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American Terrorists — Will They Be Sent to Guantanamo? Probably Not, If They’e White

September 15th was the 45 year anniversarry of the 16th Street Church Bombing.  Some background, for those who don’t know.  In 1963, a group of white men who were members of the KKK planted bombs in a black church on a Sunday morning.  When the bomb went off it destroyed a good portion of the church, blew out the windows of nearby buildings, and instantly killed four young girls.  I guess those uppity negros learned their lesson, right?

4 Girls Killed at 16th Street Baptist

4 Girls Killed at 16th Street Baptist

It took decades for all of the men involved in the bombing to be arrested, tried, and convicted.  Even though they bragged about it to friends and family.  Even though the FBI had evidence that they did it.  Why did it take so long?  Not just because it was the South in the 60s, which was bad enough, but because dear old J Edgar Hoover saw fit to withold that evidence from prosecutors.

Just so you understand what I’m saying: in 1963 officers of our government purposefully withheld evidence that these men were guilty of killing four young girls and injuring at least 22 others because the government officials in question were dirty, racist bastards.  It wasn’t until 1978 that the first of the murdering psychopaths was put in jail, and it wasn’t until 2002 when two others finally had their asses handed to them.  The forth one died before he could be convicted.

1978

2002

This is how long families had to wait for justice.

I told you that story to tell you this one.

On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers.

A Kos diarist posted about it, and the local Dayton media reported on it, but a cursory Google News search shows that hardly anyone is reporting on this.

Someone, or a group of someones, attacked children in a house of worship.  Could have, and probably intended to kill children and adults in a house of worship.

What the fuck is wrong with this goddamned country.

And no, I do not care if at some time or in some place a Muslim individual has also killed or harmed children or people in a house of worship.  That does not fucking excuse this behavior.  It is not ever, EVER okay to respond to ideological differences of opinion or faith by ATTEMPTING TO KILL PEOPLE.

Attacking children in a house of worship is on a short list of things that make you so worthless that shit starts to look like a good candidate for president.

And how many years do you think it will take for these families to see justice for this?  How many more years do we have of it being all right to attack Muslims or people we think might be Muslims the way it was completely okay to attack black people in 1963?  Which government officials will claim the glorious honor of being the ones to hush up evidence, or turn a blind eye, or just not give a shit hard enough in the victims’ general direction?

People who might be Muslim, or Arab, or look kinda Muslim or Arab or brown or strange have been sent to Guantanamo for being on the wrong side of the street on a Tuesday.  If we ever deign to catch these worthless bastards, will our government prosecute them as terorists?  Or will they decline to even label it a hate crime?

People (usually white people) often wonder why I’m not patriotic.  This. Is. Why.

16th Street Baptist Church after the bombing

16th Street Baptist Church after the bombing

25 comments to American Terrorists — Will They Be Sent to Guantanamo? Probably Not, If They’e White

  • I have extremely sad news. Someone did remember the 16th Street Baptist Church bombings, in the worst possible way:

    Chemical irritant empties Islamic Society of Greater Dayton’s mosque

  • GallingGalla

    People (usually white people) often wonder why I’m not patriotic. This. Is. Why.

    Ditto. I don’t know what else to say at this point.

  • Mary

    When I opened my copy of the News & Observer and got that Obsession DVD, along with the N&O’s putzy “free speech” explanation of why McClatchy papers accepted it, I could literally feel the blood go out of my face, I was so angry.

    Somewhat myopically I thought it was an attempt to swing the election against Barack Obama, to emotionally frighten anybody who still had misgivings about his name or background.

    I did not imagine this kind of evil. EVIL.

    McClatchy and all newspapers who accepted their dictum to run this DVD – the assault on these innocent CHILDREN is on your heads.

  • Patrick

    Normally, I’d say to wait what happens before condemning it. But in cases like this, I agree, it would be a surprise to see a quick and harsh hand of the law grab the perpetrators, so much so that I’d want to see it happen before *lauding* it rather than cautioning against condemnation.

  • carolyn

    As if the lack of news coverage wasn’t sickening enough, the local police are now saying there was no evidence that this was a hate crime –in fact, they’re not even sure it was a crime at all: http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/09/29/ddn092908mosquefoloweb.html

  • Maggie

    “The men didn’t say anything to her (before she was sprayed),” Biehl said. “There was nothing left at the scene or anything that makes us believe this is a biased crime.”

    They attacked a fucking mosque! During Ramadan!
    How the hell is that not evidence that they were aiming to hurt Muslims? Do the police think they just chose that place and time at fucking random?

    This is ridiculous. And the fact that not even the AP is covering it is even more ridiculous. I’m furious as a human and as a journalist right now.

  • When I did some research for a post a year or so ago, I found out something that surprised me, which was that there were LOTS of black churches bombed in the US during the 50s and 60s. They were swept under the historical rug as far as “mainstream” (white) media culture went, just this one remaining in majority public consciousness.

    So no, not really surprising that it’s only on the blogs.

  • Not surprising, but infuriating.

    Also not on enough blogs.

    The police should absolutely not dismiss that this is a hate crime, but of course, Islamophobia. :(

    There is something that will irritate eyes and cause coughing that won’t leave any detectable residue, though – it is harmful to breathe (I once got a breath of it and it felt like I was trying to inhale a solid ball of dust). It’s ozone.

    The main problem with that idea is that it breaks down into O2 very quickly, and thus isn’t supplied in aerosol spray cans.

  • hran

    “What the fuck is wrong with this goddamned country.”

    “People (usually white people) often wonder why I’m not patriotic.”

    I don’t think that a white majority America will ever be good enough for you. Your rhetoric suggests that separatism is the only way. We should work to form ethno-states: blacks live here, whites there. Would you agree?

  • Sachab28

    Its also hard for me to feel patriotic because of this country’s past and present. It really pisses me off. Would I like the races to be separate? No! Hell No! We’re all apart of the HUMAN RACE. Why can’t people just get that?

  • I think there are many reasons to not be patriotic. I have and will probably never be patriotic because there is SO much wrong with this country. This country was founded on corruption and continues the same, exact way since it was founded; nothing at all has changed. We, as citizens, have been told that this country has changed over time and we are often told that it is for the better, but we are no better and are no better off when it comes to the amount of corruption in this country, than we were when it was founded hundreds of years ago. The “rights” we have now were never really ours, are hardly exercised and are used merely as brainwashing, fear mongering talking points to put the radicals in their place.

    So I agree with you, there is no reason to be patriotic and it isn’t because I’m some radical person, it is because America has failed me several times; America has failed all of us–Just not all of us see it and thankfully, you are one that does.

  • Saladin

    Thanks for writing on this, ABW. Just…thanks.

  • hran,

    I don’t know about the “majority of white America” but any person of any color who suppresses evidence or declines to pursue justice in cases such as these aren’t “good enough” for me at all. Are they good enough for you?

  • Just more shame and stupidity the U.S. of A. has to bear. OBAMA, oops, sorry bad case OBAMA hiccups OBAMA OBAMA

  • MissMouse

    How is it possible, that this isn’t being talked about, let alone reported?

    I don’t care if the victims were green with pink polka dots… this should have been front page news!

    Attacking any sort of church is so heinous. Attacking children is just as bad. To do both?

    Thank you ABW for writing about this!

  • I feel so sick and angry about this, too.
    And I understand if you don’t feel patriotic.
    I’m on your side.
    And I’m white.

  • abw

    Angry Black Woman, people are at least halfway at, if not at, the point where they think that it is just find to attack Muslims. I do not agree with every stance they had either, and 9/11 was a little cold, but lets be real, the ring leaders criticizing them have similar misogynistic views, believe in harsh double standards and do heinous things on the level that they love to call Muslims on; and this country has done 9/11 type attacks on Middle Eastern soil in addition to economically exploiting it(which means some of their grievances are shared by the most of the world.) That’s why when people carry on about oil, I’m like okay, they are displaying a little moodiness, but where was our concern for them when we were ripping them off left and right!

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