Terrorists I am scared of

I lived in New York through 9/11, orange alerts, red alerts, purple alerts and all the rest, and never really felt a visceral fear of Al Qaeda, any more than I felt afraid of the IRA living in London during the bombing campaign. The danger was real, of course, but perhaps because of the way the governments in both countries manipulated and amplified the threat to suit their own purposes, I soon became quite blase.
The kindly-looking old guy mentioned in this article, however, scares the living shit out of me. He’s the owner of the “Redneck Shop” in Laurens, South Carolina, and according to this article he said of an eight-year-old boy cycling past his shop “There’s a nigger there I’d like to hang.”
The occasion of his comment was a convention of the white supremacist Aryan Nations group. Other comments from the meeting:
Hispanics “breed like rats, worse than niggers, and send their money back to Mexico. Only thing I got for them is a bullet right between the eyes. Ship their dead butts back to Mexico.”
“The biggest lie besides the Holocaust is that Jews are the chosen people. Satan is their father.”
“Blacks are soulless mud people who never had Yahweh’s breath of life.”
“You want to see blood in the streets? I DO!”
Fortunately their numbers are not large – probably no more than a few hundred. And they split into two factions recently – one group hates Jews so much that they support Al Qaeda because they see it as “doing the Lord’s work” in killing Jews, while the other hates Jews but not quite enough to overcome its hatred of Arabs. With so much hate flowing around, it can understandably be complex work deciding who to pin it on.
The group was also weakened according to the article when it “lost a $6.3 million lawsuit brought by Victoria and Jason Keenan, a mother and son who, while looking for a lost wallet on a lonely Idaho road, had been chased, shot at and beaten by Aryan Nations guards. The Keenans’ offense? The guards fantasized the two were militant Jews; they were, in fact, of Cherokee descent.”
The numbers are small, but the potential for violence is clearly real. And it was people with similar views who were responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing (although funnily enough white men were not scapegoated after that, as Muslims have been since 9/11).
Even more worrying to me than these fringe lunatics, however, are the much larger numbers of people who share similar views, albeit in less extreme form and less openly expressed. Scroll down to the bottom of the article, for example, and read the two comments left by readers. You might, as I did, expect to see people expressing shock, outrage and things like that. Instead you’ll see them complaining about affirmative action and saying that black people are racist too.
It’s these people who are terrifying to me, almost as much as the owner of the Redneck Shop. Because while the redneck is out lynching the kid on the bicycle, it’s these resentful, angry, uncomprehending white people who will stand by and do nothing. And in case anyone thinks this shit is confined to America, check out the support for the British National Party and their ilk, as well as a previous post of mine on Noel Martin, a Jamaican-born Brit who was paralysed by neo-Nazis in Berlin. With people like this around, and Islamophobia on the rise, it’s more important than ever for people of good conscience to state loudly and unequivocally that this stuff is abhorrent, hateful and just downright ignorant.

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There are 9 comments

  1. What the westerners need to understand is the Muslim world is just as scarce in it’s share of devoted haters.

    This idea is really not going into the common minds of the west.

  2. Hi Manas,

    You’re right. The newspapers here in England are full of stories every day about the terrible threats posed by “Muslims”. To judge the character of 1.2 billion people by the actions of a handful is clearly absurd.

    But it’s not just ignorant, either – it’s irresponsible and dangerous. This kind of thing leads directly to attacks by ill-informed tabloid news readers on innocent Muslims. I remember how shortly after September 11th, a Sikh was killed by a mob of white Americans in Arizona. They saw his turban and thought that meant he was a Muslim, therefore a terrorist. That combination of anger and stupidity is scary indeed.

    By the way, I took a look at your blog and liked what you write. Will visit again. Thanks for your comments.

  3. That is the problem. If we did not have television and news channel that comes from the west, it would be easy to make us believe a similar thing: that all westerners are savages, bent upon destrying all non-christian non-white civilizations. But most of us know pretty well that that is not the case.

    That seems to suggest to me that Al-Jazeera has to watched more often in the west.

  4. so you are scared of windbag bigots who talk loud and do nothing. But you are not concerned about a group that wants to replace global democracy with Islam and killed thousands in New York. The same people that had control of Afghanistan and routinely murdered women and stopped them from being educated or participating in any kind of normal life.

    Mkay. I hope people like you never gain political power again. Clearly a chamberlain supporter.

  5. Apart from the attacks on the WTC in 2001, wingnuts have perpetrated more terrorist attacks and killed more people than extremist muslims.

    However, there is no war on wingnuts and people like the Aryan Nations can happily “plan terrorism” without any state intervention.

    1. Wingnuts have committed more Terrorism?
      Is that the “Story” your leftist Propagandist are going with?

      Marxism and Fascist Islam are the most evil movements in the
      history of mankind. Most recently 2,000,000 have been terrorized
      and brutalized and starved to death in North Korea (Marxism founded
      by the dirty Jew Scum analogous to the scum that run your Progressive Party)

      2,000,000 were also bombed brutalized and raped out of existence in the
      Sudan (by Fascist Muslims) Oh yeah and since then Syria has become a
      destroyed Country. And your dirty Leftist/Fascist Presidente gave arms
      to the Syrian Savages who have murdered thousands. 9/11 cost over
      $ 1 Trillion Dollars and 3,000 dead they intended to kill 50,000!
      The first attack was committed under your Presidente Clinton.

      What’s beautiful about you disgusting Scum is you will never admit you
      are Evil and Vile. Do not worry Hitler, Lenin and Muhammad never admitted
      they were vile before they Died either (Comrade Azzzhole!)

      1. Hi Bernie

        Nobody ever admits they’re “Evil” or “Vile”. I personally think it’s pretty vile to talk about “dirty Jew Scum”, but I know you’ll never see it that way.

        Just to clarify, I believe that in his comment eight years ago that seems to have offended you so much, Rich was talking about acts of terrorism committed by individuals or groups in the U.S. You are talking about something different, abuses of power by states. That’s not normally counted as terrorism, because states like to preserve a monopoly on violence. I’m all for including state violence as terrorism, but I don’t think it’s what Rich was talking about.

        For the record, I have never come across anyone on the left who supports the states of Syria or North Korea, or any “Fascist Muslims” in Sudan.

  6. Hi rich,

    Thanks for the comment. I like that: “war on wingnuts”. It has a nice ring to it, much more pleasing to the ear than “war on terror”, and would probably stand a greater chance of success. After all, there are far more terrorists per square foot in Dade County, Florida, than in the mountains of Tora Bora.


    Thanks for stopping by. As rich points out, and as the original article mentioned, these people do not “do nothing” – far from it. And yes, a guy wanting to hang an eight-year-old boy on a bike because of the colour of his skin does scare me. It scares me deeply.

    Don’t quite understand your second paragraph: “Mkay. I hope people like you never gain political power again. Clearly a chamberlain supporter.”

    First of all, will Neville Chamberlain be used for the rest of time as a slur on anyone who advocates peace?? Interestingly, John F. Kennedy faced the same accusation from his own Air Force Chief of Staff when he chose dilpomacy over military escalation during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I’d say that all in all, appeasers have brought far more benefit to the world than warmongers, despite that single much-publicised failure.

    And secondly, “people like me” have never been in political power. But don’t worry, we’re working on it 🙂

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