Weekend Reading

Liberate these links:

[V]iolence against black Americans is rarely called terrorism, while attacks on government or corporate structures (even those resulting in no casualties, like the ELF and ALF arsons in the 1990s and early 2000s) or public gatherings with large groups of white people are. The militia-movement inspired Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the anti-technology mail bombs of the Unabomber and Eric Rudolph’s attacking the 1996 Atlanta Olympics for “spreading world socialism” were all seen as acts of terrorism. Meanwhile, the targeted shootings and bombings at abortion clinics, gay bars and synagogues throughout the 1980s and ’90s and the attacks on Muslims and mosques more recently are often understood as hate crimes.

And yet even with this racist and reactionary definition of terrorism, school and mass shooters, who often attack affluent white people at random and in public, are never included. Rather, their actions are understood as senseless tragedies. But if the acts are really senseless, why do they keep happening, week after week? And why do the newscasters have to keep telling us, with increasing desperation, that they’re senseless?

The findings of our study largely support Foer’s argument that attitudes about globalization are the key driver of soccer hate. The best predictor of anti-soccer attitudes was not political party, social class, education, nor income. Rather, anti-soccer attitudes were best explained by how respondents felt about whether “American culture is strengthened by values and traditions…[of] new immigrants.”

In a sense, soccer represents a double-threat — it’s European and Hispanic! — to those who feel threatened by the encroachment of cultural globalization. Coulter admits as much when she says, “If more ‘Americans’ are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law.”

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