You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Springfield income tax increase back to polls in May

Why isn't the K.C. shooting suspect a 'terrorist?'


Headlines this week beg the question: how do we define terrorism? And why isn’t anyone calling the Kansas City shooting suspect a terrorist? (Via KSHB)

“The avowed anti-semite.” (Via CNN)

“Extremist, lone-wolf.” (Via MSNBC)

“Federal authorities now classifying this as a hate crime.” (Via Fox News)

Frazier Glenn Cross is a former KKK leader with political ambitions accused of killing three people outside Jewish centers. The shooting seems to fit the Justice Department’s definition of terrorism: 1) premeditated, 2) political, 3) aimed at civilians, 4) and not carried out by another nation. And yet, this has been classified as a hate crime.

>> Read more trending stories  

Looking at mainstream press, even including the search term “terrorist” along with the suspect’s name, you’d be hard-pressed to find the word used anywhere across the World Wide Web. (Via Google)

And it’s difficult to see why Cross is not a terrorist — in the eyes of we the media or the government — when you start making comparisons.

Like the Kansas City shooter, the Boston Marathon bombers were also American residents, also killed three people and also had political motives. They did not have any ties to extremist groups, be it the KKK or Al Qaeda, but they were labeled terrorists. (Via RT)

When a man named Joseph Stack flew a private plane into an IRS building, killing one person, in 2010, the term for him was “suicide pilot” or even “tax protester.” (Via Los Angeles TimesThe Wall Street Journal)

When Nidal Hasan killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in 2009, the Army classified it as at workplace shooting, but a Senate report called it “the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11.” (Via ABC)

NYU’s Remi Brulin is writing a book on this issue — America’s use of the word “terrorism.” He spoke to us by phone about the Kansas City suspect.

BRULIN: “The murders that took place Sunday were politically and ideologically motivated. They were obviously extremely violent acts … It seems pretty obvious that if that person had been Muslim or an Arab American, many more people would be calling that an act of terrorism.” (Via CBS)

And the Southern Poverty Law Center agrees.

“This incident would be described as domestic terrorism if it had been Islamic extremism … This was a political act just like an Al Qaeda attack would be.” (Via CNN)

And, race and religion aside, there’s likely another kind of bias at play: the media’s penchant for sensationalism. (Via The Boston Globe)

The Boston bombing was, by far, the most heavily covered story of 2013 among the network newscasts. It was certainly a huge story, worthy of coverage. But it also had narrative elements that lent themselves to TV news: a manhunt, a police shootout and an explosion captured on camera. (Via PBS,ABCThe Tyndall Report)

The many mass shootings that claim a similar casualty count — like in Kansas Sunday — just don’t get the same attention and usually don’t stoke fear of terrorist connections.

But why does it matter that the actual word “terrorism” is used? Well, to weigh the importance of the word terrorism, consider all the things the U.S. government does to fight terror that it doesn’t do to fight hate crimes.

There is, of course, the War on Terror. Then there’s drone warfare against those accused of terror, detainment in Guantanamo without trial justified by concerns over terror. (Via The GuardianU.S. Department of Defense)

So for now there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer for why officials and the media only refer to some mass killers as terrorists — even though the question isn’t new.

It comes up after mass shootings, after targeted bombings, and today about the Kansas City suspect who, at least for now, is charged with murder and hate crimes. (Via SalonThe GuardianKCTV)

See more at newsy.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Captured: Fugitive wanted in death of Orlando Master Sgt. Debra Clayton
Captured: Fugitive wanted in death of Orlando Master Sgt. Debra Clayton

Markeith Loyd, the man wanted in connection with the shooting death of MAster Sgt. Debra Clayton, has been caught.   JUST IN: Here's accused police sergeant killer, Markeith Loyd, being taken into custody at the Orlando Police Department. http://at.wftv.com/2iMLJYdPosted by WFTV Channel 9 on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 Earlier, Orlando police...
How roller-coaster temps affect your health 
How roller-coaster temps affect your health 

Temperatures have been on a dramatic swing for much of January.  We started the month with temperatures nearly 15 degrees above normal before falling to the coolest daily high temperature for January 6th when the temperature only reached 10 degrees.  We dipped below zero on the morning of January 7th. But just 5 days later, temperatures soared...
Wells Fargo rejects 'offensive and antisocial' Black Lives Matter debit card
Wells Fargo rejects 'offensive and antisocial' Black Lives Matter debit card

A schoolteacher in Baltimore, Maryland, says her submission of a personalized Wells Fargo debit card that contained the message "Black Lives Matter" was rejected for being "offensive and antisocial." The Washington Post reported that Rachel Nash, who is white, came up with the idea for the card out of frustration and wanted to use...
Clark County teen charged after alleged school threats
Clark County teen charged after alleged school threats

A Springfield teen is expected to appear in Clark County Municipal Court on Wednesday after he was accused of texting a series of alleged threats that led district officials to lock down Northwestern High School last month. Brandon C. Bowen, 18, of North Hampton, has been charged with inducing panic in connection with the incident, according to municipal...
Clark County expert urges parents to talk about suicide
Clark County expert urges parents to talk about suicide

A local psychologist says parents should talk to their children after public suicide attempts, like a recent Clark County teen who allegedly streamed her attempt to kill herself live on Facebook. Clark County sheriff’s deputies and Moorefield Twp. EMS responded to a 9-1-1 call on Monday from a friend of the teen who said he had seen her live...
More Stories