OPINION: Who’s The Real Terrorist?

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By David Banner

The lack of application of the term “terrorist” to Americans or Christians is certainly not due to a lack of evidence. For example, it would not be hard to recognize the brutal and destructive nature of slavery in America as institutionalized terrorism. Just as easy would be a recognition that groups like the Ku Klux Klan and other Christian-based, White supremacist organizations have repeatedly engaged in terrorist acts. Add to this list the lynching of Black people and the genocide of Native Americans and we soon realize that domestic terrorism in the United States is as American as apple pie.

But when John Patrick Bedell, a White, anti-government, conspiracy theorist opened fire in March of 2010 at the Pentagon injuring two, he was labeled in news reports as a “gunman” and the “Pentagon shooter”. We’ve even been told that there are supposedly Islamic “sleeper cells” secretly living among us waiting to carry out terrorist acts on U.S. soil. But when the all White, anti-government, Michigan based “Hutaree” were recently arrested for their intricate plan to murder a law enforcement official, then blow up the rest of his colleagues at his subsequent funeral, they certainly weren’t described as terrorists. Rather, they were portrayed in the media as an “anti-government” and “Christian-based” “militia”. These three instances alone are indicative of the bias inherent in the usage of the term “terrorist”.

By broadcasting the terrorist acts of others while omitting America’s own terrorist past and present, we create an artificial sense of self-righteousness. This artificial self-righteousness insulates the public from the dangers that White, domestic terrorists continue to pose to society. This insulation ultimately gives way to the “beam” in America’s collective sight; a blindness to these acts in the eyes of society.

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