It’s Alright, Cuz It’s All White

I think Yglesias is driving at a good point in this post, but he kind of goes off the rails here:

But instead of complaining about the hypocrisy involved in not trying to whip people into a fit of terror and madness about this incident, I think it makes more sense to congratulate everyone on handling this in a calm and sensible manner. The key point, that all authorities seem to agree on, is that while this is a serious crime and a genuinely Bad Thing To Have Happen, that you need to put the likelihood of this sort of incident into a broader context. Simply put, the odds of “death by disgruntled anti-tax activist flying an airplane into your office” are extremely small and it’s extremely difficult to think of cost-effective and efficacious methods of ensuring that this never happens again. Off the top of my head, this looks to me like a demonstration of the desirability of better mental health services in the United States, but that’s something that I would think was true one way or the other.

The problem with this is that what you’re seeing isn’t a rationally subdued response to a terrorist attack so much as people arguing that this wasn’t actually a terrorist attack. Which is absurd, of course, Stack used violence for the same cause al Qaeda uses it; to provoke an over-reaction from the government in the hope of furthering their ideological cause with the populace. It’s certainly nice that we’re probably not going to over-react to this attack, but given the freakout over the attempted underwear bomber, who failed to kill or injure a single person, it’s seems much more accurate to say that racial/religious factors are playing an outsized role in peoples’ response to terrorist acts than to assume we’ve suddenly gotten rational about our response to small scale terrorist actions.