Scotties Toy Box

October 30, 2018

Our Government at work, protecting white people.

Filed under: Bigotry, News, Political, Questions, Race, Reason — Scottie @ 16:54

Yet, despite the racially and religiously-driven murders that unfolded in Pittsburgh and Kentucky, and the politically motivated mass violence prevented out of Florida, the words “terror” or “terrorism” were seldom used in the media coverage of these three incidents.

Anti-Semitic terror was uttered from the very mouth and inflicted from the gun of Robert Bowers at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday in Pennsylvania. White supremacist and anti-Black views unleashed by the round of bullets and tongue of Gregory Bush in Kentucky on Thursday. And the zealous nativism and liberal scapegoating trumpeted from the Oval Office radicalised Sayoc, who was arrested on the Friday in between. The violence is indisputable, and the ideology sparking it manifest.


Fake news, racism and bombs: Fear and loathing in Trump’s America

David A Love
by David A Love

But what was missing? With the ideological and action requirements established, perhaps it was the identity of the actors in question. Certainly, one would presume that a Muslim or Arab culprit involved in any of one of three incidents would immediately trigger suspicion of terrorism. Even without the verbal admissions or patent evidence indicating that some ideology spurred the violence – which again, was present in Pittsburgh and Kentucky, and ample with Sayoc in Florida.

But that is precisely the problem with terrorism, a term predominantly wielded by politicians, peddled by pundits and used by journalists when the culprit is a Muslim.

The label terrorism, whether we like it or not, has become synonymous with Muslim in the American imagination. They are inextricably tied, if not interchangeable. Despite the range of religiously and racially neutral definitions that exist within statutes and government handbooks, the religious caricature has supplanted the legal definitions. The force of the Muslim terrorist caricature – and the constructed threat it emanates from – has overpowered the very meaning of the term. We see this vividly in the three incidents that unfolded over the course of the past three days, and the endless list of mass and targeted attacks that took place before them.

Terrorism is instantly imputed into attacks involving a (genuine or nominal) Muslim actor, even when the requirements of ideological motivation or affiliation with a terror organisation are absent. This evidence, when labelling an incident an act of terrorism, is secondary or irrelevant when the actor is Muslim. The Muslim body, in and of itself is evidence of terror ideology and affiliation.

On the other hand, when these elements are clearly established, terrorism is left off the headlines and scarce in the coverage of violent attacks or conspiracies involving non-Muslim actors, and specifically, white males. These culprits are routinely dubbed “lone wolves” or mere “violent gunmen,” labels that exempt them from the charge of terrorism in the minds of Americans, and the public imagination at large. Whereas Muslim identity is conflated with terrorism, whiteness has the effect of exempting a violent actor from the presumption of terrorism, even when the elements of it are clearly established.

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