Tag Archives: domestic terrorism

The ugly (and yes, supremely punchable) face of white privilege

This is the face of a punk-ass prick that only a mother wouldn’t want to punch (maybe…).

The viral incident that happened in Washington, D.C., on Friday, is sad: A “Make America Great Again”-hat wearing young white punk smugly and aggressively smiling in front of a Native American elder (it’s widely reported that he’s also a Vietnam veteran, although I’m not sure how important that is, frankly; I’m not into veteran worship, but I do respect Native Americans).

Slate.com gives a fairly tidy account of what happened:

Nathan Phillips, the Native American elder who was mocked and harassed by teenagers wearing “Make America Great Again” hats in Washington on Friday [where he was attending the Indigenous Peoples March], says the whole thing started when he tried to defuse an escalating argument.

Phillips told the Detroit Free Press the teenagers, who appear to be from Covington Catholic High School [which is in Kentucky, apparently], got upset by four people who were with a group known as the Black Hebrew Israelites. The group of Catholic students kept growing and they made the displeasure at what they were hearing, which, at least according to videos posted online, included some disgusting homophobic rhetoric, very evident.

“They were in the process of attacking these four black individuals,” Phillips told the Detroit Free Press. “I was there and I was witnessing all of this. … As this kept on going on and escalating, it just got to a point where you do something or you walk away, you know? You see something that is wrong and you’re faced with that choice of right or wrong.”

Phillips acknowledges some of the members of the Black Hebrew Israelites group were also “saying some harsh things” and one even spit in the direction of the students. “So I put myself in between that, between a rock and hard place,” he said.

Phillips said he quickly realized the situation was much more tense than he had anticipated. “There was that moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey,” Phillips said. “These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”

Speaking to The Washington Post, Phillips said he realized he needed to get out. “It was getting ugly, and I was thinking: ‘I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation and finish my song at the Lincoln Memorial,’” Phillips said. “I started going that way, and that guy in the hat stood in my way, and we were at an impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldn’t allow me to retreat.”

Phillips spoke as some tried to change the narrative, sharing longer videos of the incident to somehow say that Phillips elder was deliberately trying to provoke the teenagers.

In an e-mail to a local network, a student says they were simply cheering “to pass time” while they were waiting for their ride. “In the midst of our cheers, we were approached by a group of adults led by Nathan Phillips with Phillips beating his drum,” the student wrote.

“They forced their way into the center of our group. We initially thought this was a cultural display since he was beating along to our cheers and so we clapped to the beat.”

The student also improbably claims that the white student who stood in front of Phillips with a smug look on his face was simply standing “where he was, smiling and enjoying the experience.” A mother of one of the students reportedly wrote an e-mail to Heavy.com, saying they had been harassed by “black Muslims.”

It’s clear just from the facial expressions of everyone captured in the screen grab above that the MAGA-cap-wearing punk-ass was not “smiling and enjoying the experience,” but was trying to impress his fellow white fascists by being a colossal prick to a Native American elder.

His behavior was aggressive and courted violence, and yes, he and anyone and everyone else who participated probably should be expelled from the Catholic high school.

And yes, the Catholics sorely need to get their shit together.

I’ll never forget or forgive them for their hateful, ignorant, fascist support of 2008’s Proposition Hate. (They lost that war, of course; same-sex marriage is now the law of the land throughout the United States.)

The whole rampant Catholic sexual abuse of minors thing aside, now we have Catholic punks wearing MAGA caps in public (they might as well wear fucking swastikas), and it’s interesting that they should be at a “pro-life” (“March for Life”) rally when clearly, the only lives they truly give a shit are their own white, over-privileged, fascist lives.

Part of me says don’t expel these punks, but try to rehabilitate them, because expulsion might make them even worse; we already have more than enough white, right-wing domestic terrorists. (As Vox.com noted in October 2017, “Since [“President” Pussygrabber] took office, more Americans have been killed by white American men with no connection to Islam than by Muslim terrorists or foreigners.”)

But can these young, white-supremacist punks be rehabilitated? They get their ignorance, hatred and bigotry from their families and friends — and from the Catholic church, which apparently is A-OK with them wearing MAGA caps in public to represent the Catholic church.

How likely is it that these young fascists are going to reject the sick and twisted worldview — pure evil masquerading as “Christianity” — that has been shoved down their throats by their social support system?

In the meantime, public naming and shaming might be our best weapons against these budding domestic terrorists (yes, even if they are minors — perhaps especially if they are minors).

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Let’s not give the neo-Nazis an air of legitimacy that they don’t have

Charlottesville, Virginia, Daily Progress news photo

A car driven by a 20-year-old neo-Nazi and registered Republican from Ohio plows through a crowd of anti-neo-Nazi/anti-fascist demonstrators yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one woman and injuring 19 others. Additionally, two Virginia state troopers were killed in a helicopter accident while policing the neo-Nazi rally that was dubbed the “Unite the Right” rally, ostensibly to protect a statue of Confederate “hero” Robert E. Lee from removal in the Virginia city.

I largely agree with Salon.com’s Amanda Marcotte’s research and opinion, which she had expressed before shit went down in Charlottesville, Virginia, yesterday, that, as the headline of her piece puts it, “It’s time to fight the alt-right — but not by actually fighting in the street.”

I, for one, have no desire to be anywhere in the vicinity of a showdown between the neo-Nazis — I reject the euphemistic term “alt-right”; these are garden-variety neo-Nazis, not anything new — and the anti-fascists/anti-neo-Nazis.

You could get stabbed, as multiple people were in a melee between the neo-Nazis and the anti-fascists here in Sacramento last summer, or shot, or severely beaten, perhaps even to death, or, as happened to several people yesterday in Charlottesville, intentionally hit by a car (and thus killed, as was one 32-year-old woman, or severely injured, as were several).

I surmise that few to none of these people demonstrating against the neo-Nazis who were seriously injured or killed had really thought that they might seriously be injured or killed, but it was predictable that they were at such risk.

In the end, is serious injury or death worth it where it comes to the fairly tiny minority who are neo-Nazis? What does it accomplish in terms of changing the overall social order?

Don’t get me wrong. Because a neo-Nazi and registered Repugnican (is there much difference between the two, especially among those who support “President” Pussygrabber?) murdered someone by car yesterday, demonstrating yet once again that yes, indeed, the neo-Nazis are much more likely to commit unnecessary, deadly violence than are the anti-fascists, in the court of public opinion I’d chalk this one up as a win for us anti-fascists.

But that came at the cost of three lives lost yesterday in Virginia because of a relatively small bunch of fucking losers who aren’t at all worth that cost.

Because the neo-Nazis are a relatively small group, I don’t know that it is at all necessary to go mano-a-mano with them in the streets. As Marcotte notes:

… To be clear, neo-Nazis and the like tend to be disorganized and unreliable, so there are decent odds [that the] Unite the Right [rally] will be poorly attended, and the resulting atmosphere will be one of comical pathos rather than the menace far-right forces are hoping for.

Unfortunately, as Bob Moser at the New Republic argued, there is one group that can help restore some lost dignity to the wannabe fascists: progressive counter-protesters. Yes, the very people eager to fight white supremacists in the street may, as Moser argues, be helping the cause of white supremacy. [Emphasis mine.]

“By confronting both the various breeds of white supremacists with fury and violence, we’re giving them better media attention and recruitment tools than the worst of the worst could ever hope to muster for themselves,” Moser argued.

He laid out a number of examples of how alt-right and KKK rallies are typically poorly attended by white supremacists themselves, and that the behavior of counter-protesters — who often outnumber the actual racists — are invariably used as propaganda by these groups to recruit more members online, which is where the real action is happening. …

Marcotte goes on later:

… As someone whose instinct is to run towards confrontation and not away from it, I decided to talk this out with Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, whom Bob Moser used to work for.

The SPLC also warns against counter-protesting, but, Beirich explained, this should not be confused with minimizing the seriousness of the white supremacy threat or claiming that ignoring bullies makes them go away.

“This is a legitimate [???] group of people in the United States who have growing political power and who have frightening views when it comes to minorities,” she said.

“I don’t find that you’re not standing up to bullies” if you resist the urge for angry confrontation, she continued. “I think you’re starving them of the oxygen that they live off,” meaning right-wingers’ pretense that they are constantly victimized, censored and assaulted, a narrative that tends to play better if they actually encounter violent confrontation in the streets.

Instead of counter-protesting, Beirich argued, progressives should speak out in other ways. She recommended speaking out online, lobbying politicians to fight hate crimes and holding counter-rallies at a different place or time. [I don’t know about that; such rallies could attract neo-Nazis, it seems to me, but of course, everyone has the First-Amendment right to assemble peacefully, and I don’t believe that people should cave in on their First-Amendment rights because some neo-Nazis might show up.]

“When you put on something positive that also gets coverage, it presents your community in a much better light, and it puts the focal point on the ideas that are the peaceful, caring ones,” Beirich said.

Holding rallies not centered around direct confrontation with the alt-right has, I’d argue, another benefit: It’s far more inclusive. Direct confrontation on the streets that may lead to violence is a tactic that naturally favors young, able-bodied people, especially men.

For women, disabled people, parents, older people and racial minorities that have stronger concerns about violence from white supremacists, the face-to-face showdown strategy can often be alienating. [Emphasis mine.]

Still, I totally get those who feel that holding hands and giving speeches about favoring love over hate doesn’t feel like nearly enough. People are angry and want, for very good reason, to screw with these guys a bit. Isn’t there any way to take the fight to the wannabe Nazis?

One thing that’s important to understand, Beirich noted, is that the alt-right “is an online movement, for the most part.” Some of its leaders have basically resorted to pleading with their followers to show up for actual events in the offline world.

That has had some effect, with bigger crowds at the American Renaissance Conference and other rallies, but the primary audience and organizing platform for far-right activism remains the Internet.

Even when alt-right folks gather in person, it’s mostly about getting group photos that can be used to recruit new followers online by promising a sense of community.

So for those who are attracted to the simple pleasure of screwing with Nazis, the online world is where to go to make fools of these fools. Beirich suggested reporting hate speech on social media, but there are an increasing number of ways for progressives  to use the same online tools used by white supremacists to organize against them. …

Agreed. Most of the fight indeed is within the court of public opinion, and a huge part of that fight is online, where public opinion increasingly is formed.

The majority of Americans already have fairly strong feelings one way or the other where it comes to neo-Nazis, it seems to me, but the vast majority of Americans never are going to go to a neo-Nazi rally. And who, exactly, are you converting at a neo-Nazi rally? Who there has an opinion that you can sway?

Let the 41-year-old virgins have their little neo-Nazi rallies. Let’s not give them the physical confrontation that they want and that they then use to recruit. It’s better to ignore them and thus to let them be embarrassed and to further weaken their ability to recruit. To confront them gives them the veneer of legitimacy and importance that they don’t actually inherently possess.

But don’t get me wrong; should these treasonous, far-right-wing motherfuckers ever truly become a significant threat to the well-being of those whom they hate — should they, say, begin to physically attack the objects of their hatred with anything that is like regularity and that is outside of lone-wolf actions — then yes, let’s face them in the street.

But if they’re just going to gather in public spaces from time to time and spout off, let them; and ignore them.

And yes, while we’re on the subject, the symbols of white-supremacist/white-nationalist terrorism need to be removed from public property.

The Confederate flag belongs in museums, not on any property that is supported with a penny of taxes. And Confederate statuary — such as the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, whose removal was approved by the city council but is now tied up in litigation (and which ostensibly was the reason for the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville yesterday) — has no place in public, either, especially in places that are maintained by tax revenues.

The Confederate flag and a statue of a Confederate “hero” — and let’s get this straight: no traitor who fought for the “cause” of perpetuating slavery can be a fucking “hero” — are not neutral, innocuous symbols of “history” or “heritage.”

They are terrorist symbols that are meant to strike fear into the hearts of certain members of those who see them, and no one should have to worry about being out and about in public and encountering terrorist symbols that are meant to terrorize them.

The war here for the most part is not against the white race, if there really even is any such monolithic thing as “the white race.” (“You will not replace us,” the apparently spooked neo-Nazis chanted this past weekend in Charlottesville, but whites still make up more than 60 percent of the U.S. population and so probably aren’t going to be “replaced” any year soon.*)

The war here is against terrorism — in this case, the domestic terrorism that routinely is perpetrated by the neo-Nazis.

We have to continue to fight against these domestic terrorists and traitors, and we have to do so intelligently and effectively.

Brawling with them probably isn’t the way to do that. Not right now, not yet, anyway.

P.S. Slate.com reports that the murderer by car was photographed with a neo-Nazi group earlier in the day by a news photographer yesterday, so no, the neo-Nazis can’t distance themselves from this guy. He is one of them.

Here is the news photo:

New York Daily News news photo

The perpetrator, whose name is James Alex Fields Jr., is the evil fucktard in the middle, fourth from the left and fourth from the right.

*That said, the racial composition of the United States doesn’t matter. It has changed throughout the decades and it will continue to change in the decades to come. At one time it was solely Native Americans, of course, and yes, in the modern era the U.S. is becoming less and less white, with Latinos being the fastest-growing non-white racial group in the U.S.

As a white man, I’m not troubled by this in the least. The only thing that is constant is change, and the change in racial demographics in the U.S. is a slow, gradual change, and for the most part it is a non-violent change except for the violence perpetrated by the neo-Nazis.

Finally, I am a proponent of racial mixing, socially, culturally and reproductively. Genetically and culturally, inbreeding is the worst thing that you can do; it only guarantees that your defects and weaknesses are repeated — and sometimes even amplified.

If racial “purity” were a good thing, then so many of the neo-Nazis wouldn’t be mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fucktards. The proof is in the pudding.

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Repugnicans’ silence on domestic terrorist attack is deafening

So here are the booking photos of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic gunman, one Robert Lewis Dear:

Reuters image

Surprise, surprise.

Here is what Yahoo News reports of Dear’s background:

Authorities have released few details about Robert Lewis Dear, the man identified as the alleged sole shooter in an attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic that left three dead and nine others wounded Friday. But while investigators continue to search for clues to his motive, reporters have started digging into Dear’s past.

According to the Associated Press, 57-year-old Dear split his time between a house in Swannanoa, N.C., and a remote cabin without electricity or running water in Black Mountain, about 15 miles outside Asheville, N.C.

Neighbor James Russell told the AP that Dear typically kept to himself and that on the occasions when they did speak, Dear avoided eye contact and rambled about a variety of unrelated topics. However, Russell said, he’d never heard Dear talk about religion or abortion.

The AP also reported that on Saturday, Dear’s cabin was adorned with a cross made of twigs.

Other news outlets have traced Dear’s roots back to South Carolina, where police records indicate a history of arrests and domestic and neighbor disputes dating back to the mid-1990s. …

So far, searches for social media profiles and other online activity have yielded little evidence that Dear had much of an Internet presence.

Dear surrendered to police nearly five hours after he’s believed to have opened fire on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs on Friday. The city’s mayor, John Suthers, said Saturday that while investigators were not ready to discuss a possible motive for the attack — still hoping to glean more information about the gunman and his mental state — people can “make inferences from where it took place.”

Dear is being held without bond at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center and is expected to appear in court Monday.

Robert Lewis Dear very, very apparently is a head case (a term, like “fucktard,” that I probably shouldn’t use) — I assume that he wasn’t cray-craying it up for his mugshots, and traveling all the way from North Carolina to Colorado to shoot people to death certainly indicates the cray, as does living in a remote cabin without any utilities (a picture of that “cabin” is here) — but I have little doubt that right-wing anti-abortion propaganda set him off.

The wingnuts are insane as it is, but when a certifiably clinically insane individual hears and/or reads and/or sees their insanity, yes, bad things can happen — with which, I surmise, the wingnuts are perfectly OK. (I imagine that yesterday and today, thousands of predominantly white, “Christian” wingnuts have celebrated the news of yet another “abortion clinic”* having been terrorized by one of their own, one of “God’s” “soldiers,” you know. Maybe they even had tailgate parties, just like they falsely claim the “Islamofascists” did here on 9/11.)

If it weren’t the case that Repugnican Tea Party rhetoric encourages domestic terrorism, Yahoo News wouldn’t also be reporting this today (all emphases in bold are mine):

The motive for a shooting that took place outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday still isn’t clear, but all three of the top Democratic presidential candidates quickly rushed to express their support for the organization. 

Meanwhile, the leading Republicans, all of whom have spoken out against Planned Parenthood, have largely remained silent about the shooting. 

Operatives from both parties suggested to Yahoo News that the incident puts the GOP field in a tough spot because of its opposition to Planned Parenthood. The organization is the country’s largest provider of abortions.*

Three people were killed in the shooting. One of the victims was a police officer who responded to a call for help. The suspect has been identified as Robert Lewis Dear, who was reportedly captured on the scene in Colorado Springs after surrendering to law enforcement.

According to the Associated Press, Dear had spent part of his time living in a North Carolina shack, and his neighbors described him as an incoherent loner with no known political or religious leanings. However, John Suthers, the Republican mayor of Colorado Springs, suggested people could draw conclusions about a motive for the attack by drawing “inferences from where it took place.” …

The three top Democrats vying to be Obama’s successor all addressed the shooting on Twitter. Both frontrunner Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley issued expressions of support for Planned Parenthood. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., took things a step further and suggested anti-abortion rhetoric could have encouraged the attack.

“I strongly support Planned Parenthood and the work it’s doing. I hope people realize that bitter rhetoric can have unintended consequences,” Sanders wrote. [Sanders, as usual, is spot-on, except that I don’t know that those consequences always are unintended. And I’m being serious, not flippant.]

Indeed, all of the leading Republican candidates have expressed opposition to Planned Parenthood. And almost none of them have made any public comment on the shooting.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is the only major Republican presidential hopeful who has tweeted about the incident.

“Praying for the loved ones of those killed, those injured & first responders who bravely got the situation under control in Colorado Springs,” Cruz wrote.

Yahoo News reached out to the campaigns of all of the other leading Republicans to see if they had any comment on the shootings. As of this writing, Anna Epstein, a spokeswoman for businesswoman Carly Fiorina was the only one to respond.

“Carly will be on Fox News Sunday tomorrow, and she’ll likely react then,” Epstein said.

There was no comment on the shooting from representatives for real estate mogul Donald Trump, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

All nine of these Republicans have spoken out against Planned Parenthood and expressed support for taking federal funding from the organization. Cruz has led a congressional push to defund Planned Parenthood by threatening a government shutdown.

A Democratic operative who works in Colorado told Yahoo News [he or she believes] the shooting will hurt the GOP field because it “reminds voters of the relentless Republican campaign against women’s health and the right to choose.” [He or she] also suggested the shooting would highlight Republican opposition to gun control.

In messages to Yahoo News, Amanda Carpenter, a Republican strategist and former top aide to Cruz, acknowledged that the shooting could be “politically uncomfortable” for GOP candidates because they oppose Planned Parenthood and also abhor the violent shooting. Carpenter suggested that the candidates should have followed Cruz’s example and commented on the shooting regardless of their stance on abortion.

“Candidates can choose to avoid commenting on crisis, but a president cannot,” Carpenter said. “While it’s prudent to wait for all information, GOP candidates should easily be able to express sorrow, whether this situation is politically uncomfortable or not.”

Carpenter went on to describe the silence in the Republican field as “sad.”

“This event happened 24 hours ago, and lives were lost. It’s sad more candidates can’t show their support for those in mourning. Republicans can disagree with what [Planned Parenthood] does and grieve for those injured and killed,” she said. “Being pro-life means opposing murder, period. Law enforcement lives are at risk each day, as shown in Colorado yesterday. They need our support more than ever, and the GOP should not hesitate to give it.”

Wow, is Ted Cruz a weasel-snake, pretending to actually give a shit about yesterday’s domestic terrorist attack and even trying to use his statement on it to give himself a leg up on his opponents within his party. No, he’s just trying to cover his precious political ass because, as Yahoo News noted, “Cruz has led a congressional push to defund Planned Parenthood by threatening a government shutdown.” Anti-Planned-Parenthood rhetoric just like Ted Cruz’s very most likely caused yesterday’s domestic terrorist attack.

It perhaps was politically astute of Cruz to (try to) politically get ahead of it, but his sincerity is less than zero.

Not only is the Repugnican Tea Party against Planned Parenthood and women’s constitutional, human right to control their own bodies, but the Repugnican Tea Party obediently supports the National Rifle Association. Robert Lewis Dear, who just might be a card-carrying member of the NRA himself, used a rifle in his terrorist attack.

And note that Cruz’s spokesweasel mentioned “law enforcement lives,” but not the lives of, say, any visitor to or employee of the Planned Parenthood clinic. Because to the neo-Nazis like Ted Cruz and his followers, the lives of those in the military and in quasi-military law enforcement are far more important than are any other lives, especially non-white-male, non-right-wing/non-Repugnican-Tea-Party, non-“Christian” lives.

So Cruz (via his spokessnake) managed to pretend to give a shit about the domestic terrorist attack that his demagoguery only encourages while at the same time blowing that dog whistle hard, noting that abortion is “murder” and singling out for special grief only the lost life of the law enforcement officer whom Robert Lewis Dear gunned down yesterday most likely because of his exposure to right-wing rhetoric.

*Initial news reports about yesterday’s terrorist attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs really incensed me, because they referred to the clinic as an “abortion clinic.”

FactCheck.org reports: “Abortions represent 3 percent of total services provided by Planned Parenthood, and roughly 10 percent of its clients received an abortion. The group does receive federal funding, but the money cannot be used for abortions by law.” (I’m not sure what “roughly 10 percent of its clients received an abortion” means. Does that mean that 10 percent of Planned Parenthood’s clients at some time have received an abortion through Planned Parenthood, or that they have had an abortion at any time in their lives, provided by any provider?)

FactCheck.org also gives this graphic:

But even though only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are “abortion services,” the fact remains that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled decades ago that the U.S. Constitution grants women the constitutional right to an abortion (with some restrictions).

Even if more than half of Planned Parenthood’s services were “abortion services,” there is nothing to argue about. Planned Parenthood is acting well within U.S. law, and those who oppose Planned Parenthood’s operation therefore are lawless — and, in my book, treasonous. The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken on this matter, backed by the U.S. Constitution. Period.

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You’re a lot more likely to be killed by a Trumpian fascist than by an ‘Islamofascist’

Updated below (on Saturday, November 28, 2015)

At least three people, a police officer and two civilians, were shot dead at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs today. Details are still coming in, but apparently the gunman shot at least 12 people, at least five of them police officers, with a rifle.

Here is a news photo of the police taking away the shooter in handcuffs:

The handcuffed suspected gunman at the Planned Parenthood clinic is moved to a police vehicle in Colorado Springs, Colorado November 27, 2015. Police arrested a gunman who stormed the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday and opened fire with a rifle in a burst of violence that left at least 11 people injured, including five officers, authorities said.

Reuters photo

I’ve yet to see any information about the gunman, but from the photo he doesn’t look like ISIS and/or a refugee from Syria to me. He looks like a domestic terrorist of the usual kind — a white, right-wing, “Christian” male. You know, the kind who supports Donald Trump and is so stupid and aggressive that he gets into fights with his own kind at Trump/KKK rallies (when he isn’t too busy committing assault and battery on non-whites who dare to dissent at a Trump/KKK rally).

I’ve long known that as an American on American soil I’m much more likely to be killed by a white, right-wing “Christian” male than by an “Islamofascist,” whether homegrown or from abroad.

Americans have paid attention to the 130 people slaughtered in Paris earlier this month primarily because the terrorists who perpetrated the massacre were self-identified Muslims. Most Americans ignore terrorism perpetrated by “Christians” here at home, which they never consider to be part of a pattern and thus a real problem, no matter how many times it happens. Indeed, the terms “terror,” “terrorism” and “terrorist” remain reserved only for Muslims. That hasn’t changed since 9/11.

Also unchanged since 9/11 is that more Americans have been slaughtered by homegrown “Christian” terrorists than by “Islamofascist” terrorists. I’ve long known this, but it’s always great to see it in writing, so here is a timely piece by Global Post titled “White Americans Are the Biggest Terror Threat in the United States”:

White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States, according to a study by the New America Foundation. The Washington-based research organization did a review of “terror[ist]” attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, and found that most of them were carried out by radical anti-government groups or white supremacists.

Almost twice as many people have died in attacks by right-wing groups in America than have died in attacks by Muslim extremists [since 9/11]. Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the group defined as [terrorist attacks], 19 were carried out by non-Muslims. Yet there are no white Americans languishing inside the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. And there are no drones dropping bombs on gatherings of military-age males in the country’s lawless border regions.

Attacks by right-wing groups get comparatively little coverage in the news media. Most people will struggle to remember the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people in 2012. A man who associated with neo-Nazi groups carried out that shooting. There was also the married couple in Las Vegas who walked into a pizza shop and murdered two police officers. They left a swastika on one of the bodies before killing a third person in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Such attacks are not limited to one part of the country. In 2011, two white supremacists went on a shooting spree in the Pacific Northwest, killing four people.

Terrorism is hard to define. But here is its basic meaning: ideological violence. In its study, the New America Foundation took a narrow view of what could be considered a terror attack. Most mass shootings, for instance, like Sandy Hook or the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting — both in 2012 — weren’t included. Also not included was the killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina earlier this year. The shooter was a neighbor and had strong opinions about religion. But he also had strong opinions about parking spaces and a history of anger issues. So that shooting was left off the list.

The killing of nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina [in June] was included. The shooter made it clear that his motivation was an ideological belief that white people are superior to black people. [That] shooting has cast new light on the issue of right-wing terrorism in the United States. But since it can’t really use Special Forces or Predator drones on U.S. soil, it remains unclear how the government will respond.

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“Terrorism” is actually, I think, fairly easy to define: It is the use of violence or harm or the threat of such use for some political gain or goal.

The gunman who just today shot up the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, for instance, no doubt is an anti-abortion nut job who believed that his violent act would hinder or impede women’s constitutional right to an abortion. That’s a clear political goal and the man used violence to try to achieve it, so it’s terrorism, plain and simple.

That said, of course, if you’re shot, you’re shot, whether it’s by a nut job with a political agenda or by a nut job without one (or by a nut job who is somewhere in between). The injury that was done to former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and to 12 others who were shot and injured by white American nut job Jared Lee Loughner near Tucson in January 2011, for example, was just the same, regardless of Loughner’s motive (or lack thereof [a raving lunatic, I suppose, really has no motive, since the word “motive” connotes some degree of rational thought involved]). And, of course, the six people whom Loughner slaughtered that day are dead, regardless of his motive.

(Loughner reportedly did express the opinion that women should not hold positions of power [which I’d call a definite right-wing viewpoint], and thus he targeted Giffords, but overall his political views apparently were/are a nonsensical mishmash because he apparently is severely mentally ill and has severely disordered thinking. Still, it counts as terrorism to me, his having targeted a female elected official out of his belief that women shouldn’t hold such posts, if that report is correct.)

Again, of course, shot is shot and dead is dead, even if the gunman had no discernible political agenda at all, as apparently was the case with white American nut job James Eagan Holmes, who killed 12 and injured 70 when he shot up that movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012 in what Wikipedia notes was “the largest number of casualties in a shooting in the United States.” (A lot of massacres sure are committed by white American males in Colorado…)

In any event, we Americans lately have focused on the 130 slaughtered by “Islamofascists” in Paris not so much because we care about Parisians — because we don’t; we’re Americans, and while we might claim otherwise, we truly give a shit only about ourselves — but because we don’t want to be out and about in public, enjoying the fruits of our capitalist system that come at others’ (and the planet’s) expense, only to be riddled with bullets or to be blown up or otherwise to be injured or killed ourselves.

But because we Americans hold ourselves to be innocent — that’s part and parcel of the pathology of toxic, right-wing “Christianity” and other forms of theofascism: rank hypocrisy (being “God’s” “chosen” and so being unable to do any wrong) — we maintain that it’s always the “other” who is the real threat, the real evil, while we ignore the significantly bigger threat to us from the white, male, right-wing, “Christian” terrorists who are among us right now here at home.

So much do we ignore this larger threat, this clear and present danger, that it’s not within the realm of the impossible that Donald Trump, whose campaign demagoguery embodies what the white, male, right-wing, “Christian” nut jobs are all about, will win the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination.

And maybe even the White House.

 

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Boston bombers were tweeners — homegrown and from Chechen region

This combination of undated photos shows Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19. The FBI says the two brothers and suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during a getaway attempt in a long night of violence that left Tamerlan dead and Dzhokhar still at large on Friday, April 19, 2013. The ethnic Chechen brothers lived in Dagestan, which borders the Chechnya region in southern Russia. They lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, one of their uncles reported said. (AP Photo/The Lowell Sun & Robin Young)

Associated Press image

Brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, right, have been identified by law-enforcement authorities as the probable perpetrators of Monday’s twin bomb blasts during the Boston Marathon that killed three and maimed many others. The brothers came to the United States from the area of war-torn Chechnya about a decade ago. The older brother was shot dead by police and the younger brother remains on the run. Despite having expressed his support of Chechen independence from Russia and his support of Islam, the younger brother on a social networking website reportedly listed his “personal priority” as “career and money.”

So the Boston Marathon bombing apparently was indeed an act of domestic terrorism, but the apparent terrorists weren’t anyone we had suspected.

Those on the right, apparently, were hoping for an Arab terrorist or Arab terrorists, fitting in nicely and neatly with the 9/11 scenario (15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, and the rest from Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates [not one of them was from Iraq, I will add]).

There was the 20-year-old Saudi man — a college student — who was tackled by a bystander at the site of the Boston Marathon just after the twin explosions on Monday because of course the Arab-looking man in the crowd was the perpetrator (of course this young man was not the perp).

The right-wing rag the New York Post (which, along with Faux “News,” is owned by right-wing plutocrat Rupert Murdoch) yesterday ran a cover image of a 17-year-old high school track athlete (the one in blue with the blue duffel bag in the image below) and called him a suspect in the Boston bombing when he never was a suspect at all. The other “bombing suspect” in the image that the Post ran on its cover (the man with the black backpack) actually is the student’s 24-year-old track coach.

new york post

But the high-school athlete and his coach, who are from Morocco, look like the usual suspects — here is another image of them that the Post published, encircling their faces with big, red, attention-grabbing rings:

— and that, for the Post, was enough.

I hope that the young men wrongfully called terrorism suspects because they were At the Boston Marathon While Arab sue the Post for libel.

I, on the other hand, had figured that the perpetrator or perpetrators of Monday’s bombing in Boston probably were along the lines of a Zeke or Jeb or Cooter or Skeeter, a homegrown, white, “tea-partying,” anti-federal-government-and-so-of-course-also-anti-tax type, such as we saw with Timothy McVeigh. I mean, a bombing on Tax Day in Boston, home of the Boston Tea Party.

It turns out that the actual probable perps of the bombing apparently are somewhere between the two stereotypical terrorist types of the “Islamofascist” from abroad and the terrorist from home. There is more to be learned, but that’s where it stands right now.

The probable perps of Monday’s terrorist attack in Boston reportedly were two brothers from the area of Chechnya (also called the Chechen Republic, which is part of Russia), Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tamerlan, 26, reportedly was shot dead during a police shootout that took place in Boston between yesterday, when the brothers’ surveillance-camera images were released by the FBI, and early this morning, and Dzhokhar, 19, a student at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, reportedly still is on the run. I hope that he is captured alive so that we learn more about the motives behind the bombing.

Being an American, I don’t know much about Chechnya, but there is Wikipedia, a blogger’s best friend, and from Wikipedia I see that Chechnya has a population of less than 2 million people, and that racially, the denizens of Chechnya are grouped as “Caucasoid,” Wikipedia notes, adding, “The majority of Chechens are dark-haired (medium to dark brown or black), but there are Chechens with blond or even red hair, while eye color ranges from blue to brown and skin tone is typically rather pale and light (though there are some Chechens with olive complexions).”

Arabs, anthropologically speaking, also are “Caucasoid,” but apparently among the Chechens there are some who look Anglo (all Anglos are “Caucasoid,” but not all who are “Caucasoid” are Anglo).

The right-wingers no doubt feel vindicated, however,  over the fact that (per Wikipedia) “Islam is the predominant religion in Chechnya. Chechens are overwhelmingly adherents to Sunni Islam, the country having converted to Islam between the 16th and the 19th centuries.”

But Chechens aren’t Arabs, the usual terrorism suspects in the eyes of many if not most Americans, and reportedly the Tsarnaev brothers came to the United States about decade ago as refugees from the war-torn Chechnya.

Because they (have) lived in the United States for about a decade, and because they came here when they were young, I still would call the Tsarnaev brothers homegrown terrorists, but, of course, not of the usual variety of homegrown terrorists.

My guess is that the older Tsarnaev brother influenced the younger, and that the older brother was quite unstable and the younger brother was quite impressionable, as younger brothers often are.

Yahoo! News notes that Tamerlan Tsarnaev reportedly had a wife and young child and that “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was remembered by former classmates as bright and personable, posted links to pro-Chechnyan independence sites on his social media page, and listed his worldview as ‘Islam.'”

Yahoo! News also reports that “in an emotional press conference,” the brothers’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, “said his nephews had brought shame upon his family, and called them ‘losers.’ He said they were not ‘able to settle themselves’ and were ‘angry at everyone who was able to.’ He said he did not believe they were motivated by the radical politics in Chechnya or their Muslim religion.”

Again, hopefully the younger brother will be captured alive and will tell us exactly what happened and why. His role might have been only as an accessory to his much more radicalized older brother, it seems to me.

The take-home lesson in all of this, it also seems to me, is that any chronically angry young man, foreign or domestic, white-skinned or brown-skinned, identifying as a Muslim or a Christian (or as a member of another religion), can perpetrate an act violence or even of terrorism — chronic anger and testosterone are a dangerous, explosive mix — and that the best way to prevent terrorist attacks in the future is to address, seriously and significantly, that which causes chronic anger in young men.

Chief among those causes here at home, it seems to me, is a lack of economic opportunity in the United States of America. In the so-called land of opportunity, our young people are struggling. And, despite their hard work and their struggle, they are told that their lack of progress is entirely their fault — certainly not the fault of the plutocratic system of the haves and the have-nots that actually has their failure built in, that has institutionalized it, pretty much guaranfuckingteed it, in fact.

Before you claim that I’m full of shit, know that while Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (according to Reuters) on his Russian-language social networking website posted links to websites promoting Islam and Chechen independence from Russia, he listed his “personal priority” as “career and money.”

So while his Chechen birth gave him an identity as a Chechen/Chechen American and a Muslim, his most immediate personal concern apparently was “career and money.”

And over that issue, it seems to me, we Americans, who forfuckingever now have been perfectly complacent with our system of haves and have-nots that eats its own young, should be surprised — and probably thankful — that justifiably chronically angry young men of all identities in the United States aren’t blowing shit up all over the fucking place.

P.S. I have to note that while I find the pervasive presence of surveillance cameras in public to pose real threats to privacy, and to create an oppressive, Big-Brother-like atmosphere, one has to be impressed, I think, by the swiftness with which the apparent perpetrators of Monday’s terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon were identified by law-enforcement officials.

Once the FBI released the surveillance-camera images of the two suspects yesterday, it was just a matter of time before they were identified as the Tsarnaev brothers.

Update: I want to be accurate, so let me clarify: Apparently the Tsarnaev brothers might have come to the United States from Dagestan, which borders Chechnya, and the brothers are (well, one is and one was…), according to media reports, “ethnic Chechens.” I am not certain of the exact nation of the brothers’ birth, but apparently they were born in one or both of the two neighboring nations of Chechnya and Dagestan.

Per Wikipedia, Dagestan has a population of about 3 million and, like Chechnya, its primary religion is Sunni Islam.

From Wiki, here is a map of Chechnya and Dagestan:

And here is a map of the larger area, known as the North Caucasus:

File:Chechnya and Caucasus.png

Second update: According to NBC News, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was born in Kyrgyzstan and became a U.S. citizen on Sept. 11 of last year, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was married to a U.S. citizen and had hoped to become a U.S. citizen himself, was born in Russia. The Associated Press reports that

Dzhokhar’s page on the Russian social networking site Vkontakte says that before moving to the United States, he attended School No. 1 in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim republic in Russia’s North Caucasus that has become an epicenter of the Islamic insurgency that spilled over from Chechnya. On the site, he describes himself as speaking Chechen as well as English and Russian.

The same AP story also reports that the two brothers “had come to the United States about 10 years ago from a Russian region near Chechnya [Dagestan, I presume], according to an uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md. They had two sisters. As kids they rode bikes and skateboards on quiet Norfolk Street in Cambridge, Mass.”

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Our national Rorschach test results

Updated below

NorthJersey.com image

We didn’t have just a bombing in Boston yesterday, did we? We had a national Rorschach test, didn’t we? We have seen what we have been predisposed to see, haven’t we?

The folks at Westboro Baptist Church say that yesterday’s terrorist attack in Boston was God’s punishment for Massachusetts’ having instituted same-sex marriage. I guess that would be God’s very delayed reaction, since Massachusetts instituted same-sex marriage way back in 2004.

Sadly and pathetically, police have questioned a 20-year-old man from Saudi Arabia attending school in Boston apparently primarily because he was At the Boston Marathon While Arab. Reportedly a bystander who had appointed himself a modern-day Paul Revere tackled the Arab man, who apparently looked suspicious! because he was an Arab-looking man running away from the blasts — go figure! I mean, the normal human response would be to run toward the blasts, into harm’s way, right? And what was an Arab man doing at the Boston Marathon anyway?

(The young Arab man’s roommate says that he’s very most likely innocent. I have to agree. This very most likely is a case of racial profiling, it seems to me. I hope that the Paul Revere who tackled the Arab man is brought to justice — that he at least is sued by the Arab man, if not also criminally prosecuted for the apparent assault and battery.)

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones (another paranoid, right-leaning white man) has posited that the U.S. government perpetrated the bombings in order to discredit and oppress the members of the so-called “tea party” and like-minded individuals.

Never mind that such a so-called “false-flag” operation would be incredibly difficult to pull off. Who would be willing to perpetrate it, knowing that he (or she) might be caught and prosecuted one day? And who would order it to be done, knowing that he or she also might be caught and prosecuted one day? Think of the number of people who would have to cooperate in such an operation. How would you ensure that none of them ever talked?

And never mind that the “tea party” peaked a long time ago and today is a but a shadow of its former self. You would go that far to try to weaken or destroy the “tea party” or any other political group only if it actually had a lot of power and influence.

That the wingnuts pre-emptively claim that yesterday’s terrorist attack is only being blamed on the wingnuts in order to discredit the wingnuts does not mean, of course, that homegrown wingnuts did not perpetrate the crime.

Taken all together, it sure looks like homegrown wingnutty terrorism to me.

Besides being Tax Day, yesterday also was Patriots’ Day, a day that is obscure here in California but that is big in Massachusetts and in Maine. (Indeed, the Boston Marathon is held in conjunction with Patriots’ Day.)

Patriots’ Day is celebrated on the third Monday in April. It was on Patriots’ Day in 1995 that homegrown wingnutty terrorist Timothy McVeigh, a disaffected young white man (if we want to do any racial profiling…), bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City.

So: Tax Day. Patriots’ Day (Timothy McVeigh’s chosen day for his act of domestic terrorism, in which 168 people were killed). The city of Boston’s symbolism of revolution against oppressive taxation and an oppressive government (McVeigh believed that he was crusading against an oppressive federal government). Massachusetts being a dark-blue state, a bastion of liberalism. (My guess is that a homegrown wingnutty terrorist most likely would attack a real or perceived liberal population rather than a conservative one or even a mixed one.)

Again, I can’t see the “Islamofascists” having perpetrated yesterday’s terrorist attack in Boston. This looks like an inside job to me, and by “inside job” I don’t mean by the Obama administration or by any part of the U.S. government (as much as a fan of the center-right Obama administration and the center-right U.S. government that I am not).

A professional “Islamofascist” terrorist organization would have killed more than just three people, it seems to me. This seems like a much more amateurish terrorist job.

The only real question that remains in my mind is how many people perpetrated yesterday’s terrorist attack.

My guess is that at least two or three people were involved, but I suppose that we can’t rule out a “lone wolf” like then-32-year-old Norweigan right-wing nutjob Anders Behring Breivik, who in July 2011 slaughtered 77 people whom he considered the enemy because he perceived them (correctly or not) as liberal.

Ironically, Breivik hates Muslims, as do his Islamophobic cohorts here at home, yet it seems to me that as a gay man and a left-winger, I’m more likely to be killed by one of these domestic “Christo”fascists that I’m ever likely to be snuffed out by an “Islamofascist.” I am much more concerned about our wonderful homegrown terrorists than I am about terrorists from abroad.

These are the results of my own Rorschach test, but my test results, I wager, are much more likely to be shown to be the actual case than are the other results that I’ve been reading about.

Update: My bad: Apparently Timothy McVeigh picked the date of April 19, 1995, to bomb the Oklahoma City federal building because that date marked the second anniversary of the siege in Waco, Texas, in 1993. April 17, not April 19, was Patriots’ Day in 1995. (Patriots’ Day was on April 19 in 1993, however.)

McVeigh may not even have been aware of Patriots’ Day, it seems to me.

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My guess: It was domestic terrorism, perhaps over taxes

So today was Tax Day and deadly bombs went off in Boston, Mass., the site of the iconic 1773 Boston Tea Party, which was a protest against the British taxation of the American colonists.

Coinky-dink?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But I can’t see “Islamofascists” having pulled off this one. Given the not-too-subtle symbolism of it, I can, however, see right-wing, anti-tax domestic terrorists having done so.

If this is correct, it would be interesting to know whether the domestic terrorists (I’m guessing that there was more than one terrorist who pulled this one off) consider themselves to be members of the so-called “tea party” or not. (If memory serves, the “tea” in “tea party” is supposed to mean “taxed enough already.”)

If so, what horrible PR for the “tea party” this will be…

In any event, I’m all for making political statements, and while I can live with property damage, committing the murder and/or the maiming of innocent people in order to make a political statement is a shitty fucking thing to do, and of course any political statement is lost entirely among the carnage, which is all that anyone can see, such as the serious injury done to this man, who lost his legs in the terrorist attack in Boston today:

Associated Press photo

A cropped version of this photo was all over the Internet today; I found this apparently unedited version on liveleak.com. (The news photo has been glitchy for me, so if you don’t see it above, you can see it here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=eaa_1366058986)

I think it’s best not to sanitize the results of terrorism, whether it’s like the apparent domestic terrorism that we saw today in Boston, or whether it’s like the terrorism that the unelected Bush regime committed in Iraq in such noble names as “freedom” and “liberation” and “democracy.” Speaking of which, the photo above reminds me of this iconic photo from the Vietraq War:

Terrorism is terrorism, and no “good guys” commit terrorism. Only bad guys do.

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