On Wednesday evening, a white gunman named Dylann Roof walked into a black church in South Carolina where he opened fire and killed 9 people.
According to witnesses, before he opened fire on the congregation, the man said “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country – you have to go.”
Few media outlets have been willing to call this act what it actually is, and that is an act of terrorism. For years we’ve been given studies and reports telling us that the single greatest threat to American lives is white, right wing domestic terrorism, and that is exactly what happened last week.
South Carolina governor Nikki Haley’s office sent out an insulting response to the tragedy, where she claimed that we’ll never know what motivates someone to commit such an atrocious act of violence.
Author Juan Cole points out that Haley is a staunch supporter of allowing the conferedate flag to fly over South Carolina – a state that has one of the largest black populations in the country.
Cole also mentions that in any other kind of terrorist attack, the response would have been different. We would have heard that the murderers hate us for our freedom, or for our beliefs, or for the color of our skin. But when it’s a white man, we hear none of that. We get insensitive remarks from a disconnected governor saying that we don’t know why this happened and that we’ll never know.
We know why this happened – the terrorist himself all but said it before he opened fire. He was a racist, and he wanted to kill black people. That is domestic terrorism.