Terrorist Or Mentally-Ill Gunman? The Difference is Usually Skin Deep

I once heard a teacher say that the perspective of who is a terrorist and who is a soldier depends upon who wrote the historic account. In the contemporary global war on terrorism, the United States has been at the very tip of the spear at fighting those enemies that America’s foreign policy has played a major part in creating decades earlier.  

But white Americans have always been far more likely to carry out terrorist attacks on American soil, yet there have never been federal task forces designed to dismantle hotbeds of subversive, racist and xenophobic activities; such as white militia groups, white nationalist groups and the KKK – all of which have stated their aim to overthrow the United States government in their charter.   

For the sake of context, I did a bit of research to find out what type of language was being used to frame the “War on Terrorism” before it went into full swing, which was during the Reagan administration.

In 1988, the International Security and Defense Policy Research Program of RAND’s National Security Research Division released an extensive two-part study titled Recent Trends and Future Prospects of Terrorism in the United States documenting terrorist groups that could try to capture a nuclear weapon and use it against the United States. Written by terrorism expert and Georgetown University professor Bruce Hoffman, it is yet another example of how the mainstream has been scapegoating the wrong individuals from the inception of this country.  

Here’s a brief excerpt – 

“The continuing violence perpetrated by Puerto Rican separatists, Jewish radicals and militant opponents of legalized abortion, the upsurge in activity by right-wing extremists, the involvement of foreign drug dealers with terrorists and the evidence that a black Chicago street gang sought to make a deal with a foreign government to carry out terrorist operations in this country, along with other indications that Middle eastern elements in the United States have been involved in planning and execution of terrorist acts demonstrate that the threat of terrorism can by no means discounted.  

An emerging trend of ideologically motivated terrorism by groups espousing white supremacist and anti-federalist beliefs or opposing specific issues like abortions has largely supplanted the ethic-centered violence that dominated earlier domestic terrorist activity.”



While the report later states that the greater threat of terrorism comes from white nationalists and white supremacists almost as a footnote, clumping the groups in with groups that were woefully ill-equipped to carry out any terrorist attack let alone secure a nuclear weapon was a false equivalency all day long.  One of those groups is certainly more deeply entrenched into the fabric of American culture than all other groups combined. 

We knew it then and we definitely know it now.

Puerto Ricans, Black Chicago street gangs, Jewish radicals, opponents of legalized abortion and Middle Eastern elements.   

Remember, this study is supposed to discern what groups would or could try to capture a nuclear weapon and use it in the United States.   The racist part about this is not the mentioning of various factions by racial and ethnic markers, but the exclusion of Christian terrorism in favor of “opponents of legal abortion” and not using the term “White Supremacist terrorist” in favor of right wing extremists.

If it were so important to name other groups deemed a threat to national security by racial and ethnic identifiers, then why isn’t it equally important to mention the racial or ethnic makeup of the two groups that were clearly made up of majority white males? 

You already know the answer.  



Fast forward to modern times and we see that paradigm playing out all over again like traveling in a sickening, dizzying time loop of racist scapegoating.    

The right and the left have both played games based on race when addressing terrorism.  According to the official narrative,  non-white minorities groups are the greater terrorism threat in America. Heck, the fact that a Chicago Street Gang was mentioned in a 1988 study about terrorist groups that that were a possible threat to acquire a NUCLEAR WEAPON is mind-numbing. 

It’s not enough that the facts clearly show the largest threat to commit terrorism in the United States are White males.  It’s not enough that the facts also show White males are more likely to commit mass shootings.  Nor is it enough to say white race and male gender are the biggest historic threats to American sovereignty.  We have to call a terrorist a terrorist.  Not an “active shooter” or “lone gunman” or “white nationalist”, but a terrorist.



Timothy McVeigh, Dylann Roof,  James Harris Jackson,  James T. Hodgkinson and Jeremy Joseph Christian. These men are representative of what has always been apparent – that white terrorism has always been the primary threat to national security.

But, you see, the way white supremacy is set up, it’s better to hunt the spook who sat by the door than recognize the true danger, which is irrational, sociopathic and angry white males have always posed to national security.  

Yet, despite the current wrangle and rabble-rousing from Republicans, tomorrow’s headlines will likely allude to a far off threat in a far off land while the stereotypical media gaze drops upon people of color and continues to fan flames of an ever increasing sectarian divide in the United States.

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