I spent much of Friday behind the Golden EIB Microphone, guest-hosting for Rush on America's Number One radio show. An hour into the broadcast, a gunman shot up the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 at Fort Lauderdale Airport, and the death toll rose throughout the remainder of the show. Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, announced that the shooter was a man called Esteban Santiago - which necessitated the deployment of the phrase "white hispanic", last heard of from The New York Times as a convenient way to corral George Zimmerman into the "white supremacist" camp. He doesn't look that "white" in the photograph at right, but maybe that's just the lighting.
For what it's worth, CBS is reporting that Santiago told the FBI just a few weeks ago that he was "being forced to fight for ISIS" and "his mind was being controlled by the CIA". Which, by the way, makes him yet another lone wolf who turns out to be a known wolf. Whatever the killer's motivations, his target - the baggage claim area - exemplifies a point I've made many times before, as Tim Blair pointed out last year in Sydney's Daily Telegraph:
SIX years ago, following the introduction of further airport security measures in the US, American-based columnist and author Mark Steyn made the following acute observation:
"The second thought that strikes you is that the ever-longer lines to get into the 'secure' area are now the least secure area in America. Why not blow up the security line? You could kill as many people as on an aeroplane, and inflict more long-term economic damage.
"But don't worry. The Transportation Security Administration has plans to expand the 'secure' area, so the insecure perimeter will be somewhere else, with even more vulnerable people standing around waiting to get into it."
Steyn's views from 2010 rang true following the terrorist attacks in March at Brussels airport, which targeted two security check-in areas, and they ring true again following yesterday's horrific terrorist attacks at Istanbul's Ataturk International, which also occurred at a security point.
An initial and understandable impulse may be that we need to rethink how airport security should operate â€” perhaps by expanding the secure areas. But as Steyn more recently pointed out, that would only shift potential targets:
"Clearly we need a secure zone outside the secure zone â€” maybe, say, outside the concourse. So everyone has to crowd on the sidewalk. And then when they blow that up we can move it back to the perimeter of the airport. And then ..."
And then ... where?
~I began the show with another violent incident, the brutal torture of a disabled man in Chicago by four black youths shouting "F*** whites! F*** Trump!" The media's squeamishness about this story was deeply evasive, especially at a time (as I noted) when "white man!" has become a dispositive argument-clincher even for pasty whiter-than-white white men and "white genocide" is just a bit of harmless leftie banter. My thoughts on this grisly crime were reported by Jeff Poor at Breitbart News:
"I think we're going to get a lot more of this stuff in the future because it is the logic of identity politics," Steyn said. "It is where identity politics leads. It is about ultimately the dehumanization that attends identity politics."
"The minute you have identity groups â€“ the minute you have identity politics - that what matters is whether people are black or white, gay or straight, transgendered or cisgendered, Muslim or infidel â€“ then you do not see the humanity in your fellow man," he continued. "All you see is the disfavored group and eventually you end with what happened in this situation."
"There will be more of this in the future as long as the left is invested in identity politics as the organizing principle of society," he added. "Identity politics is a polite word. The actual term for what it is is a return to tribalism where you don't see people as individuals equal before the law, free-born citizens, the co-equals of others. What matters more and more is what group you belong to. This crime is ultimately where identity politics leads."
You can find a few more of the subjects we discussed on air here.
~I'm doing double-duty today. Join me in a couple of hours with Paul Sorvino and his delightful wife Dee Dee on the telly.