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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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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We Can't Get Rid Of All Our Guns, But We Can Regulate Bullets

We won't take away all your guns. We'll just make sure the things that do the killing - the bullets - won't get into the hands of the wrong people.

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Nearly 400 million civilian-owned firearms are in the United States, and the gun debate is more prevalent than ever.

The question we always hear is whether or not we should be further regulating our firearms. What is often left all too forgotten, is that it's the bullets that do the killing, not the guns.

Regulating the sales of guns themselves is, of course, very important. However, with so many guns already in the possession of Americans, regulating the sale of guns themselves can only do so much.

Bullets differ in weight and velocity, but many can shatter bones and leave gaping wounds. They are obviously extremely destructive, but they are as easy to purchase as a pack of gum in many states. In these states, large retailers are selling bullets, and bullets can also be bought online. No questions asked.

In 2013 it was reported that about 10 billion rounds are produced in the U.S. every year, however, there are far fewer producers of this ammunition than there are producers of firearms, making the ammunition industry easier to regulate.

The idea of regulating bullets is not only doable, but it is far more likely that it will gain support from Americans then would banning all guns. The Gun Control Act of 1968 required all retailers to log ammunition sales and prohibited all mail-order purchases, however, this was lifted by President Reagan.

Today, it would be very possible to implement similar regulations. Strict control of the production and sale of outwardly dangerous bullets would be simple with the use of technology and due to the fewer number of producers of bullets than of firearms.

In states like Massachusetts and New Jersey, it is required that you have a license or permit to purchase bullets. This is a common-sense law that should, and can, be enacted nationwide.

We have two extremes to this gun debate; banning all guns or keeping what people see as our Second Amendment right.

Debates, protests, and fighting over this topic has gotten us little to nowhere. Yet, what we keep forgetting is that we all can agree on something; we all just want to feel safe and protected.

Common sense control of bullets is a sort of middle ground that reminds us as Americans that what we need the most is safety in our country, while also feeling like our rights have not been infringed upon.

We won't take away all your guns. We'll just make sure the things that do the killing - the bullets - won't get into the hands of the wrong people.

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