America’s alarm over terrorism has a pro-Western and pro-Christian bias



Like most Americans, I was horrified by what happened in Brussels the other day. It was unsettling, to put it mildly, to see such carnage at the hands of Muslim terrorists.

But an email from a good friend of mine raises a few pertinent questions about the matter. He wonders if we would be just as upset if these attacks had happened in Turkey, which is a NATO ally of the United States. Or what if it had happened in Saudi Arabia? That country, too, is a U.S. ally.

Of course, the answer to these question is that Belgium is more like the United States than Turkey or Saudi Arabia are. Much of the population of Brussels is white, and many of the people there presumably are Christians. We can more readily relate to these people than we can to the darker and mostly non-Christian people who live in certain other countries with which the United States is allied.

A Brussels-like attack in, say, Istanbul would not likely have prompted so many Republicans to fault President Obama for failing to drop everything else on his schedule and devote all his attention to a response to the terrorism. Most Americans could not so easily relate to the innocent victims of terrorism in Turkey. If they don’t look and act like us, if they aren’t Christians, we simply don’t care as much. Oh sure, we care — but not quite as much.

We simply don’t care as much about any of the cruel fates that befall non-white non-Christians almost anywhere in the world.  Again, we care — but not a whole lot. Our TV networks are going to spend more time reporting on terrorism in Brussels than on similar events in Istanbul. They’ll do so because they know the ratings will be higher. The ratings will be higher because Americans don’t care as much about Turkish people as they do about Europeans.

That’s just the way it is. Some of can wish it wasn’t the case, but it is.