Who Actually Commits Terrorism In The US Isn't Who You'd Think

Who Actually Commits Terrorism In The US Isn't Who You'd Think

Spoiler alert: It's the white guys.
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In the wake of the Charlottesville demonstration, a lot of people are saying a lot of things. There are a large portion of people, primarily Trump supporters, who argue that this was simply a rally of people demonstrating their first amendment right, while others (myself included) are calling it for what it really is: a neo-Nazi riot of white supremacists whose primary goal is to "Make America Great Again" by making America white again.

Politicians across the board were condemning this event - yes, even Republicans who are stereotypically racist anyway - while Trump had a less than hard-hitting response. He claimed that is was important to see both sides of the issue. Personally, I think generally the wrong side is the side with Nazi armbands and flags, but hey, that's just my opinion.

But for the first time in a long time, this article isn't about Trump. It isn't about how Trump's base is made up of people like this or how his soft initial response is telling that he knows he cannot alienate them if he wants re-election.

This is about terrorism - namely, that the Charlottesville demonstrations and the attack that killed Heather Heyer, were acts of domestic terrorism.

There's a bigger picture here, and it's that domestic terrorism in the United States isn't committed by jihadist Islamic people who come from far off lands like the media portrays. The primary culprit of domestic terrorism is white people. Specifically, white men.

Are you shocked? Has your jaw hit the floor? Are you already leaving this article and writing an angry Facebook comment? Before you go, hear me out:

Let's start with the basics here. The Patriot Act redefined what constitutes domestic terrorism in this country. This definition is as follows:

A person engages in domestic terrorism if they do an act "dangerous to human life" that is a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States, if the act appears intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.

So what does that mean? Basically, if you're killing people, and you have some kind of agenda other than being a serial killer, that's an act of domestic terrorism.

Here's where research comes into play. Between 2008 and 2016, almost twice as many terrorist incidents were committed by right-wing extremists as by Islamic jihadists. The Nation Insitute's Investigative Fund and The Center for Investigative Reporting tracked 201 terrorist incidents on US soil between 2008 and 2016 and found that there were 115 cases by right-wing extremists, compared to 63 cases of Islamic extremists. And, at the risk of incriminating liberals, there were 19 cases from left-wing extremists, which primarily includes eco-terrorists and animal rights militants.

And the kicker: The database makes a point of distinguishing between different groups within right-wing extremism, but the lead reporter for the group said: "Those are all gradations of white supremacy, variations of the same thing."

Attacks by right white extremists are more deadly - nearly a third of right-wing extremists incidents resulting in death, while 13% of Islamic extremist cases ended in death. However, the sheer number of people killed by Islamic extremists (90 people total) is higher than that of right wing extremists (79 people total), but not by much.

Are you shocked? Are you angry? Well, you should be - it's about to get worse.

The media plays a large part in why this is such an issue. They are often slow to label attacks by white perpetrators as acts of terrorism. Part of that is because the FBI is hesitant to use the word terrorism unless it can be connected to a foreign terrorist organization, like ISIS or Al-Qaeda. And boom, there it is. The DEFINITION of terrorism by the FBI is inherently racially motivated. If the government won't call it terrorism, why should the media?

When Dylann Roof shot up the black church in Charleston, South Carolina, it met every single criterion of domestic terrorism. Did you ever hear him called a terrorist? No, you didn't. Furthermore, he was escorted out of the church in a bulletproof vest and gently put into a police car. When have you ever heard of a terrorist getting that kind of treatment? That's right. You haven't.

Definitions are important. By perpetuating the stereotype that only those from far-off lands can be terrorists, you create and raise a generation of children who are more worried about the brown kids in their classes than the white supremacist militia that is headquartered in their town. You teach kids that there is no way anyone who looks like them can be capable of such awfulness, such hatred when the reality is they not only teach that hatred but enforce it with guns, bombs, and even cars.

Call the Charlottesville horror and death of Heather Heyer what it is: domestic terrorism. But more importantly, call the white guy from Ohio who committed that atrocity what he really is: a terrorist.

Cover Image Credit: Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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Stop Cussing Damn It!

Why society needs to be less aggressive in response to foul language.

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Well shit, here we go again. In a world of constantly changing language in our everyday society, we need to take a step back on the censorship of words. Foul or vulgar language is frowned upon in most social settings, more specifically in public settings. Language has been created for us to communicate with one another. The fact that there is a whole group of words that are completely disregarded because they are "Cruel" or "Unnecessary" strike me as odd. Language and lexicon was created to allow each person to freely express themselves, their feelings and ideas, openly to everyone. Words like damn, shit, hell, and phrases like son of a bitch and fuck off are overly addressed as negative and foul.

As with any way of speaking, it is all about your deliverance of such language. Yes, is directing a "Fuck you" openly to someone in public a great idea, not really. But, in a general context, there shouldn't be a censorship on such phrases. If these types of words are not being used in derogatory ways, then I see no issue with them. Words help express us and our emotions. Foul language can emphasize our excitement, frustration, or anger with any situation. These words and phrases are just the natural evolution of our language. More so, there is a huge acceptance gap generation to generation.

This acceptance gap is huge from Generation X to Generation Y, or the Millennials, and even more of a gap with Generation Z. Things that offend Gen Y and are disgraced by Gen X don't always phase Gen Z individuals. Saying shit and damn have become natural filler words, sometimes used as verbs, most of the time as adjectives. It's actually quite interesting to hear people from different generations speak. Most people nowadays don't even register how much they swear because of how natural it is to them. I myself cuss a lot, a part of me in what society has labeled as a "bad habit".

Cussing, swearing, using foul language, or however you want to label it, is just something that has been integrated into our society more and more. Like anything, the time and place should always be taken into consideration before dropping words like bitch and fuck, but most of the time there isn't a bad time to speak with these choice words. Another thing is, if society accepted, and even mainstreamed, words that are frowned upon into natural conversation, they no longer would hold much power. If everyone "talked dirty" or used a "foul mouth" all the time, then no one would be cursing. We would all be simply speaking.

We as humans are constantly witnessing change. Our language has been changing and evolving since the very first grunt in history. We will continue to evolve our language and words that are viewed as "bad" now probably wont even be spoken by the end of the century. There will always be "bad words" and sayings that can be taken offense to, but like stated earlier, it's all about deliverance. I say who gives a shit, go ahead and cuss all the damn time, I don't give a fuck. Nothing in that sentence is rude or offensive. Is it the most professional sentence? No, of course it isn't, but nonetheless, sentences like that shouldn't be disapproved by society. We, as a society, should embrace the way our language and communication levels are evolving, and if we properly teach people how and when to use such "disgraceful phrases", there won't be an issue.

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