US dodges using terms like terrorism by domestic suicide bomber – Times of India

WASHINGTON: When it happens elsewhere in the world, American officialdom and media are quick to describe unlawful violence directed at the state or public as terrorism. If the perpetrator willfully dies in a bombing he sets off, he is described as a suicide bomber. When it happens in the United States, particularly if the perpetrator is white, critics say the terminology is different and double standards come into play.
Arguments are raging on social media about the characterization of the Christmas Day truck bombing in Nashville in which a 63-year old white perpetrator died, causing massive property damage but no fatalities other than himself. “I didn’t realize there were so many euphemisms for ‘white suicide bomber terrorist'” President Trump’s niece Mary Trump tweeted, triggering off a vigorous debate about the US glossing over acts of terrorism at home by white supremacists.
Trump himself has not said a word about the bombing, with a Washington Post commentary noting that his silence is “consistent with a commander in chief who has, over nearly four years, quickly sounded alarms about violence he has connected to Muslim groups, foreigners or left-wing social movements in the United States — but been slower to denounce attacks from right-wing actors or others who do not serve his political agenda.”
“It’s unprecedented that a president wouldn’t want to reassure the American public about a heinous terrorist act that occurred during one of the holiest days of the year,” Bruce Hoffman, a homeland security and counterterrorism analyst told the paper.
While the incident has received sketchy coverage in the right wing media, even the mainstream media has been leery of calling the attack as an act of terrorism and has refrained from describing the perpetrator as a suicide bomber. “A Quiet Life, a Thunderous Death, and a Nightmare That Shook Nashville,” read the headline for the story in NYT, leading one critic on to take the liberty of editing the headline to “American suicide bomber targets Nashville in Christmas Day attack.”
The right-wing silence on the attack has irked blacks and minorities who are easily stigmatized as terrorists for any violence that comes their communities or their side of the political spectrum. Trump surrogates have often described BlackLivesMatter protestors and Antifa activists as domestic terrorists without addressing acts of terror by white supremacists which even the FBI says is growing.
“Imagine how Republicans would’ve reacted if a full bomb destroyed a whole block & Pres Obama didn’t address it & didn’t sign the Covid relief bill, but golfed in Florida for Christmas wknd,” tweeted Etan Thomas, a former black NBA hoopster, among many who called out the double standards.
To be sure, authorities still don’t know the motivation behind the bombing carried out by 63 year old identified as Anthony Quinn Warner. But investigations show it certainly wasn’t an accident, the truck used in the attack was packed with explosives, and the perpetrator willfully died in the attack.
But typical of the deliberation with which the establishment tries to unearth the motivation behind the attack when white perpetrators are involved, reports cite neighbors describing Warner as a “recluse” and an “oddball” who was unmarried, rarely ventured far from home, and and was an IT consultant with no known political views or affiliation.
Authorities said that to assess an event for domestic terrorism, it has to be tied to a political ideology and they haven’t found one yet in the Nashville case.

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