UPDATED: 7:50 p.m. ET, Jan. 6, 2021 —
As the saying goes, “it be ya own…”
For those unfamiliar with that nod to the ghetto fabulous lexicon, it’s a reference to how it’s usually the people closest to you who betray you the most.
That truth was on stunning display when a group of what appeared to be primarily white domestic terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress convened to count the electoral college votes and officially certify Joe Biden‘s election. To be sure, it was a treasonous act that many people were calling an American insurrection, or a rebellion against the U.S. government waged by its own citizens.
Even more telling was the laissez-faire reaction from law enforcement, which all but allowed the rioting to happen, leaving at least one person dead as Donald Trump‘s supporters staged an actual coup without half as much resistance that smaller sized groups of Black people protesting peacefully are regularly met with.
Rioters were thugging it out with the best of them by attacking police officers, defacing a Congressional chamber, breaking into el3cted officials’ offices and worse. It was the latest instance of white domestic terrorism in a trend that has thrived into 2021 following a year that was marred in part by the aforementioned violence.
In fact, since 9/11, some of the most horrific acts of terrorism in the United States have been committed by American citizens. However, when the attacker is not Black or brown, there is usually hesitation to call them a terrorist.
With that said, the thugs who stormed the Capitol elicited a different reaction from most of the mainstream media, which recognized the failed coup attempt as being waged by white domestic terrorists.
From the Nashville Christmas Day bomber to the El Paso shooting in 2019 to the Dayton bar shooting to the Aurora movie shooting in 2012 to the Las Vegas shooter in 2017, white domestic terrorism is alive and well in this country — and the culprits rightfully should be recognized as such.
Keep reading to find a comprehensive list of domestic terrorist attacks below.
1. Trump Supporters Attack Congress (2021)Source:Getty
A planned rally to protest against Donald Trump’s loss based on an unprovable premise of election fraud devolved into an all-out coup attempt at the president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress convened to count electoral college votes and certify Joe Biden’s election. Thousands of mostly white domestic terrorists fought against American law enforcement, breached barriers and illegally entered — also known as breaking and entering — the hallowed U.S. Capitol grounds. At least one person was killed after a woman was shot in the chest.
Even though local D.C. authorities knew the protest was planned for weeks, it appeared as though law enforcement was not prepared for the surge of domestic terrorists — a calculation that ever would have been made had the protesters been Black or brown.
2. Las Vegas Shooter (2017)Source:Getty
Stephen Paddock, 64, killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 others on October 1 when he opened fire from the Mandalay Hotel on a country music festival.
3. Virginia Tech Shooting (2007)Source:Getty
Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured 23 others on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus on April 16, 2007. Cho also killed himself in the attack. Cho had been suffering from mental illness prior to the incident, which spawned a debate over gun laws in the US.
4. Pittsburgh Police Shootings (2009)Source:Getty
On April 4, 2009, Richard Poplawski shot and killed three police officers in Pittsburgh, PA. Poplawski is said to have white supremacist ties as well as anti-government views. Some say he also feared gun laws and President Obama.
5. Gabrielle Giffords Shooting (2011)Source:Getty
On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner shot U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and eighteen others during a supermarket parking lot meeting called “Congress on Your Corner” in Tucson, AZ. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Loughner was found unfit to stand trial and was given life in prison for the murders of six people.
6. Aurora Movie Theatre Shooting (2012)Source:Getty
James Eagan Holmes opened fire on a movie theater in Aurora, CO on July 20, 2012. Holmes killed 12 people and at least 70 people were injured on the scene. In 2015, Holmes was given 12 life sentences in addition to 3,318 years in prison.
7. Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting (2012)Source:Getty
Shooter Wade Michael Page attacked a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin on August 5, 2012. Page killed six people and wounded four others before taking his own life. Page had ties to white supremacist groups and neo-Nazis.
8. Blooming Grove Police Shooting (2014)Source:Getty
Eric Frein faces charges for the killing of two state troopers at the Blooming Grove Barracks in Pennsylvania on September 12, 2014. He is said to have anti-government views and an affinity for Russian communism.
9. Overland Park Jewish Community Center Shooting (2014)Source:Getty
Neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr. attacked a Jewish community center and retirement community on April 13, 2014, killing three people. It was later found that none of Miller’s victims actually identified as Jewish. Miller was sentenced to death in 2015.
10. Las Vegas Police Ambush (2014)Source:Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via Getty Images
Married couple Jarad and Amanda Miller killed two Las Vegas police officers on June 8, 2014 resulting in a shoot out between the couple and the police. Jarad Miller was shot by the police and Amanda Miller committed suicide thereafter. The couple is said to have held extreme anti-government views.
11. Umpqua Community College Shooting (2015)Source:Getty
On October 1, 2015, Chris Harper-Mercer went on a shooting spree at his college killing 10 people (including himself) and injured over seven other people. A clearly troubled individual, Harper-Mercer is said to have had anti-religious and white supremacist views.
12. Charleston Church Shooting (2015)Source:Getty
This mass shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015. Nine people were killed during a prayer service at the church. Later, Dylann Roof confessed to committing the shooting to start a “race war.”
13. Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Shooting (2015)Source:Getty
Robert Lewis Dear, Jr. is accused of opening fire on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, CO on November 27, 2015. One policeman and two civilians were killed and nine other people were injured. During initial trial proceedings, Dear openly expressed anti-abortion views which could be interpreted as motive for the attack.
14. Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting (2012)Source:Getty
In Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza slaughtered 20 small children and six teachers. This was a horrific act of terrorism. (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)