“oppressed” white people are the biggest terrorist threat in the world

August 14, 2017
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock—in which case you’re probably better off than the rest of us—you know that this weekend in Charlottesville, VA white supremacists held a massive rally that was met by anti-racist counter-protestors, one of whom was murdered in the ensuing violence. The klanspeople were mobilizing in protest of the removal of a confederate monument, and repeated shouts of “you will not replace us,” harkening to their pervasive belief that they are being marginalized and oppressed by an ever-growing population of people of color.

Of course, we know this idea is ridiculous. Even in places where white people don’t have majority status, they still hold vastly out-sized portions of the wealth and resources due to colonizing the globe.

And it is this history of violent colonialism, made possible by the transatlantic slave trade and the plundering of Indigenous lands, which lays the groundwork for the most common acts of terrorism—terrorism at the hands of racist white people—which has been an ongoing epidemic for centuries.

As a joint project by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute, a nonprofit media centre, and news outlet Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting illuminated, “right-wing extremists were behind nearly twice as many incidents” as those identified as “Islamist domestic terrorism” in the U.S. from 2008-2016. But this violence is not just limited to America. According to Think Progress, more than 55 percent of the 152 terrorist attacks in 2013 were by ethno-nationalist and separatist groups, down from 76 percent the year before. “While the report notes this decline,” Beenish Ahmed writes, “it also states that a number of separatist groups are showing ‘greater sophistication, incremental learning and lethal intent.’”

And the sophistication of terrorism is why these raw numbers don’t even come close to scratching the surface of the full extent of the terror of white supremacy.

Even after skewing how “terror” is defined, making it primarily applicable when other white people are the ones terrorized (the reluctance of the media to call Dylann Roof a terrorist, for instance, is symptomatic of a larger problem undoubtedly affecting the validity of these numbers), white people are still way ahead of the pack when it comes to violence. Throw in the terror of their prison systems, their exploitation of labor via capitalism, anti-Black police violence, and the ongoing efforts to displace and wipe out Indigenous populations across the globe and there’s not even a point in drawing a comparison.

So let’s not. There is someone in the comments (who probably hasn’t even read this) right this second popping off about some injustice a Black or Brown person supposedly did, as if anything can amount to the global destruction that is white supremacy. It’s not worth debating. The question is: what do we do about it?


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