There’s an article on mic.com that pinpoints something that has been bothering me for a while now. Namely the fact that white people seem to be completely immune from being labeled either “terrorists” or “radicals” in the mainstream press. It’s annoying in large part because it very subtly alters the way people think about these events. White guy? Ah, lone crazy, call the cops. Brown guy? Clearly there’s a systemic problem! It’s stupid because the systemic problem of radicalism is never identified in isolation. It’s always either ignored (with Whites) or conflated with race or religious identity (with everyone else.) From the article:
On Tuesday morning, the NAACP offices in Colorado Springs, Colorado, came under attack when someone who is believed be a balding white man in his 40s dropped an explosive device that went off a few feet from the building. And on Wednesday morning, news broke of a horrifying mass shooting at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in France that left 12 dead and several wounded.
Both acts were motivated by radical ideology, but only one of them is being covered by the 24-hour news cycle. What gives?
According to Ebony senior digital editor Jamilah Lemieux, it’s because we rush to label attacks carried out by non-whites as “terrorism,” but when the perpetrator is white, we view those cases as isolated acts of violence.