Lone Wolf Racist Terror Backfires
Our ancestors were literally fighting to keep human beings as slaves and to continue the unimaginable acts that occur when someone is held against their will. I am not proud of this heritage.
- S.C. State Senator Paul Thurmond, son of Strom Thurmond,
explaining why he will vote to take down the Confederate flag
This is the beginning of communism.
- Robert Lampley protesting the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol grounds
A young man gets hooked on a volatile political website, obtains a modern weapon, pumps up his sense of vengeful zealotry, latches onto a symbolic target and kills a handful of people. Why does this “radicalized” young man do this? To advance what he feels in his tumultuous, troubled inner life is an important goal, a greater conflagration -- all to satisfy his youthful, lone-wolf feelings of dissatisfaction with the status-quo.
In America, if that young man is a Muslim and the website is focused on attacking the globalized, consumer culture of the National Security State -- let's say he sets off a bomb at a public marathon race -- it’s terrorism. If the young man is a white American attacking African Americans ... well, if you listen to Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, he’s an individual, Godless lunatic and the real problem is “far-left race-hustlers” who hate America and want to destroy it.
Since the first moments following Dylann Storm Roof’s shooting of nine African American Christians in Charleston, I’ve been watching a lot of Fox News and MSNBC. Even before rigor mortis set in on the nine bodies, after expressing his condolences, O’Reilly began flogging the individual maniac line hard. Race problems in America, he insisted over and over, have been solved and any other explanation was far-left race-hustling. MSNBC conceded Roof was likely not mentally well, but it quickly assumed what might be called a social-dysfunction line focused on the persistence of racism in America.
Eugene Robinson, a Pulitzer-prize winning, African American columnist at The Washington Post, was the spiritual center of MSNBC’s coverage, since he was raised as a black kid in Charleston; his grandfather had a blacksmith shop near the murder site, the famous AME church known affectionately as Mother Emanuel. Robinson is a moderate, easy-going man, and you felt in his heart he understood only too well what this was all about. He was not shy in calling it race-based, white nationalist terrorism.