When a white man runs a plane into a building, it is suicide. When a person of color does the same, it is terrorism.
The millions of dollars spent on aviation security, playing racist and homophobic jeopardy games, and detaining people with Arabic flashcards at airports did not prevent Joseph Andrew Stark from crashing a plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas.
Can anyone justify the extreme post-911 security theater obsession with preventing “airplane hijacking” when it is much easier to torch your home and fly a plane into a building, or commit numerous other acts of terror? Yet the Austin police even came out to assert that this was not “an act of terrorism” but rather a single “isolated incident.” There is no mass hysteria on our airwaves.
Joe Stark apparently left a note on his website, explaining his various discontents with the Internal Revenue Service and the corrupt Catholic Church in a coherent and lucid manner. The FBI reacted to the crash by stepping in to quickly remove the homicide note from the website, actually reinforcing Stark’s message through this act of censorship. However, copies of it are widely available online.
Most of us would dig deep into the reasons that compelled Stark — a white, male United States citizen — to commit this act of terrorism against the state. But when a person of color such as Major Nadal Hassan or Umar Farouk Abdul Mutalla makes the mistake of allegedly committing an act of violence, the country reacts in a knee-jerk manner, labels the person as a “terrorist,” and discards all rhyme and reason into the dustbin.
Joe Stark fits the FBI definition of a “terrorist,” but his act against the government will be viewed as a suicide and homicide. TSA won’t start racially-profiling white men at airports. The phrase “White Terrorist” won’t make it on the airwaves. And America will soon forget about this “isolated random act” by one man.
Video Credit: Associated Press