Culture

San Bernardino Shows the High Cost of Political Correctness

Read the last paragraphs of this CBS Los Angeles report about the police raid on Syed Farook’s home:

A man who has been working in the area said he noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks, but decided not to report anything since he did not wish to racially profile those people.

“We sat around lunch thinking, ‘What were they doing around the neigh­bor­hood?’” he said. “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.”

As my wife points out over at Patheos, this is “Clock Boy” thinking. “If you see something, say something” has been transformed into “if you see something — especially suspicious Middle Easterners — say nothing.” Otherwise you might be the focus of a social-media shame-storm and a multi-million-dollar lawsuit. In this case, saying nothing meant the authorities didn’t discover Syed Farook’s home-based “IED factory” until after 14 Americans were dead and 17 were injured.

Let’s be clear: “If you see something, say something” doesn’t violate any person’s rights, and there is nothing wrong with acting on a hunch that something feels a bit off. Political correctness has nothing to do with reality, and often the best eyes and ears for law enforcement are the people who know a neighborhood and are able to recognize unusual events. If ISIS or al-Qaeda established a program designed to decrease American vigilance, they couldn’t do any better than the Left’s hashtagging and public shaming. Responsible citizens should ignore the scolds and have the courage to do the right thing.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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