In a scary sort of way this piece from Kevin Underhill, on his Lowering the Bar blog, is funny. (Source: Lowering the Bar) It begins:
“Arabic Terror Message” Actually Said “Welcome Home” in Hebrew
If you see something, say something!
The Rapides Parish [Louisiana] Sheriff’s Office … and KALB were contacted by several residents who were concerned about the signs and that they might have been [a] terror message written in Arabic.
The sheriff’s office says not to worry, they are actually “welcome home” signs written in Hebrew and not in any way affiliated with ISIS.
But then you think about it and it stops being funny. Ignorance isn’t funny, jumping to ignorant and bizarre conclusions isn’t funny. Although Underhill’s piece is typically wonderfully sarcastic, when he gives a list of things to remember:
- You are not necessarily in danger just because you see something you don’t recognize.
- The risk that you will be in the danger zone of a terror attack is incredibly low overall.
- It’s probably even lower in Gardner, Louisiana, not known to be high on the list of ISIS targets.
- If it were, the terrorists probably would not warn you or communicate with each other by putting up signs.
- And if they just wanted to terrorize you with signs, they wouldn’t write them IN ARABIC.
As funny as this list is, the first item has depth: it describes the dangerous essence of American paranoia, especially in its focus on The Religious Other.
Read the rest of this post, which also involves how a Louisiana legislator tried to accredit the bible as the, um, “state book,” and how and why that whole thing fell apart.