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WaPo: Don’t Say ‘Terrorist’ About ‘White People Like Ourselves’


WaPo: Don’t Say ‘Terrorist’ About ‘White People Like Ourselves’

Jim Naureckas

Corporate media are demonstrably reluctant to use the word “terrorist” with regards to Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof–even though the massacre would seem to meet the legal definition of terrorism, as violent crimes that “appear to be intended…to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.”


Funny, but I tend to identify more with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - because of his anti-US imperialist/militarist sentiments he wrote while hiding in that soon-to-be bullet riddled boat.

But I consider both him and Dylann Roof to be terrorists as the word is classically defined.


I grew up white in apartheid Miss’ssippi, with a daddy as a member of the White Citizens’ Council

And I don’t identify with Dylann Roof in any way, shape, manner or form.

I don’t know Bump’s lineage, but I have to wonder how he comes to make the connection between “experiencing weird anger in a difficult time” and a racist act of terror.

I suspect he’d have a harder time identifying with a Muslim experiencing grief and rage at the death of family and friends that induces him to attempt to extract “a tooth for a tooth”.

He’s hardly alone in that, of course.


Implicit in Bump’s discussion is which terror or whose terror matters. Roof’s actions did not terrify Bump. They were intended to terrorize Black people like me.

White privilege allowed the WaPo to elevate some terror and dismiss others. I think we overuse the term terrorist. That said, the Klan and other violent white supremacist organizations are terrorist. Lynching, blowing up children and shooting people in church are terrorists acts. No where in any definition of terrorism is a requirement that it is “scary to White guys”


As I understand it, this is a situation of a failed love interest. Roof’s girlfriend moved on, and became involved with a man who happens to be black. Roof “snapped,” and targeted black people because of this. There was no terrorist plan, no political implications. Following 9/11, we’ve come to use this word quite loosely. This was an act of mindless rage that had nothing to do with intimidating or coercing a civilian population. It’s in our own best interests to understand the difference.


Disagree. This tragedy has been wildly conflated by now, precisely because those shot were black. We had a similar tragedy here some years back, where innocent people worshipping in church were targeted by a gunman. The victims were white. There was little analysis of this tragedy, much less efforts to use this as proof of a far greater problem (say, the oppression of/hatred toward the poor). Overall, we see this tragedy used to incite hate and violence against all white people.


I find the ranking of oppression to be quite beside the point. He frequented white supremacist sites. He wore white supremacist garb. His choice of reading material incited fear and hatred of Black people. Other atrocities are committed against the poor, LGBT, Muslims, Jews, women etc. Those need to be called out when they happen. But calling this the act of a white supremacist fits the facts.
It may be in your best interests to deem him crazy and unlucky in love. However it is not in my best interests to do so. BTW, harming white people is not in my best interests either, and I’ve seen nothing in the media that has convinced me otherwise. We will have to agree to disagree


Again, it is about INTENT, not EFFECT (whether he terrifies us or not), nor even personal psychological explinations (whether he was depressed or angry about something other than his political rantings on line).
He intended his victims to be Black people. He knew (according to his ‘manifesto’) the significance of the particular church he struck. “Mindless rage” is striking out at the nearest objects or beings, not plotting and preparing to murder a particular set of strangers at a specific time and place, after having deliberately researched a particular idiology of hatred. Many of those who our media refer to as terrorists are or were loners who found community with others who had issues other than their religious/political ideologies which motivated their participation in activities that hurt and kill infidels or western oppressors; many of us are not particularly terrorized by their activities. Does that change your assesment of such persons as terrorists? Probably not. The thing is, we get to hear about Dylann Roof’s messed up personal life and get to make assesments as to what his motivations are, dispite what he himself claims. Yet with Islamic suspects,most amurkins seem to care not to hear personal stories. Mindless automotons obeying some Imam who gestures hypnotically and all the Islamic world falls to strapping on bombs and looking to earn a cloud full of virgins is all the motivation needed.


white-privileged Bump’s irrational bias makes as much sense as arguing that you shouldn’t charge someone with kidnapping because the person they abducted wasn’t a kid.
white-privileged Bump has no problem callng (Arab-descended) Dzhokhar Tsarnaev a “terrorist,” but turns to verbal gymnastics to pretend that roof is not a terrorist.
white-privileged, typically doubl-speaking, Orwellianly-immersed Bump openly “identifies with” Dylann Roof on the utterly unsubstantial premise of sharing skin color!!!, using the pronoun “we” to impugn universality to 5% of the planet’s population.
white-privileged Bump gives a “criminal suspect special journalistic treatment based on” skin-color” whiteness identification.

white-privileged Bump presents a twisted, pretzelized, convoluted, Orwellian, NON-SENSICAL, NOTHING premise that comprehensively defining roof’s heinous-murder as terrorism – AND hate – somehow diminishes roof’s murdering people for being Black
No. It is not either/or; it is – simply - BOTH heinous and terrorism.

A nothing article to TRY to explain-away racistly-motivated corporate media attempts to justify labeling some acts of politically motivated murder “terrorism” while withholding that label from other murders that are equally politically motivated. And, ……… of course, “whites generally don’t feel personally afraid of white supremacist terrorists that target African americans and other People of Color.”
A nothing article to re-affirm the writer’s commitment to the status quo – a re- endorsement of “institutional prejudices.”