18 June 2015

Another Home Grown Terrorist Attack

9 dead in shooting at black church in Charleston, S.C. 
This is brief USA Today coverage in the form of a video and an article.

I feel the loss like everyone else who is offering condolences about the senseless terrorism.  But my anger, for numerous reasons, is currently stronger than my sympathy - admittedly a way of avoiding pain.

Once again the media suggests that a young white guy who opens fire on a group of people has committed a hate crime.  For God's sake what is wrong those whose job is journalistic oversight . . . the editors?  A good reporter will get it right, and if he of she doesn't then a good editor will.   Of course the crime was motivated by hate.  That is a given.  But it is actually a terrorist act.  And the person who commits a terrorist act is commonly referred to as a terrorist.

Apparently the brand of hate that motivated the terrorist was racism.  Notably, the type of heinous terrorist crimes that have too often been perpetrated on Americans by Americans are being committed by young white males, not all of them motivated by racism.  But journalists have not taken it upon themselves to bring that pattern to public attention for scrutiny and debate.

Used to be only Arabs were considered terrorists simply because of being Arab.  That still happens but it has morphed more fully into Muslims being considered terrorists simply because they are Muslim, which covers a lot more territory than simply blaming Arabs for being terrorist because they are Arab.

We all know that if the person who entered that church to kill worshipers had been a Muslim he or she would immediately have been, if not referred to as a terrorist, considered to have most likely had ties to Muslim terrorists as part of a worldwide Muslim plot to terrorize the world - which is the basic unwarranted assumption that has been cultivated politically and in the media, about Muslims in general, for decades.  Never mind that the beliefs of the bad guy Muslims don't bear any resemblance to folks who embrace the character of Islam.   Never mind that so many non-Muslims have no interest in understanding what Islam means to Muslims.  They prefer to imagine and accept the media spin.  A criminal who is Muslim is an excuse for media to try to limit Islam to being the psychopathic criminal's definition of Islam.  It is not considered that the Muslim criminal is trying to blame Islam in an unacceptable dishonest way as an excuse for committing crimes.  Conversely, any criminal not Muslim, or not African American, is considered psychopathic as if "the devil made him do it", like we are being invited to be sympathetic because he had no control over his actions. 

It is past time for that double standard to end.  The less than objective attitudes of media often reflected and perpetrated by too many government officials, are too pervasively damaging for the attitudes not to be recognized as the serious problems they are, nationally.  It does no good to associate perpetrators of crimes with whatever religions they may have chosen, or whatever ethnicities they may have been born into (other than, or in addition to being American).  Doing so merely feeds into what have become overt political efforts to blame entire religions, ethnicities, and races for the crimes of individuals.  Religious, ethnic, and racial labels hung on terrorists only shine a light on the prejudices being perpetrated by media and government . . .  and on the prejudices of whatever industries are currently financing  media outlets by purchasing advertising which in turn buys unobjective prejudicial reporting intended to seem innocuous.

At issue here is the media, once again and still, trying to soft peddle an act of terrorism by a homegrown terrorist.  They want to label it only as a hate crime.  Of course it was motivated by hate.  Again, that is the motivation for most crimes and a given no matter why the hate exists or in what form it is perpetrated.  But what journalists need to report is exactly what it was: an act of terror perpetrated by a home grown terrorist.  We used to be able to depend on the fourth estate to tell it like it is.

Of course the compulsory search for any sort of connection to Muslims surely has already been put into motion; the compulsory searches for addictions, treatment for mental problems, abusive childhood, connection to military service, also.  But what is wrong with the media that it does not refer to the crime as a terrorist act perpetrated by a terrorist BEFORE whatever details, if any, the investigation will lead to as motivation for the crime?  If true to form we are likely to be subjected to overly sympathetic justification for a white boy's "crime" instead of his terrorism.  Is there some unwritten s.o.p. being promoted by government that dictates we are supposed to label terrorism by one of our own a "hate crime" instead?  It seems so.

Journalists do not need to know a person's race, creed, color, motivation or connections to others before labeling the crime and the criminal, appropriately, as a terrorist act perpetrated by a terrorist.  Yet we allow journalists to get away with prejudicial editorializing in place of being objective - and government as well.  What is wrong with us that more of us do not speak up about that problem?

Farooq, who drew my attention to the link, up top, has this to say with much more brevity, about the lack of journalistic integrity:

Black shooter = Gangsters!
Muslim shooter= Terrorists!
Professional shooter = Hero!
White shooter = troubled loner.

Below is President Obama's comment.  He does such a good job of addressing the crux of any issue at many levels.  Here, he certainly speaks my mind as he expresses the sympathy and sorrow that I dare say our entire nation is experiencing.   I truly admire our president for the articulate manner in which he expresses himself on our nation's behalf, particularly when he must comment on another overwhelming sorrowful tragedy.

But I still want to know why a terrorist act is being presenting merely as a hate crime.  Perhaps if we recognized home grown terrorism for what it is and prosecuted it as such the problem would not be reoccurring.

President Obama Delivers a Statement on the Shooting in South Carolina