This wild CNN exchange with a GOP congressman shows our double standards about terrorism

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As an alumnus of MTV's "The Real World," Republican Congressman Sean Duffy (S6: Boston) knows a thing or two about what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real.


What he doesn't seem to know anything about is terrorism.

During an exchange with CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Tuesday morning, Duffy demonstrated a stunning lack of self-awareness when he said that Islamic fundamentalism is responsible for inspiring "dozens" of terrorist attacks, while insisting that attacks perpetrated by white people—like the horrific shooting of six Muslim worshipers in Quebec in January, or the Charleston church massacre, or the Oklahoma City bombings—were all "one-off" instances.

Camerota: Why isn't the president talking about white terrorism?

Duffy: There's a difference.

— Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) February 7, 2017

Let's just read one typical exchange:

Duffy: "You don't have a group like Isis or Al Qaeda that's inspiring people around the world to take up arms and kill innocents. [Quebec] was a one off. And you have a movement on the other side."

Camerota: "Hold on a second, hold on a second, congressman."

Duffy: "Bring it on Alisyn."

Camerota: "You don't think there are white extremists, you don't remember Oklahoma city, you don't think that this guy who was involved in the mosque shooting said that he was inspired by things that he read online?"

Yes, let's hold on a second, shall we? In fact, according to a 2009 FBI report prepared for then-President Obama, "lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States."

It's a finding backed up by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sociology professor Charles Kurzman, and terrorism expert David Schanzer, who concluded in a 2015 New York Times op-ed that "the main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists, but from right-wing extremists," according to data from the Police Executive Research Forum.

When faced with a preponderance of evidence to disprove his bizarre assertion, however, Duffy seemed content to simply offer vague platitudes about cracking down on white extremism. He also said, "Look at all the good things that came out of it!" when asked about the Charleston massacre. So…

Looks like someone just can't handle the real world, after all.