Some Middle Eastern countries are implicated in helping the terrorists and the president has ordered a retaliatory strike. However, there may be evidence that the connection to those countries is being faked and a renegade faction of military-industrial complex-types are fomenting a war to make money off of defense spending. (Nevermind the fact that nukes going off anywhere, especially in the Middle East, would send the economy into a dramatic tailspin and probably undo everything they are trying to do; why let logic get in the way of a cliched stereotype?)
Okay. Now that you know where we are, in this episode some militia types in Georgia are so unnerved by the nuclear attack, they have decided to take revenge on people of Middle Eastern background in their own neighborhoods. It’s the kind of mindless racist violence that we were all warned about after 9/11. The thing is it’s all fiction. The left-wing elites think that we, average Americans, are so trigger-happy and a half-step away from mindless barbarians, that at the slightest provocation, we’re going to strike out unjustly.
But America has already proved itself better than that. If there was a time that this kind of thing was going to happen, it would have been after 9/11. But it didn’t. Oh sure, there were isolated cases across the country, a few hundred cases in the year following the terror attacks. But that’s a statistical aberration. In general, most Americans realized that their neighbors had nothing to do with 9/11. Now that’s not to say that examining immigration policies and a closer search for illegal aliens is a bad idea. Look at the Lackawanna Six, almost all of whom have confessed to working for al Quaeda.
But the point is that Americans are not, by and large, xenophobic racists ready to snap at the slightest provocation. That is, except in Hollywood creations.