If you see something silly, say something: Homeland Security video portrays all “terrorists” as white, middle class males
Don’t they know stereotyping causes alienation, and alienation and poor self-esteem lead to radicalization? Now these poor men are going to have to deal with those additional radicalized Misunderstanders of Middle America and worry about backlash because of their portrayal in this video! And this is going to damage our standing with middle-class white guys abroad in nations that are our Friends and Allies, and create even more terrorists.
Of course, the intention seems obvious. But by bending over so far backward to show they aren’t singling out any other group, they appear to have created a study in absurdity. As James Thurber once cautioned, “You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.”
“Who does Homeland Security thinks poses the greatest risk? Video portrays white middle-class as the most likely terrorists,” from the Daily Mail, July 22:
A video released by the Department of Homeland Security urging people to report anything suspicious has caused outrage by characterising white middle class Americans as the most likely terrorists.
The promotional video is part of Homeland Security’s $10million ‘See Something, Say Something’ programme as they believe it will help curb random acts of terrorism by individuals.
But the controversial video has angered some Americans due to the fact all the actors who play the would-be terrorists in the video are white, and the people who report them are either black, Asian or Arab.
What would happen – it is asked – if it was the other way about?
Lawsuits. Oodles and oodles of lawsuits.
The ten-minute clip shows a number of scenarios in which different behaviours which could be characterised as terrorism are played out.
These include – wearing a hooded top, driving vans, opposing surveillance footage, using a video camera, talking to police officers and recording something on your smartphone, among others.
The voice over urges viewers not to consider a person’s race when making a decision on whether or not they are a terrorist. [...]
DHS has confirmed the video is theirs but adamantly deny there are any racial or politically correct overtones to it.