In an op-ed published today by the New York Times, David Brooks defends the military coup in Egypt by using a crescendo of bigoted statements that climaxes with an unspeakably unfortunate utterance.
He begins badly enough by arguing that "Islamists" don't have the "mental equipment" to properly govern:
Islamists might be determined enough to run effective opposition movements and committed enough to provide street-level social services. But they lack the mental equipment to govern.He continues along this line of argumentation, defending the military coup by attacking the mental capacity and "DNA" of "Islamists" and their core beliefs.
It isn't until the end of his op-ed, however, that Brooks reveals the depth of his bigoted perspective when he says this of the whole of Egypt:
It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.Brooks makes this sweeping statement while hiding behind the context of his article, which is purportedly about radical Islamists.
However, the line above, his final line, reveals Brooks' true bigotry, casting all of Egypt -- an entire people -- as lacking the mental capacity for democracy.
It's not that Egypt doesn't have a recipe for democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.
The line smacks of eugenics at worst, and bigoted ignorance at best. Either way, such a mind should not be employed by the Times.
It is time for Brooks' platform to be yanked from beneath his feet. For good.
For the good of everyone.
David Sirota at Salon has just posted a piece very similar in tone to mine titled "David Brooks' bigoted rant."
If he borrowed his title from here, I'll be flattered.