A new Washington Post “analysis” of domestic terrorism argues that attacks from white supremacists and other “far-right attackers” have been on the rise since Barack Obama’s presidency, and “surged since President Trump took office.” It’s a familiar storyline meant to assure liberals that, yes, Trump-motivated right-wing terrorists are running wild. There are, however, a few problems with this proposition.
For one thing, even if we accept the numbers the Post offers, the use of the word “surge” — meaning a sudden, powerful forward or upward movement — strains credibility. There’s no evidence of a “surge” either in historical context or as a matter of ideological preference. But even if we’re okay with replacing “uptick” with the word “surge,” a cynic might note that the Post’s reporters seem to filibuster their own findings to push preconceived partisan notions about the state of the nation.
That is to say, we have good reason not to accept the numbers. According to The Washington Post, which relies on Global Terrorism Database (GTD) data, there were allegedly zero — not one — acts of right-wing terrorism in the entire nation in the year 2002. Since then we have seen a “surge” to 36 in a nation of 325-plus million people by 2017. Among those acts, there were 11 fatalities.
Or, in other words, fewer homicides were committed by political terrorists of any stripe in the United States in 2017 than were committed by illegal immigrants in the state of Texas alone — which I am assured is an incredibly low number that shouldn’t worry us very much. If one of these is scaremongering, why not the other? – READ MORE