White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied again this week that the Austin bombings were terrorism, and Austin Chief of Police Brian Manley asked “That’s been the question all along: Is this terrorism? Is this hate-related?”
It is well known by now that “terrorism” is often used by American officials as a dog whistle to refer to acts of political violence carried out by Muslims or by minorities, and that typically white violence of a terroristic sort is characterized by other adjectives (the poor things often seem to be off their meds or at most involved in “hate crimes.”)
This linguistic hypocrisy has got to stop. If the character of the legislation is the problem, let’s change it. We know who some of the victims are, and that tells us a great deal.