Is it terrorism? Not if the perp is white

Terrorism: it’s what makes our little patriot hearts soar with heroism, and it is the inspiration behind the beating of our all-American chests. Ah yes, terrorism, the plague of the world that spurred the global war with its namesake has surely left its mark on the world. But what if it’s all fake? That’s right, what if the concept of terrorism is just as artificially man-made as the racism that fuels it, or just as fraudulent as the “experts” who lecture on it?

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what is this heresy, you ask? That’s a good question. Can we define terrorism? I suppose in its very basic form it is “violence against civilians for political ends.” But that makes a lot of people terrorists, people who were never labeled as terrorists at all. A fine example is pilot John Stack who flew a plane into a government building to protest taxes. Moreover, that basic definition of terrorism would also deem the U.S. government a state sponsor of terror, i.e. terrorists. You give me a decade, and I can give at least one South American military coup/dictatorship that we sponsored or even created in all those countries south of the border. Sounds like a terrorist organization, by definition, but we don’t see it as such … why is that?

As they say, “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.” And apparently in the United States of America, terrorists are only non-white, non-Christian people. Scoff if you will, but it’s true. When the Oklahoma City bombing took place, so called terrorist experts had people believing for a whole day that two Muslim taxi drivers were responsible for this “terrorist attack.” But when the truth showed that it was the white, Christian Timothy McVeigh who was responsible, it was suddenly no longer a terrorist attack, and McVeigh himself was just an “unstable extremist.”

We hear this all of the time from major news outlets: “we are still unsure if this was a terrorist attack.” A statement that actually translates to, “we’re not sure if the perp is white or Arab.’”

This is the way it’s been since the so-called Global War on Terror reared its ugly head in the ’60s. Just as Israel used it then, we use it in the same way: as a self-serving way to include violence that we want to delegitimize and a way to avoid including our own falsely legitimized violence. We try to paint a picture of a phenomenon that is not subjective, essentially nixing room for debate (when, in reality, we’ve got several baseball fields of space for debate).

Some of the so-called experts on the subject seem to spew more of the same highly propagandized crap without any academic credentials to do so. These “experts” in mainstream news interviews and even in trials to convict terrorism suspects are hardly experts at all. The very premise of the academic expertise is grossly fraudulent.

So, like we used racism, we’ll also use terrorism to create distinctions where there are none, and to draw unfounded and absurdly ambiguous “conclusions” on human intention. How, or better yet, why we keep manipulating socially constructed illusions to perpetuate this fear-driven hate that seems to be lurking in the staves of human nature is beyond me. But it has thrived like it has so many times in history because the West and the West’s allies have succeeded in creating a self-serving “face of terror” that’s only ever brown and sports a turban. The notion of a terrorist looking back at any of us in the mirror, be damned.

Further resources on the topic can be found here:

http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/08/20/terrorism-is-terrorism/

http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/discourse-terrorism-blatant

https://www.nytexaminer.com/2013/09/defining-terrorism/

Strampnitzky, L. (2014). Disciplining Terror: How Experts Invented “Terrorism” Cambridge University Press

Add a Comment