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Redefining terrorism through race

The recent mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas is an act of domestic terrorism. Stephen Paddock is a terrorist no matter how much the media tries to humanize him based off of the color of his skin.

The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas have left over 200 victims and the death of 59 individuals, leaving family members and friends mourning over their loved ones. The tragic event brought trauma into our nation and has been marked as the deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history.

Yet Paddock, just like every other white American mass murderer out there, has been humanized by the main stream media by calling him a grandfather, a pilot, or a quiet neighbor. They should have called him out as what he truly is, a terrorist.

Our society has come up with an archetypal character of what a terrorist looks like, usually a citizen from a Middle Eastern country, or a member of a minority group that does not share the western ideals that the United States believes in.

Due to this, we have failed to realize that terrorism is not exclusive to a religion, nor a group of people. We need to understand that the definition of terrorism could certainly be applied to even white Americans themselves, examples being the members of radical groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis and mass shooters such as Dylan Roof, the Charleston church shooter and Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, who were merely called victims of mental illnesses.

We have been conditioned as a nation to believe that being white in America automatically exempts you from being a villain, our society has refused to antagonize some of these people despite the great deal of evil that they have committed toward others due to the color of their skin.

This is evident through the way the mainstream media perceives suspected minorities with stereotypical claims. Just look at how members of the Black Lives Matter movement were distinctly called thugs by the media, Muslims for decades have been viewed heavily as terrorists and hard working Mexican immigrants were labeled as rapists.

But when it comes to white murderers, the accusations have suddenly become lighter, addressing these villains as family members, mere lone wolves or mentally ill individuals. Even up to the point where as the white supremacists in Charlottesville were stated as “good people” by the President himself.

One can argue that the accused cannot be labeled as terrorists because the definition of terrorism does not entirely fit the motives of these individuals due to the lack of evidence that these people have any political coercion. So therefore, they should not be called as such.

The Oxford dictionary’s definition of terrorism is “The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims,” But despite this definition, the act that they have done itself still has an underlying source of evil and has caused terror into the hearts of those who were affected. Regardless of any technical definitions brought up, this act of villainy is still in fact an act of terrorism.

We as a nation need to view terrorists as who they truly are and put an end to any justifications based on anyone’s skin color.

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