What does it mean to be a successful Domestic Terrorist?

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Udita Jonnala

Domestic terrorists leave a shadowy mark in our mind and our perceptions of evil.

Udita Jonnala, PR Editor

A “Domestic Terrorist” is more evil than a terrorist for a whole lot of reasons. The term “Domestic Terrorist” is used to describe a person who commits criminal acts to further their ideology; this part sounds exactly like the role of a terrorist. Except that they are the same as their victims, they are under the same policies, laws, and government. The only difference between a “Terrorist” and a “Domestic Terrorist” is that they gain sympathy because of their race which is much worse than hatred.

On March 16th, 2021 there were a series of mass shootings that took place in three spas in Atlanta, Georgia. These shootings caused 8 deaths and 6 were women of Asian American descent. This was the act of a domestic terrorist, Robert Aaron Long, who was white. He shot these civilians with bullets but this act was not evil to the Cherokee County’s Sheriff, Jay Baker, instead he felt sympathy. 

“I spoke with investigators, they interviewed him this morning. And they got that impression, yes — he understood the gravity of it. And he was pretty much fed up and had been, kind of, at the end of his rope. And yesterday was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did,” stated Baker. 

The most interesting part about the case was not the killings but the influence of race in judgment for the responsibility for a person’s action. To be a successful domestic terrorist, you must be white. 

75% of domestic terrorist attacks are conducted by right-wing extremists, including white patriots and supremacists. Even though this is the case, they are more likely to be looked upon with innocence than compared to people of color. ”

“You are innocent until proven guilty” is a phrase that challenges many borders because it is really “whites are innocent until proven guilty” mostly when it comes to domestic terrorism. 75% of domestic terrorist attacks are conducted by right-wing extremists, including white patriots and supremacists. Even though this is the case, they are more likely to be looked upon with innocence than compared to people of color. 

In a finding from the United States Sentencing Commission, they state that Black male offenders receive a sentence 19.1% longer than white male offenders convicted of the same crime. So why do we fail to view domestic terrorism blindly, why do we have to factor race into our discussions? The only answer to this question is that the innocence of white people is laced into everything in our life and even rooted in our history.

This system of viewing someone as innocent on the basis of their skin color is truly what makes domestic terrorism much worse. In our world today, we do not need any more shootings; we do not want people sympathizing with domestic terrorists on the basis of their skin color. The only way civilians can combat this issue is to bring awareness that domestic terrorism should not be sympathized with when it comes to a person of any race and that we must have a blind eye on acts of evil.