Recent terrorist attacks, like the one that happened this past Saturday, provoke the same emotions out of innocent strangers that are harbored within the people who act out on them—anger and fear. Since the last election, protests and various community demonstrations have increasingly had acts of terror, civil disorder and racism, perhaps because the lack of compassion towards each other, feelings of nonacceptance, and believing that racial equality is a threat is exactly what terrorists like this feed on, and it helps to expand their base.
I’m sure you probably have heard of the Charlotteville, Virginia “Unite the Right” Rally / Rally against confederate monuments being taken down that quickly went awry the afternoon of August 12, 2017 by now. Protesters from all around the country drove in the state bringing their weapons and their tiki torches, and with the thick mix of hate speech, hostility soon got out of hand. Two police officers died after a crash while surveying the demonstrations by helicopter, and a man plowed his Dodge Challenger into into counter-protesters, killing one woman named Heather Hayer, and injuring over a dozen more. Officials have since identified the suspect as James Alex Fields Jr, a 20 year old guy from Maumee, Ohio who tried to flee afterward but was quickly caught by police. Like so many other protests before this one, it culminated in senseless death and violence, leaving 19 injured in the car incident alone. The victims were of many different races, and backgrounds.
The president tweeted a few messages on Twitter, and also made a brief statement to press and the country following the attack, in which he did not at all call out by name the specific groups that were involved, stating in part:
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides.”