Last week, a Muslim man was arrested during a child porn raid in Dunedin, Florida. During the raid, the police found in this man’s closet 20 guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, knives, bombs, bomb making materials, and aerial photos of a Tampa-area elementary school, middle school, and water treatment facility. There was also a letter vowing “bloody revenge”.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “How is it possible that a horrible terrorist attack was narrowly averted and I haven’t heard a thing about it?”, I have a simple explanation and you’ll be completely unsurprised.
You see, it wasn’t really a Muslim planning to shoot up a school. It was a white man. And now you know why you didn’t hear about this story. In America, when white men do bad things (or are prevented from doing bad things) it’s not terrorism and we the public don’t need to worry ourselves about it. We have to save our outrage for when a Muslim kills someone. How else will we justify dropping bombs on civilians in other countries?
But wait, it gets infinitely worse. This man, 24-year-old Randall Drake, who had all of these weapons, photos of schools and this certifiably insane revenge note:
This is the guy who was let loose on a measly $20,000 bail. The guy who had guns, bombs, kiddie porn, pictures of schools and a note that screams “I’m going to kill a whole lot of kids before blowing my brains out” was let go because….what? He’s not an imminent threat to the public? Because he promised to hold off on having his bloody revenge until his court date? Because his mom and dad said he’s a good kid?
Can you imagine a Muslim being let go under similar circumstances? It’s far easier to imagine that after they were paraded in front of the cameras for the evening news, a Muslim vowing “bloody revenge” would be stuffed into a black hole and left to rot without a trial. We certainly would never release them on bail. They’d be far too dangerous, after all.
This latest example of the invisibility white privilege confers to white terrorists, specifically white right wing terrorists (Drake’s political leanings are currently unknown but his anger at women and penchant for guns point in a certain direction), comes just two weeks after Michael Christopher Estes, a right wing extremist with a low melanin count, attempted to detonate an explosive at a North Carolina airport to kick off a “war on America soil”. Again, the story wasn’t much reported on and why should it have been? It’s not really “terrorism” when it comes from the right, right?
The curious blind spot the America legal system has for white violence is inevitably going to get a lot of people killed. Sooner or later, a judge is going to let another Randall Drake go on bail and he’s going to rush out to get his “revenge” while he still can (that’s assuming Drake doesn’t do it himself). “I didn’t feel he was a threat to the public” will be of small comfort to the families grieving the loss of their loved ones because a judge saw a white man and automatically assumed he was one of the good guys.
I’m not saying we should treat all white men as a threat to society but for the love of all that’s holy, when they literally write a letter saying they’re going to take their bloody revenge, have a target picked out, and enough guns and ammo to do it? Maybe not send them home with a pat on the head. It just seems like common sense.
UPDATE: It seems as if not the entire world is insane after all. After Drake was released on bond, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, unlike the judge, did think in fact think Drake was an imminent threat to the public and immediately snatched him up for a mental health evaluation. Unfortunately those can only legally last for up to 72 hours and then Drake must be released. It remains to be seen what happens next.
– This article kills fascists
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I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.