When the “enemy” is different, an outsider, it’s easier to draw quick conclusions, to develop stereotypes. It’s simply human nature: There is “us,” and there is “them.” But what happens when the enemy looks like us — from the same tradition and belief system?
That is the conundrum in the case of Norway and Anders Behring Brevik, who is being called a “Christian extremist” or “Christian terrorist.”
As westerners wrestle with such characterizations of the Oslo mass murder suspect, the question arises: Nearly a decade after 9/11 created a widespread suspicion of Muslims based on the actions of a fanatical few, is this what it’s like to walk a mile in the shoes of stereotype?
“Absolutely,” said Mark Kelly Tyler, pastor of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. “It clearly puts us in a position where we can’t simply say that extreme and violent behavior associated with a religious belief is somehow restricted to Muslim extremists.”
“It speaks to cultural assumptions, how we are able to understand something when it (comes from) us,” Tyler said. “When one of us does something terrible, we know that’s not how we all think, yet we can’t see that with other people.”
Psychologists say stereotypes come from a deeply human impulse to categorize other people, usually into groups of “us” and “them.”
“Our brains are wired that way,” said Cheryl Dickter, a psychology professor at the College of William and Mary who studies stereotypes and prejudice.
When Dickter examined brain waves, she found that people process information and pictures about their “us” group differently compared with information about “them” groups. People remembered information better when it reinforced their stereotypes of other groups, she said, and when information didn’t fit their stereotype, it was often explained or simply forgotten.
“That’s how stereotypes get maintained in the face of all this (contradictory) information,” Dickter said.
So during the first reports that someone had detonated a car bomb and then opened fire at a youth camp in Norway, many assumptions clicked into place.
“In all likelihood the attack was launched by part of the jihadist hydra,” Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote within hours on the Weekly Standard website.
The massacre was actually committed, police say, by a blond Norwegian whose photo would not seem out of place in an American college directory. As Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto emerged, calling for violence to rid Europe of non-Christians and those he deemed traitors to Christian Europe, some seized on the religious aspect of his delusions.
G.W. Bush and the neocons predicted that the invasion of Iraq would be a cakewalk, that the U.S. would be greeted as liberators. Things went sour pretty quickly. Confined to a couple of magazines and a few web sites, some moderate Middle-East analysts, ones who did not have an axe to grind said that the administration had grossly underestimated tribal rivalries and loyalties. as causes of the sectarian strife which eventually turned almost three million Iraqis into refugees. When it comes to many of our own domestic tensions we also underestimate something very close to a tribal mentality. The Right in particular sees most issues, even ones not related to race or religion, as tribal. As an us versus them paradigm. Liberals are prone to use facts as their best weapon. Throw in some humanitarian appeals and the arsenal is complete. Illegal immigration as an issue for example. It is illegal. We’re all for the rule of law. On the other hand is it in fact the most pressing problem facing society. While the facts say otherwise, cons have managed to blow the issue up into an emotion filled terrifying monster. You’re life, job and property are in imminent danger because of ‘them”.
Islamophobe Pamela Geller is still trying to shift blame. Geller is not directly responsible for Breivik’s actions. Geller is still tilting at that windmill, delusions of victimhood floating in her cranium. Though since she sees herself and other like-minded right-wing bloggers as victims, that is partly fueling her deranged desperation to shift blame. Pamela Geller Attacks Victims of Oslo Terrorist
..the more that is revealed about that youth indoctrination center, the more grotesque the whole story becomes. Of course, the genocidal leftists will twist what I write here; I am not condoning the slaughter in Norway or anywhere. I abhor violence (except in regard to self defense). But the jihad-loving media never told us what antisemitic war games they were playing on that island. Utoya Island is a Communist/Socialist campground, and they clearly had a pro-Islamic agenda.
Only the malevolent media could use the euphemism summer camp and get away with it.
The slaughter was horrific. What these kids were being taught and instructed to do was a different kind of grotesque. There is no justification for Breivik’s actions whatsoever. There is also no justification for Norway’s antisemitism and demonization of Israel.
So the violence was wrong, but Brevik had his perfectly understandable reasons. Apparently some members of the youth camp were pro two state solution for Palestine and Israel ( anyone who thinks like that – George Bush, most American Jews are all raging antisemites). Israel and Hamas have both committed human rights violations – but anyone who acknowledges that Israel’s government is less than perfect is antisemitic.
The idea that Islamic branded terrorism is the only kind that count is probably part of the reason this story was barely covered in the media- Planned Parenthood firebombed, right wing silent.
Sir Alexander Fleming at Work. Fleming shared the Nobel prize for the discovery of penicillin(1928) in 1945.
The commission: Again, for all the liberal carping about a “Super Congress,” the commission of 12 members — three from each party in each chamber — set up to find the second phase of $1.5 trillion in cuts by Thanksgiving is actually rigged to force some revenue increases. Yes, the Bush tax cuts are off the table. But there are plenty of loopholes, subsidies and other corporate welfare programs that are on the table. And with such a strong trigger, it’s hard to imagine at least one Republican not voting to kill corporate jet subsidies over slashing $500 billion from the defense budget – even if the revenues aren’t offset. The question is: who are Republicans more afraid of, Grover Norquist or the joint chiefs? Democrats’ money is on the joint chiefs.
The immediate cuts: It may seem like a lot, but the $917 billion in the first phase of cuts were carefully negotiated by Vice President Joe Biden and his group. They include $350 billion in Pentagon cuts – a win for liberals. They don’t touch entitlement benefits, another win. And they set top line numbers for the next decade of budgets that aren’t draconian. It still cuts where liberals might prefer to spend, but most of the savings are backloaded to avoid extreme austerity in next few years of fragile economic recovery. Just $7 billion would be cut in 2012, and only $3 billion in 2013. And of that combined $10 billion, half would come from the Pentagon. On top of that, the discretionary spending caps on budgets in future Congresses are subject to revision by those bodies.
There is enough bad stuff in the deal to spread out the recession for another four years or more because Congress cannot do any stimulative spending. Just the wrangling back and forth the past few weeks may have been enough to hurt the U.S. credit rating which in turn would make the interests on the debt higher.
I try not to think about colons or polyps, but they can take revenge if you ignore them. Cooked green vegetables, dried fruit, legumes, and brown rice associated with fewer colon polyps
Eating legumes at least three times a week and brown rice at least once a week was linked to a reduced risk of colon polyps by 33 percent and 40 percent respectively, according to Loma Linda University research recently published in Nutrition and Cancer. High consumption of cooked green vegetables and dried fruit was also associated with greater protection, the study shows.
“Eating these foods is likely to decrease your risk for colon polyps, which would in turn decrease your risk for colorectal cancer,”…