Last Sunday, the country woke up to devastating news. For the second time in under a 24-hour period, and in an all-too-familiar occurrence, a mass shooting was committed on US soil. While the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, did not come with an explanation, the El Paso Walmart shooting was accompanied by a manifesto that left no doubt as to the white supremacist’s motivations. In fact, over the last 12 months, white supremacists have been responsible for several high-profile foreign and domestic attacks, including two synagogue shootings in Poway, California, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as the Christchurch, New Zealand, shootings in two mosques, leaving 51 dead.
There is no question that white supremacist terrorism is on the rise, a fact that is quick to be pointed out by literally everyone running for president in 2020. Senator Elizabeth Warren said it best: “We need to call out white supremacy for what it is: domestic terrorism. And it poses a threat to the United States of America.” On an objective level, this is exactly how we should look at these incidents – they are, in fact, terrorist activities. The goal of white supremacists is not only to kill as many people who don’t fit their mold as possible, it is also to create a sense of fear among those whom they hate in hopes that those people will be afraid to go about their day, and maybe flee the country entirely. However, my political eye sees something else. The Democrats are using the same language against Donald Trump that he used against them. Throughout the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump kept hammering home the idea that Democrats would not use the term “Islamic Terrorism.” And for a while, he was right. For some reason, they were afraid to use that term. In fact, one could argue that the fact that Democrats eventually started using the phrase is thanks in large part to Trump calling them out on it.
However, now the tides have turned; and though the president has continually demonized and condemned white supremacy ideology and actions, he has shied away from labeling it “terrorism.” He has blamed these attacks on mental illness and violent video games, but hasn’t touched terrorism. And I can’t understand why. Back in 2015, an Islamic terrorist killed 14 people and injured 22 others in San Bernardino, California. As reported at the time, prior to learning that it was an Islamic terrorist, President Obama was ready to move forward with a slew of talking points focused around gun control. However, upon learning that the perpetrators were terrorists, he had to amend his speech, realizing that in this particular issue, nobody was interested in gun control when an ISIS operative just committed 14 murders on American soil. It stands to reason that if President Trump wanted to move the conversation away from gun control, he should absolutely be interested in labeling white supremacist mass killings as terrorism.
And in case this didn’t convince you, just last week CNN released a report that the White House has been battling against the Department of Homeland Security, which wanted to make domestic terrorism a higher priority. So whether it’s from a morality perspective, a continuity perspective, or a political perspective, there is no reason for the White House to shy away from using the word “terrorism” to describe what is going on in this country. In the end, we all should be able to agree that Islamic terrorism and white supremacy terrorism are both dangers to society.
Well, not all of us. There is one person who continues to think that Islamic terrorism is okay: Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. Tlaib’s stance begins with perhaps the most reasonable voice on CNN, Jake Tapper, who, following the two mass shootings above, stated, “You hear conservatives all the time, rightly so in my opinion, talk about the tone set by people in the Arab world. Palestinian leaders and the way they talk about Israelis… justifying. You can’t compare the ideology of Hamas with anything else. But at the same time, either tone matters or it doesn’t.” Basically, Tapper, while not blaming President Trump for the El Paso shooting, was comparing the tone set by his rhetoric to the tone set by Palestinian leaders. He even states that Hamas’ ideology is incomparable so as to make no correlation between Trump and Hamas. He is just requesting a tampering down of the rhetoric. Reasonable enough.
Enter Rashida Tlaib. “Comparing Palestinian human rights advocates to terrorist white nationalists is fundamentally a lie. Palestinians want equality, human dignity & to stop the imprisonment of children,” Tlaib tweeted. “White supremacy is calling for the *domination* of one race w/ the use of violence.”
Just to be clear, what she is saying is that
Hamas is a human rights advocacy group.
Hamas’ main goal is to stop the imprisonment of children.
Hamas does call for the domination of one race with the use of violence.
Well, actually on that last part, she is correct. Hamas does not want to dominate another race through violence; they want to eradicate a race through violence.
In this tweet, Tlaib endorses the murder of Israelis on the basis of race, and she determines that when Palestinian terrorists commit acts of violence, it’s okay because they are doing so in the name of equality. So basically, if you are an individual who feels oppressed, Rashida Tlaib gives you a pass on mass murder. Every time I think I know which member of the “Squad” is the worst, I am given a new reason to reconsider. As of today, Tlaib takes the commanding lead over Ilhan Omar by endorsing Hamas terrorists. Now the ball is back in Omar’s court to see what she can come up with.
Izzo Zwiren works in healthcare administration, constantly concerning himself with the state of healthcare politics. The topic of healthcare has led Izzo to become passionate about a variety of political issues affecting our country today. Aside from politics, Izzo is a fan of trivia, stand-up comedy, and the New York Giants. Izzo lives on Long Island with his wife and two adorable, hilarious daughters.