Despite the rhetoric we hear in the media about the rise of Islamic extremists, ISIS, and al Qaeda, a new study by the New America Foundation found the biggest terrorist threat in U.S. comes from white men.
While September 11th was the largest terror assault in modern American history, a review of attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11 revealed most were committed by white supremacists or white anti-governmental radicals, not Muslims.
To date, the New America Foundation found that 26 people have died as a result of 7 Jihadist attacks since 9/11, half of those occuring at Fort Hood in 2009. Conversely, radical white Americans have killed 48 people in 19 attacks, the latest happening at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 784 active and known hate groups in the U.S. and yet racially and politically motivated attacks by white Americans receive little national coverage. On the other hand, while only six percent of domestic terror suspects between 2008 and 2012 were Muslim, they accounted for 81 percent of the terrorists described on network and cable news.
In 2009, just after President Obama was inaugurated, Keith Luke, a self-described neo-Nazi killed two men and viciously raped a woman because he feared an oncoming “white genocide” and was tired of Black men raping and killing white women on a “genocidal scale.” Luke’s reasons for targeting people of color echoes those of Dylann Roof, the man who carried out the massacre in Charleston.
The lack of coverage of white American terrorists only further stigmatizes people of color and gives white extremists cover to continue radicalizing new members and carry out attacks.
Hopefully, the attention given to the impetus for Roof’s actions will not only result in the removal of Confederate flags across the nation, but also change the way we discuss terrorism in this country as well.