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ck4829's Journal
ck4829's Journal
February 1, 2017

The Clash Hypothesis

A lot of people and different groups have made guesses and theories about how and why Donald Trump won, I think it is finally time for me to add my idea about it, the implications it has for the future, and our very identity really.

The clash hypothesis is not easy to define by itself, I think it is easier to see through application instead. Quite simply, it is people saying "Omar Mateen" but not "Adam Lanza", or people saying "Nidal Hassan" but not "Ivan Lopez". It is pervasive too, so pervasive, that it is taken for granted, and so pervasive that people on both sides of the political aisle are not immune from it.

The important thing here is that Trump won the electoral vote not because liberals don't say "Radical Islamic Terrorist" enough times like it was some sort of magical ritual or "because they're too politically correct" but because the right harnessed a segment of the American public who wants to actually ignore the second person that was mentioned both times just above.

This ignorance and then deflecting to Muslims, the immigrants, the refugees, etc. serves several functions, including those that are unconscious, unintended, and beneficial (for some groups at least):

Perceived solutions - Quite simply, we go down the same path with a non-Muslim violent person over and over again, the media and politicians call it a tragedy, say something needs to be done, call for changes, for treatment, but in the end, nothing gets done. When the violent person is Muslim however, the response is a bit more... extreme. It is termed a clash of civilizations, there are calls to ban people, bomb a country, nuke someone, etc. People feel powerless when they see the same scene play out repeatedly in the former, but they feel power when they can focus on the second.

Allows people to still "feel" safe - One does not need a lot of research to tell them that people would probably not like the idea if that if someone were to commit a violent act against them; then it would probably be someone of the same color, the same nationality, maybe even the same religion, and more. In short, someone like you. It is easier to tell if someone is a potential enemy by that person being a different skin color than you, a different style, a different religion, etc. As long is the terrorist is over "there" and not one of "us", then there is no reason to be alarmed, something not even the director of the FBI is immune from.

Allows us to wash our hands clean of the act - By focusing on the acts by violent Muslims while ignoring the ones done by us; we can say there was no cultural or social influence, that they might as well be islands of murder who just materialize out of thin air, with a weapon also created in a similar fashion, gun down people, and then disappear once shot by themselves or another. This focus allows us to simply say "mental illness" and be done with it, we never ask why these people are so mentally ill that they try to shoot people with a fruit or if caught suddenly turn stoic.

Here's the clash hypothesis in action; press secretary Sean Spicer had this to say about the Quebec City shooting, that "It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.”, there's just one problem with this though, the person who did the shooting was white, not Muslim, not an immigrant, not a refugee; what Trump policy could have averted this? Spicer is speaking to the people who want to not see the violent non-Muslim here.

And there is something worrying, if violence done by Muslims deserves this 'special attention', what could that mean for violence done to Muslims? We need to address this today.

Ingroups and outgroups - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingroups_and_outgroups
Manifest and Latent Functions - http://www.angelfire.com/or/sociologyshop/manlat.html
The Daily Show - Charleston Church Shooting

F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Wrong: Dylann Roof Is A Politically-inspired Terrorist http://www.blackstarnews.com/us-politics/justice/fbi-director-james-comey-is-wrong-dylann-roof-is-a-politically
Why did Sean Spicer suggest that the Quebec shooting validated Trump’s policy initiatives? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/01/30/why-did-sean-spicer-suggest-that-the-quebec-shooting-validated-trumps-policy-initiatives/?utm_term=.84150363f607

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