A Texas mom was all fired up, reports Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, over a question her child faced on a quiz that’s part of a “controversial curriculum” already under fire because of other exercises, including one that labels the Boston Tea Party as an “act of terrorism.”
The question, she says, places unfair blame on America for causing the terror attacks that left 3,000 people dead on September 11, 2001. A lot of people take this view: to in any way insinuate that America has any responsibility in precipitating the terror attacks is viewed almost as some sort of treason.
I’ve never understood that.
The specific question read as follows:
Why might the United States be a target for terrorism?
A. Other people just don’t like Americans.
B. Decisions we made in the United States have had negative effects on people elsewhere.
C. Terrorists hate everyone.
D. None of the above.
The answer labeled as correct is B.
The mom posted a photo of the quiz on her Facebook page and complained on Corpus Christie NBC affiliate KRIS-TV:
“I’m not going to justify radical terrorists by saying we did anything to deserve that — over 3,000 people died”
Science tells us, as most of us learned in middle school, that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In terms of terrorism, the “equal” part may be out the window, but terrorists don’t generally target people they believe to be on their side.
The fact that America has an ideology different from terrorist regimes can only mean that American policy — if we are living up to the ideologies we hold so dear — will reflect that difference. And those with whom we disagree may well find that those ideology-based policies don’t accomplish what they want accomplished.
For a terrorist, there’s not much more than that needed to make them want to attack. Hate doesn’t generally take time to think things through coherently.
Then again, some parents don’t necessarily take that time, either.
This isn’t a matter of “placing blame,” but rather a matter of trying to understand the motivation required to perform such a cowardly, unimaginable act. The question in no way implies America deserved 9/11; instead, it merely points out that even with “the American Way,” there are consequences when people who disagree are affected by decisions we make for what is certainly, in our eyes, the right reasons.
There’s no other way around it if we’re being honest with ourselves.
And being honest with history.
By the way, as for the Boston Tea Party, if we’re still being honest, we surely can see that to the British (and the East India Company), the willful destruction of the tea was an act of terror. Even though it was done in political protest that reflected American ideals that would later be spelled out in our Constitution. Done for the right reason? From the American perspective, unquestionably; but an act of terror from their perspective nonetheless.
I think it’s a shame we’re so quick to vilify those truths we don’t like to acknowledge.