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19 Jun, 2015

Why don’t Americans call mass shootings ‘terrorism’? – The Guardian

The excuses to call a white, male mass-killer anything but “a terrorist” are familiar – they’re part of a refrain repeated over and over again when a horrific crime intended to terrify a group of people is committed by a white man. It’s a refrain of denial. (The same denial happened when Elliot Rodger penned a misogynist manifesto before his killing spree: He’s not sexist, he’s just crazy!)

But the question, especially for white people who engage in the excuse-making, is: why are you so intent on defining situations like those in Charleston as not-terrorism? Why are you so invested in the idea that the crime was not one of hatred?

A white man apparently planned and allegedly carried out a terrorist act against a historic black church and its members. He used racist language while doing so, and has been pictured wearing a jacket covered in racist, white supremacist patches. We all know what these things mean; we know what the motivation for this massacre was. So how could anyone with sense see all of these things and still maintain that race wasn’t necessarily a factor, and terror wasn’t the intent?

Read the rest: Why don’t Americans call mass shootings ‘terrorism’? Racism | Jessica Valenti | Comment is free | The Guardian