Thursday, October 12, 2017
It's Not Terrorism in TrumpLand If the Bomber Is a White Guy
A guy dressed in black with a black hat walks into the Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina shortly after midnight last Friday. He's carrying a black bag. A short while later he walks out only without the bag. It's all captured on security cameras.
Alert airport security staff summoned the bomb dog. The dog found the bag and reacted as it was trained to respond to explosive. Inside was an ammonium nitrate/fuel oil bomb (same stuff used by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma) with plenty of nails and bits for shrapnel - and a timer set to detonate the bomb at 6 a.m.
The suspect was tracked down, arrested and promptly spilled his guts. He admitted he was "preparing to fight a war on U.S. soil" and that the bomb was intended to be his opening salvo. Ordinarily this would be perfect fodder for Donald Trump to rage against Muslims and people of colour, any group he's already targeted. Only President Queeg hasn't said a word.
The would-be bomber wasn't Muslim. He wasn't a person of colour. He was just another damned rightwing nutjob, the sort that Trump cultivates as part of his base. The sort that Trump would say when he wasn't trying to blow up innocent civilians was a "fine person."
The story didn’t go viral and Trump didn’t tweet about it because the bomb was not placed by an immigrant, or a Muslim, or a Mexican. It was placed there by a good ol’ white man, Michael Christopher Estes. Unlike the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, whose motive is still hard to discern, Estes wanted to be very clear that his ultimate goal was to accelerate a war on American soil.
Sorry if it sounds like you’ve heard this story before. I’m as tired of writing it as you are reading it, but you know good and well that if Estes was a young Muslim — hell, if he had ever even visited a mosque in the past 25 years — that Trump would be tweeting about him right this very moment to tout how essential a Muslim ban is for American safety.
A Muslim attacker’s mugshot would become a meme across the conservative media. Mainstream American outlets would be covering the heroic bravery of those who thwarted the terrorist plot. We’d all be seeing footage of the perpetrator being walked from the police car to the jail and from the jail to the court room. Out loud, people would talk and tweet about the man’s family and friends and networks — wondering where he was radicalized, and if anyone else feels the way he does.