This past weekend marked the 20-year memorial of the 9-11 attacks of 2001. I hate to use the word “anniversary” when talking about 9-11. It wasn’t a marriage. It was a horrific attack that left about 3,000 American civilians dead. Twenty years on, there is still plenty of blame to go around for the 9-11 attacks, but one person that still seems to get a pass on it is former President George W. Bush. That’s because it’s difficult to remember the first 8 months of the Bush presidency, the pre-9-11 months. But if we look at those months with clear eyes, two things become obvious: Those of us (myself included) who supported George W. Bush were a bunch of dummies, and the 9-11 attacks were a result of Bush’s woke, politically correct ideology.
Before he was elected president, George W. Bush began his politically correct, “diversity is our strength” assault on common sense. He started spouting this nonsense during the debates with Al Gore in 2000. Going back and reading pre-9-11 quotes like this makes me smack my forehead and wonder how I could have voted for this goof twice:
“Arab-Americans are racially profiled in what’s called secret evidence. People are stopped, and we got to do something about that,” said Bush. (We “got to?” Remember when the media claimed that Donald Trump has a limited vocabulary?)
“Racial profiling isn’t just an issue at the local police forces. It’s an issue throughout our society. And as we become a diverse society, we’re going to have to deal with it more and more.”
That wasn’t Barack Obama saying that. It wasn’t Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). It wasn’t Hannah Nikole-Jones lecturing us about the 1619 Project. It wasn’t someone on a bullhorn at a Black Lives Matter rally.
It was a Republican candidate for president who I somehow voted for. Twice!
First off, Bush was flat-out wrong about the use of “secret evidence” at airports. We weren’t actually doing that in 2000. The “secret evidence” was used in a different policy, back before we became what Donald Trump refers to as “the stupid country.”
The INS used to use secret evidence in immigration hearings for immigrants from Middle Eastern countries. In deciding whether a person who wants to move from a terrorism hotbed in the Middle East to Chattanooga, the INS used to consider important “secret evidence.” That secret evidence answered questions like:
Hey, is this person a member of a known terrorist group? Have they ever killed a Jew, a Christian, or a member of another religious faith that is not Islam? And how many years has this person spent training with explosives?
A normal person who’s not crazy would look at that and think, “Oh, you mean we were vetting immigrants from Middle Eastern countries?”
But George W. Bush looked at it, lied about it being done at airports, and then proceeded to force airport security to never give a second glance to Arab or Middle Eastern passengers as soon as he was president. He even started using a term that I used to credit Barack Hussein Obama for: “disparate impact.”
That’s right. Going back and looking at Bush speeches from 2000 to 2008, that term was all over the place. Disparate impact is what I like to think of as magical racism vapors. If something uncomfortable happens to a racial minority more than it happens to white people, the only possible explanation for this is magical racism vapors. In order to eliminate magical racism vapors at airports, George W. Bush spent the first 8 months of his presidency feverishly ordering then-Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta to retrain all airport workers, so that they would stop scrutinizing male Arabic passengers.
Never mind the fact that for the past four decades, the group that had been most disparately impacting airplanes by hijacking them was male Arabic passengers. Bush ensured that all TSA workers knew they’d be fired for racism if they gave extra scrutiny to the people most likely to be terrorist hijackers.
When TSA worker Michael Tuohey looked into Mohammad Atta’s eyes on September 11, 2001, he immediately thought that the furiously glaring Egyptian was a terrorist hijacker:
“Then I gave myself a mental slap,” Tuohey would later tell Oprah Winfrey. “Because in this day and age, it’s not nice to say things like this.”
Phew! Good thing Mohammad Atta wasn’t disparately impacted by the magical racism vapors of that alert TSA agent! It’s… not so lucky for all the people who were in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on that day, however.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for the 9-11 attacks, as we reflect on the 20 years that have passed since then. But George W. Bush is one person who deserves quite a bit more blame than he’s ever received. Bush’s woke, politically correct ideology prohibited airport workers from using their gut instincts or common sense to prevent obviously deranged terrorist hijackers from boarding planes. No wonder the Bushes hate Donald Trump so much.