Peter King, the Japanese, and looting

As the Peter King hearings on Muslim radicalization continue, a fine piece of opinion journalism has appeared that critiques exactly why the whole hearings circus is deserving of opprobrium. It comes from a commentary on the widely reported lack of looting after the Japanese earthquake and the discussions that have arise regarding racial homogeneity as a possible explanation.

A distressing number of writers have noted that there are few black, Hispanic or Arab people in Japan. As one put it, “Japanese do not loot, black Americans in Louisiana do. If that is a fact, how is it racist?”

I reject racial explanations out of hand. Without any evidence of genomic differences yielding significant differences in behavior, the observation that New Orleans’ looters were largely black is indeed racist.

We might as well observe that they were mostly American, mostly Louisianan, and that very few had doctoral degrees. Those observations aren’t explanations, and to insinuate that they are is a slander.

If you replace “race” with “religion” and “black” with “Muslim” then you’ve pretty much dismantled any semblance of value to be gained by Peter King’s hearings.


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