I understand that in her column Ms. Malkin was only making a point about perceptions and prejudices. I just wish that she hadn’t continued using the homeschooling example as a poster child for unfairness.
New Brunswick Home News Tribune, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 5 April 2007, Terror drills whitewash jihad
Here is a “real as possible” scenario. Last month, you’ll recall, counterterrorism officials sent cautionary bulletins to police departments nationwide warning that suspected members of extremist groups have signed up as school bus drivers in the United States. The “extremists” being investigated by the FBI and other agencies are foreigners who have been able to “purchase buses and acquire licenses.”
Who are these “extremists”? Hint: They are not Presbyterian or Lutheran or Catholic home-schooling w a c k o s. [spaces inserted to reduce search engine hits on that particular word]
In our current online search-engine culture, each and every mention adds to the cumulative total of articles that reflect the linguistic, if not mental, bias. Repeating the words together only reinforces the perceived connection. In idiom-speak, “there’s no smoke without fire.”
It also helps if, while risking reinforcing the connection, the entire story is correctly referenced. (hat tip to Chris)
FoxNews.com, 16 March 2007, FBI Puts Local Officials on Notice About Extremists Trying to Sign Up to Be School Bus Drivers
But the Homeland Security Department and the FBI “have no information indicating these individuals are involved in a terrorist plot against the homeland,” it says. The memo also notes: “Most attempts by foreign nationals in the United States to acquire school bus licenses to drive them are legitimate.”
“I hate to characterize this as a warning,” Kolko said, calling it an “informational bulletin.” He said this was part of routine information sent to local law enforcement agencies that they should use only as background information while doing their normal duties.
posted by Valerie