Democrats Want Senate Hearings On Domestic Terrorism After Charleston Shooting

A KKK-sponsored billboard in Harrison, AR.

A KKK-sponsored billboard in Harrison, AR.

There is hardly a day that goes by that we don’t hear about the dangers of foreign terrorists, specifically Islamic extremists. Turn on the TV to a news channel, especially Fox News, and you’ll inevitably find a pundit or politician talking about terrorism. If it is conservative media, you can bet it also is about how President Obama is putting America at risk by not supporting their pet issue, and that often turns out to be going to war with yet another country or putting troops on the ground to fight ISIS.

What we don’t usually hear about is domestic terrorism, and when we do, it is usually attributed to the suspect being a loner and/or mentally ill, not radical ideology. We saw this with the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the Olympic Park bomber who was responsible for a series of attacks in Atlanta and Birmingham, the Sikh temple shooting in 2012, and the recent shooting in Charleston that was also carried out by a right-wing domestic terrorist. Now, Senate Democrats are calling for hearings on the matter, which is overlooked or explained away by media and politicians as isolated incidents committed by mentally ill individuals when they occur.

Democrats want the Senate to investigate domestic terrorism in the wake of a South Carolina shooting that left nine dead.

Sens. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee; Dick Durbin (Ill.); Richard Blumenthal (Conn.); Dianne Feinstein (Calif.); Chris Coons (Del.) and Al Franken (Minn.) said in a letter sent to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that lawmakers “must address the reality of domestic terrorism spurred by racial hatred head on.”

“We urge you to hold hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the threat posed by domestic terrorism and homegrown hate groups,” the senators said in the Tuesday letter. “In the past, mass violence in our country has been explained away as an act of insanity to be treated as a mental health issue. What we saw in South Carolina is about hate, and it is about evil.” (Source)

The media covers foreign terrorism, because it seems more of an “us against them” situation where we don’t have to confront the evil that lurks in our own back yards.

When they do discuss terrorism, it is usually about lone wolf jihadists who are radicalized via the internet, and not swastika-worshiping white people who gun down others in temples or churches, as the senators argued in their letter requesting the hearings.

“We often think of terrorism as the sacrifice of innocent lives in service to a murderous ideology, and [suspect Dylann] Roof’s actions were clearly driven by bizarre and perverse beliefs,” they said. “If this same act had been perpetrated by someone claiming a desire to harm Americans in the service of Islamist principles, it would immediately be labeled an act of terror.” (Source)

In the world of conservative media, the Confederate flag is a symbol of heritage that has to be protected at all costs, while whitewashing the history where it is used as a symbol of the KKK and resistance to desegregation. This is why you have people rallying in Walmart parking lots protesting a retailer that decides to discontinue selling items with the Confederate flag, and ignoring the fact that it is very much a part of domestic terrorism.

There are currently 784 active hate groups in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Radical right-wing pastors are calling for a new civil war to “take the country back” after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on marriage, and gun extremists are calling for the assassination of public officials that won’t go along with their ideology. Sadly, it isn’t a question of if another domestic terrorism incident like Charleston or Oak Creek will happen again, it’s just a question of where and when.


Facebook comments

  • Thunder Panus

    Remember when Major Hassan shot up Fort Hood in the name of Allah and Obama called it workplace violence instead of terrorism?

    • William Harper

      It was labeled as workplace violence because that made it a simple murder case. Using the terror label introduces multiple complexities including the inclusion of military law. Like Obama or not it made sense.

    • Creeayshun Sighuntist

      in the name of who? Are you shooting meth straight into your eyeballs again?

  • Suomy Nona

    Murder is Murder thats fucking stupid…Stop trying to give the Government an excuse to invade are privacy,,

  • roccolore

    And yet when it Fort Hood, the left wouldn’t call that attack domestic terrorism, but merely “workplace violence.”

    • Creeayshun Sighuntist

      Then let’s agree, they were both terrorism. I’m with you.

  • strayaway

    Was the Waco massacre of women and children under Clinton an act of terrorism? There had been a lot of opportunities to just nab David Koresh when he went on weekly visits to the hardware store. Ramming a tank into a building full of women and children and depositing flammables on a windy day didn’t make sense.