domestic terrorists and the handmaids that support them

May 17, 2019
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Like Nintendo, white people need a fucking reset button. This week’s headlines around the abortion laws in Georgia, Missouri, and what seems to be the most cruel and unusual punishment of a law signed in Alabama makes my skin crawl. Unfortunately, these acts of complete disregard for public opinion (70% of the country agrees that abortions are necessary in many cases) and attempts to strip rights that will harm in turn the most marginalized is written off as business as usual. But we can no longer be silent in calling this what it is, and that is domestic terrorism.

Following the attacks during 9/11, the face of terrorism shifted across the world. It became anything Muslim or resembling those similar characters in garb and appearance. This Islamphobic hatred has created an environment where the only time something is deemed an act of terrorism is when linked to Middle Eastern people — or simply anyone non-white. However, those of us who know this America, and how it has never been great for Black or brown people can attest to the fact that it is time to call out the white men, and many of their supportive women who play out terrorism on a macro and micro level.

In a recent article for CNN, the topic was addressed by experts law enforcement officials who came to the conclusion that “they are not treated as terrorists, because they are American, and they are white. But amid the rising number of deadly white supremacist attacks, the officials say that must change. White supremacy must be called terrorism and tackled with the same vigor as ISIS and al Qaeda.” Many of us have always known whiteness in America as terrorism.

America’s beginning started from white terrorism. The cute rhyme we all learned in elementary school “in fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue” as a nod to its discovery. Only to later understand this country was inhabited by indigenous people (Native Americans) who went through a genocide as whiteness claimed this land. That terrorism then grew into the transatlantic slave trade, where millions of Africans were bought and sold into enslavement throughout 19 different parts of the world.

And when transatlantic slavery ended, white folks doubled down and created the Domestic Slavery system which was just as violent and cruel as the system used prior, if not more so. Slavery turned into Jim Crow which turned into systems of oppression which turned into the day to day life of anyone not white being prey to the terror that they can cause.

On a micro level, terrorism looks like the “permit Patty”, police brutality, and the “lone wolf” gunman that we have always known in American culture. It was terroristic in 1963 when 4 little girls were killed in a church bombing in Alabama. It was terroristic when Dylann Roof walked into a Black church in Charleston and killed 9 parishioners, or when Holden Matthews burned down 3 Black churches just this year. It is terroristic when white folks call the cops on Black folks like customer service for cooking out, swimming, sleeping in the quad, or ENTERING THEIR OWN APARTMENT BUILDING. The reduction of any space to be safe if you are not white is an act of terrorism.

This recent abortion bill is also bringing a lot to light about the white women who support the terrorism. It’s easy to call white men terrorists, because they have by far been more heavily involved in the policies, policing, and violent acts taken out against marginalized communities. But we must be clear that this isn’t happening in a vacuum, and that the women who support them are just as dangerous, whether they are behind the scenes or leading the charge.

It was easy for many of us to pin the Alabama abortion decision on the 25 white men who voted in its favor. However, the white woman who wrote the bill hasn’t been persecuted nearly enough. Several people tweeted how the “we need more women in politics” can’t be the answer when the bill in Alabama was signed by a white woman. Clearly, this isn’t to say we don’t need more women in politics as much as to say white women in politics are often aligned with the same principles of white supremacy that protect them and are willing to harm their gender to protect their race.

Like Iyanla always says, “Let’s call a thing a thing.” The thing is this.

White Americans who perform hateful acts towards others to invoke fear need to be called “terrorists”. While the FBI is playing fast and loose with the monitoring “Black identity extremists”, white nationalists have become emboldened to “make America Great Again.” Something that America has never been, and if we were to start to roll back time to when these white Americans thought it was great, it would clearly look like Slavery 3.0 — because slavery never ended, it just transformed.

In a tweet of mine with nearly 100k likes, I simply stated “White men are domestic terrorists.” And although some responded “not all white men” I want to be clear that even if you don’t participate in the cruelty, you are too silent against it and ultimately benefit from it as a white person. Suffice to say, if you don’t want to be lumped in to the terrorism your race is causing, stop it. Because we are tired of being terrorized.

Writer and author, George Johnson is bringing our viral conversations to real life situations.