The New York City Islamic Terrorist Attack In Perspective
I was in Manhattan the day when a man who had declared allegiance to the dwindling Islamic State purposefully drove his truck into pedestrians and bicyclists there, killing 8 people.
After 10 months of peace, it was the first Islamic terrorist attack in the United States this year.
Killing 8 people is a bad thing.
Lots of bad things happen, though.
Just a month ago, Donald Trump said that the Hurricane Maria was not a “real catastrophe” because only 16 people were killed in Puerto Rico. Actually, the death toll was much higher than that, but still, Trump declared it to be no catastrophe.
So why does Trump now declare a death toll of 8 to be a “horrible event”?
The most recent information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that farming kills about 180 people year.
Fatalities among workers in the leisure and hospitality industry are even worse. 225 people in America are killed while working in leisure and hospitality.
In response to Hurricane Maria, Donald Trump has threatened to cut off disaster relief to Puerto Rico. In response to workplace injuries and deaths, Trump has tried to sabotage worker safety regulations.
Mining kills about 150 Americans every year. Donald Trump has made it his policy to expand mining while reducing mine safety.
Now, in response to 8 deaths, Trump is threatening to further restrict immigration, and to impose military tribunals for crimes in the United States.
Why the difference?
Donald Trump’s small but persistent political base clings to the desperate belief that Muslim terrorism is an existential threat. This belief motivates their extremism, justifies their bigotry, and fuels their push to undo America’s system of constitutional liberty.
The truth is that cows kill more people than terrorists do.
Bad things happen. Let’s not compound the tragedies of life by sacrificing our democracy to them.