Is being black a ‘political leaning’?

I don’t typically start my day by reading The Washington Times, but a copy of the moonie rag happened to be sitting next to me on the subway this morning, enabling me to read what may be the stupidest opening to a story I’ve read this year:

WASHINGTON — The same Homeland Security Department office that categorized veterans as potential terrorists issued an earlier report that defined dozens of “extremists” ranging from black power activists to abortion foes. The report was nixed within hours and recalled from state and local law enforcement officials.

Whites and blacks, Christians and Jews, Cubans and Mexicans, along with tax-hating Americans were among several political leanings listed in the “Domestic Extremism Lexicon” that came out of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) in late March.

Note to Times editors: unlike one’s politics, a person’s race or ethnicity tends not to be subject to change, ergo it is inaccurate to describe, say, being black as one of many “political leanings”. And while it’s great you’re exposing the Department of Homeland Security’s rather inept attempts to define domestic “extremists”, you might want to invest in an in-house lexicon of your own.

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About Charles Davis

A writer and producer with whose work has aired on television and radio and been published by outlets such as Al Jazeera, The Intercept, The Nation and The New Republic.
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