The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
Americans, particularly conservative Americans, especially conservative Americans, tend to imagine terrorists as brown people with foreign sounding names that follow Allah. Suggest that a white Christian could be a terrorist and you’ll be guaranteed an earful of outrage at the very notion. Yet, what else would call the dangerously escalating acts being carried out against a family in Arizona?
Felix Bermea and his partner live in a mostly Mormon neighborhood with their four children, one of whom is disabled. A little over two months ago, a series of incidents that began with obscene graffiti on cars in front of their home has gotten worse and now the family fears for their lives. The local police have been slow to respond and have only done so after a complaint was filed with internal affairs.
Since the graffiti, bushes have been set on fire, one of them close enough to potentially set the house itself on fire, an unknown number of perpetrators banged on the doors and windows at night and, most recently, the house was broken into and profanity left in the children’s rooms. This is a clear pattern of escalating behavior against a very specific target. The police inadvertently confirmed this when they attempted to brush Bermea off by claiming that no other similar activity was occurring in the neighborhood. One would think that people paid to investigate would be smart enough to figure out why that might be. Bermea has come to the same conclusion, “You got to act really dumb to pretend something’s not happening. You really have to reach to say that this is not a targeted family.”
While the identity of the attackers is not known, the possibility that they are not young, white, male and Christian is slim. Bermea and his partner are Hispanic and the atmosphere that the religious right has fostered in this country is one of hate and fear of both homosexuals and Hispanics. As usual, conservatives will claim that it is just another ISOLATED INCIDENT in one breath while stating that gays should be rounded up into concentration camps or cheering a 4 year old’s song of hate in the next.
We’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars in response to a single attack on our citizens by foreign terrorists but ignore thousands of attacks carried out by domestic terrorists. Must we wait until Mr. Bermea and his family and others just like them are injured or killed? Isn’t it time we demanded that our government protect us from a threat just as great as al Qaeda? Or do we keep pretending that good, white Christian males that attack and terrorize whoever they are told to hate are doing God’s work?
Read more here.
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