Friday, February 24, 2017

Who's Ignoring Domestic Terrorism Based On Race?

One of the faces of domestic American terrorism:
racist killer Adam W. Purinton
Earlier today Donald Trump was quick to take the stage at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland to rant about deporting brown-skinned immigrants.

As the New York Times reported, Trump's rambling CPAC speech "included a promise to throw illegal immigrants 'the hell out of the country' and a recitation of his law-and-order campaign promises." 

Right-wing hot-air rhetoric custom tailored to his overwhelmingly white conservative audiences that are replete with coded racist overtones and the intentional vilification and "othering" of people with dark skin.

45 has been big on pedantic inflammatory blathering about kicking people off welfare, simplistically characterizing cities like Chicago as vast post-apocalyptic wastelands and his incessant finger pointing at terrorist attacks abroad; both real or, as in the case of Sweden, imagined.

But interestingly, the White House has been virtually silent about a recent act of violent domestic terror that resulted in the shooting death of an innocent person of color and the wounding of two other people.  

On Wednesday night patrons at a popular sports bar in the affluent suburb of Olathe, Kansas called Austin's Bar and Grill were watching a Kansas Jayhawks basketball game on TV when witnesses heard 51-year old Adam Purinton yell out "get out of my country" before he pulled out a gun and began shooting at two Indian men.

According to an article on the Huffington Post, 32-year-old Alok R. Masadani and 24-year-old Ian P. Grillot both suffered gunshot wounds, and a third man of Indian descent named Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot and killed.

Grillot, who is white, did not know the the two locally-employed engineers from Hyderabad, India, but according to an article bartender Garret Bohnen said in an interview, "From what I understand, when he [the gunman] was throwing racial slurs at the two gentlemen, Ian stood up for them." 

Like other terrified patrons Grillot hid as Purinton fired nine shots, but then he attempted to subdue the gunman as he tried to escape, but was shot in the chest.

Victims Masadani, Kuchibhotla (center) and Grillot
Purinton fled across state lines and eventually found his way to an Applebees 70 miles away in Clinton, Missouri where he allegedly told a bartender that he'd "just killed two Middle Eastern men."

It took the White House two whole days to comment on the shooting, by the time Sean Spicer offered a statement about the incident earlier today, it was to insist the shooting was not related to Trump's anti-immigrant fear-mongering.

At a press conference on Thursday an FBI spokesman said the agency is still trying to determine if the senseless attack was motivated by racial bias.

By any definition the shooting that took place in a crowded bar on Wednesday night has all the characteristics of a terrorist attack.

So where's the heated condemnation and muscular anti-terrorism rhetoric from the White House?

Maybe that righteous indignation only applies when the attacker is Muslim and has dark skin.

Perhaps the problem for the White House in this case is one of perception since Purinton, a 51-year-old white American male who looks exactly like a textbook definition of a Trump supporter, doesn't fit into the current White House definition of "other."

Regardless, what's becoming clear about the High-Chair President is that sometimes his silences can be just as revealing as his endless Twitter messages and rambling speeches.

For the past two weeks he's done little but blather on about terrorism and the danger that unprovoked attacks based on hatred pose to innocent people.

But for 48 hours this week the same guy who watches television all the time and Tweets about crap as meaningless as a retail chain not carrying his daughter Ivanka's fashion accessories, says nothing about a white American man hurling racial slurs at and then shooting two innocent Indian men minding their own business at a crowded bar full of patrons - while yelling "get out of my country"?

I mean honestly, who does that sound like? Same guy who told the audience at CPAC earlier today that he planned to throw illegal immigrants "the hell out of the country"?

Why don't Trump and Spicer mention domestic terror
attacks against people of color in America?
Remember a few weeks ago when Trump stood in front of an audience at the U.S. Central Command and leveled false accusations about the media underreporting incidents of terrorism?

Specifically he said:

"It's gotten to the point where it's not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it."

Later that day, in what can only be described as a case of the chaotic Trump administration trying to coordinate their flagrant (and frequent) lies, White House press secretary Sean Spicer cited "several instances" where he claimed the media had not adequately reported terrorist acts committed or supported by the Islamic State.

The White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks that it claimed were underreported.

In response to those wildly unsubstantiated accusations leveled by the White House, on February 7th the BBC published a list of the 78 incidents and carefully detailed the ones they had reported on - all but 12.

Well the media is reporting on the terror attack that took place in Olathe, Kansas - but this time it's Trump who isn't talking about it.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla and his wife Sunayana Dumala
Last week Trump spent at least three days talking about a terror attack in Sweden that never happened, but in three days he's said nothing substantive about an actual terror attack that actually did happen on American soil where one person was killed and two injured?

He's got some balls using ten minutes of his CPAC speech earlier today talking about "fake news media" being the "enemy of the people".

And thus Srinivas Kuchibhotla, yet another unarmed innocent person, joins the ranks of The Counted.

According to the latest statistics from that number now stands at 2,320 for 2017.

2,320 human lives, and it's only February 24th.

Just remember folks, one of the first pieces of legislation the Republican-majority House and Senate went after was overturning an Obama administration order that made it tougher for people with mental illnesses to obtain firearms - think about that when Purinton tries to plead insanity.

Who's the real "enemy of the people" in this country?

No comments: