As most of you know by now, not only did the Boston Marathon get bombed in the past week, but the act was carried out by a pair (so far as we know right now) of white guys. Of course, many white folks are trying to claim these guys aren’t really white because they were born in Chechnya, which is that Russian part of Europe; and even though they have white skin and come from the Caucuses (the original “Caucasians”) growing up here doesn’t make them true whites (i.e. white Americans); plus being Eastern European they’re actually “ethnic” rather than “white” people; plus, to top it all off, they were raised Muslim, so that automatically removes them from the land of whiteness.
*cough* bullshit! *ahem*
So, seeing as these terrorists were white, and pretty much homegrown, and non-Christian, I realized something. And so I tweeted this:
Rather than point out how most terrorists in this country are white, Boston bombing/shooting will probably lead to more Muslim-hating
One person who follows me…well, “followed” me, anyway…I blocked her when it was clear she was going to go on a continuing pointless rant against me like any good conservative white bigot…anyway, she made a sarcastic tweet in response to mine about how nice it would be if whites were hated even more than they already are in this country.
Because, of course, whites, who hold most of the wealth and power and don’t get profiled by police, are somehow one of most the most persecuted groups within the United States.
*cough* bullshit! *ahem*
When I probed her response a bit more, she informed me of the following, both by direct accusation and by implication:
- I was clearly sad that whites aren’t hated more (because of the sad-face emoticon)
- I’m clearly delusional because most terrorists in the U.S. aren’t white
- I’m racist against white people
Regarding point number two, I’d argue that most domestic terrorists are white, since white supremacist groups, violent nationalists, eco-terrorists and the like are overwhemingly white and if they aren’t currently in the terrorist majority on U.S. soil on an individual basis, they far outnumber black and/or Muslim terrorists when combined. Some data from the 1980s to early 2000s seems to suggest Latino terrorists were the single biggest group, but I suspect that has more to do with crap along the U.S./Mexico border involving the drug wars. In any case, the biggest problem isn’t black and Arab people, and certainly not the Muslim ones. Also, I think a lot of racist organizations full of whites don’t get noticed as terrorists because their terrorism is more localized against nearby blacks, Jews, etc. and not against institutions or carried out in a dramatic fashion against many people at once.
But really, mostly what bugs me about my Twitter exchange with this woman was how my original tweet’s meaning was twisted into “proof” that I, a white guy, am racist against my own fellow whites and that I want people to hate them.
My tweet starts by wishing that what could have come out of the Boston bombing was a realization that, with most of the people in this nation being white, they account for most of the bad stuff, whether petty crimes, major crimes or terrorism. We have had many white terrorists in this country who somehow get conveniently forgotten when brown or tan ones pop onto the scene.
I would like people to stop seeing terrorism as belonging to one group (Arab Muslims) because the reality is that people of all colors commit acts of terror and to fail to recognize that is what allows us to demonize certain groups of people and leads to members of that group being subjected to discrimination and violence they don’t deserve and didn’t invite.
Pretending that whites don’t commit a hell of a lot of terrorism, here and abroad, is simply delusional. We are part of the problem. The biggest part of the problem in white-majority countries, in fact, and a potentially significant part of the problem elsewhere (though probably not the biggest threat outside of largely white areas). Just as Arabs and Muslims are a big part of the terrorist problem in Arab and Muslim parts of the world, and can be a significant threat elsewhere (though not generally the major threat when they go farther afield.)
Also, the second part of my tweet is a lament that what will happen, instead of white Americans realizing whites represent most of the bad guys in this country, is that Muslims will continue to be seen as the only real terrorists, because the brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing were raised under Islamic beliefs.
Hence why my sad face follows the second statement. I am saddened that people will continue to point their fingers in one direction and target a lot of innocent people because of their religion, while letting a lot of guilty folks of non-Muslim backgrounds slip by.
I think that was pretty clear in my tweet. But again, it shows me how much jingoism, white privilege and fear rule many people in the United States. They get defensive when the truth is pointed out, and start accusing you of being an evil person for pointing out reality to them.
It’s ugly out there.
The Boston Marathon bombing was ugly. Too ugly.
But sometimes I fear the aftermath of American attitudes and perceptions of Muslims and who is “really” white will be even uglier.