Similar Terrorist Action, America’s Different Reaction

in The Word is Text by

by Jose Zepeda

Mass killings have been swelling rapidly across the United States of America. Over the last two months, 98 deaths and near 542 injuries have been caused by individuals targeting random innocent people. Four key events unraveled in four different states.

On October 1, 2017, a music festival was targeted and showered with bullets in Las Vegas, Nevada. The white male suspect left 58 dead and about 500 individuals injured.

Weeks later on October 31, 2017 there was another tragic mass killing. This time taking the lives of 9 victims and injuring 12 in Manhattan, New York. The colored skin male suspect rammed a Home Depot rental truck into a crowd of people.

On Sunday November 5, 2017 a white male entered a church in Sutherland, Texas and released fire with an assault rifle. The gunman killed 26 people and injured 20 others. The youngest death was a 5-year-old and the oldest was a 72-year-old.

Not even a week and a half passed before another tragic attack. On November 14, 2017, a gunman fired a weapon near an elementary school in Northern California early in the morning. 5 victims were pronounced dead and 10 were severely injured.

The four men gruesomely murdered 98 innocent people in four different states. They caused sadness, confusion, and harm too so many families. The whole United States of America was emotionally disturbed and filled with terror because of these actions. These four men are nothing less or nothing more than terrorist. A terrorist attack is a surprise attack involving the use of violence against civilians and that is exactly what they did.

These four situations were covered by many news channels and even the president of the United States had something to say about it. The news channels referred to one out of four situations as “terror attacks” or an “act of terror.” Likewise, the president of the U.S only referred to one of these situations as a terrorist attack while communicated to the public through twitter.

Three out of the four individuals behind the mass murders were white. The fourth suspect was a non-white male who was born in Uzbekistan. He was the only individual referred as a terrorist by most news channels and president Trump. United States president Trump made comments on all four situation and terrorism only came up once.

The United States of America lacks self-judgment. As a nation, we make it a norm to try and sweep our actions under the rug. If American’s make a mistake or do something wrong, it becomes a different scenario as supposed to an immigrant carrying out that same action. In the case of terrorist attacks by Americans we often make the story more about the victims and it’s more emotional. When an immigrant carries out an attack the story becomes more about the killer and if he had any affiliation with terrorist groups. Anti-terror investigation teams arrive at certain scenes depending who carried out the attack. The U.S points with a bigger finger when immigrant suspects are at fault.

News channels and U.S. Representatives should keep in mind that these mass murders are terrorist attack and each individual that committed these horrible murders are terrorist. Each of these individuals deserves to have the horrible title of being called a terrorist. The word terrorist is a very heavy term and we cannot continue to apply this word only towards immigrant suspects. It starts to create a stigma towards all immigrants little by little. Eventually individuals within our communities will start to believe that only immigrants are capable of doing such awful murders. It’s going to be another reason why innocent immigrants are treated differently throughout their everyday lives in the U.S. It’ll be more cases of immigrants being treated differently at work by coworkers, at stores by employees, at schools by teachers, and on the streets by the police.

We need to remember that anyone can be a terrorist, Americans can be terrorist. The U.S news channels and representatives might not want to use the term terrorist towards American suspects because of fear of judgment towards the United States citizens. They do not realize that the fact that they cannot judge individuals fairly is what actually makes the U.S seem beyond imperfect.

The El Popo Newspaper was first published in 1970 by students concerned about the lack of a Chicana and Chicano perspective in newspapers. As a result, students called the newspaper, El Popo. The paper was named El Popo after the volcano El Popocatepetl. Involved in Chicana/o Movement of the 60’s and 70’s, students saw a connection between the smoke spewing volcano ready to erupt and the student movement ready to engage. Thus, throughout the El Popo’s forty-six years, the name continues to symbolize and to represent the spirit of each generation of students that contribute to the pages of the El Popo Newspaper. Faculty Advisor/Publisher George Sanchez, MA Carlos R. Guerrero, Ph.D., 1992-2021