I read with astonishment the Saturday, May 27, 2017 guest column “Islamic Terror Hits the Most Innocent.”
I understand the Register must offer a spectrum of views. But the transparently polarizing, patronizing and incendiary Flowers piece struck me as tabloid.
I am concerned that the rash emotionalism and stridency of the author, attorney Christine M. Flowers of the Philadelphia Daily Mail tipped the scale toward irresponsible. Flowers' description of the grief she and others feel over the tragic killing of innocent children at the concert in Manchester, U.K. lured me in close. But then, in a bid to exploit the still tender wounds and outrage of her audience, she unleashed an assault upon all fair-minded people of Manchester and the U.S.
Those of us following the story from the U.K. are aware that the response from Manchester did not include a call to label Muslims as terrorists or inflame citizens to focus on racial and cultural profiling in response to the tragedy. Flowers is clearly raising such a call in her opinion piece. Does she imagine we will be fooled or comforted by her implication that Muslims, the majority also innocent and many of them also children, are solely responsible for terrorist violence and instability in the world?
I cannot recall the Register ever running a headline like “Black Man arrested for DUI” though I am sure many people of all races are arrested for DUI in Napa. Nor would I see a headline like “Latino Murderer Threatens Innocent Victim in White Community” in the headlines, though events like this may happen once in a while. We are even less likely to see “White Man Opens Financial Scam Office in Napa.” I know the staff at the Register would never order up such headlines.
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I suppose if it inspires enough letters calling for more reasoned response to incendiary acts of hatred, then maybe printing the Flowers column could be considered a good thing. Hopefully, it will not encourage more reactions like the one in Portland in which two civic-minded heroes were killed defending an innocent Islamic woman in a random attack by some one radicalized by racial and cultural profiling.
I don't lay any lapse of reason on the feet of the Editorial Board. The independently wealthy owners of newspapers direct their employees to do all sorts of things that no reasonable and independently wealthy journalist would do. They and Christine Flowers need to know that the communities served by their media deserve far better than the stingy ideology of intolerance they purvey. I hope they call for more measured response to terrorism and for social policy that fights terrorism by relieving suffering, insecurity and hopelessness instead of inciting fear and hatred.