Now that America knows the name of the terrorist behind the serial bombings in Austin, Texas, it’s awfully hard not to point out some pretty common themes: He’s a young, white, conservative, religious man, who neighbors will undoubtedly describe as a “shy” or “nerdy kid.” But that profile describes the killer of more Americans since 9/11 than any other demographic — angry white guys are responsible for the deaths of more US citizens than Muslims by a pretty wide margin.
That’s not the narrative that the Right, and particularly the White House, are trying to spin, however.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said — with a straight face — that “[t]here is no apparent nexus to terrorism at this time.”
.@POTUS mourns for victims of the recent bombings in Austin. We are monitoring the situation, federal authorities are coordinating w/ local officials. We are committed to bringing perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice. There is no apparent nexus to terrorism at this time.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 20, 2018
That’s funny, Sarah, because I’m guessing the people of Austin feel pretty goddamn terrorized. You might as well have just said, “he’s white, so obviously it’s not terrorism.”
That seems to be the litmus test for what is and is not terrorism in America — the color of one’s skin or their religion, and likely a combination of both. But if Mark Anthony Corbitt, the Austin bomber, had been born Mohammed Abdul Kashif instead, there is little doubt that there would have been no such statement from Sanders.
In fact, it would hardly have been surprising, had the bomber even been suspected of being a Muslim, for Trump himself to have weighed in on the situation much sooner than after the bomber was already dead.
But this is the game they play in the Republican Party, and in this White House.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images