Paul Scott: What’s in a Name?:The Various Shades of Terrorism


What’s in a Name? : The Various Shades of Terrorism

by Truth Minista Paul Scott

What’s in a name?

I have heard Joseph Stack, the guy in Austin Texas who slammed his plane into the IRS building, called many things today; angry, suicidal, PO’d.

Funny, the term “terrorist” has not been used too much, as media outlets were quick to point out that the crash was not linked to any terrorist organizations.

I don’t remember hearing about too many red or orange alerts, either.

Also, the images of the smouldering IRA building have not dominated the news. There was much more coverage of the guy who blew up his Hanes trying to blow up an airplane a while back, as that story dominated the news for weeks.

So, I guess while the airport security people were busy searching suitcases for Qur’ans, Stack, quietly, revved up his plane and jetted off.

Joe Stack is not a terrorist?

If Stack’s last name would have been “Abdul” or his middle name “Hussein,” you could have kissed tonight’s coverage of the Olympics, goodbye.

See the media have there own special way of defining folks:

Black = “gangbanger”

Latino= “illegal allien”

Muslim = “terrorist”

Those are the images that they pimp to the public. So when the Tim McVeighs and Joseph Stacks come along the Right Wingers don’t call them “terrorists,” at worst they are considered “patriots with slight anger management issues.”

If Stack would have had a name that sounded in anyway “Middle Eastern” you can bet that the Right Wing talking heads would have been burning the midnight oil trying their best to blame the Obama administration.

Heaven forbid if somebody on the Left has the audacity to suggest that the climate of hate that the Tea Party and others is creating could inspire a Joseph Stack to take such desperate measures.

If the web reports of Stack’s Manifesto are accurate, I do agree with him about one thing,

“The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

“The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.”

Karl Marx couldn’t have said it better….

original source:

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at or (919) 451-8283


5 comments on “Paul Scott: What’s in a Name?:The Various Shades of Terrorism

  1. C’mon, man, you were doing fine until you got your wheels caught in the “profiling” rut. Although it is certainly easy to understand how folks tend to follow that line of least resistance, it is also clear that it is a circular path that doesn’t really go anywhere except ‘round and ‘round.

    OK, so I’m a white guy with thoroughly WASP credentials. Do us both the courtesy of not “profiling” me and writing my comments off without at least tasting them first.

    I’ve blown off elsewhere about “profiling” and “discrimination” in general, so I’ll try to be brief (not my forte, I’ll admit). I think it’s important, if we (in the global sense) are going to really move on, that the knee-jerk responses of both the “media” and those who are quick to feel offended spend a little time under the microscope.

    Yup. I thoroughly agree with you that the so-called “journalists” of today make a Mardi Gras out of any event they think will push buttons whether those events are deserving of the attention or not. I happen to believe many folks strutting around with “Press” nametags today formerly swept the floors at the likes of The Star and The Enquirer but got fired for abject stupidity. “Real” newsmen seem to be extinct. Independent thought and analytical ability are no longer considered “Team Player” qualities, I guess. Some dude in a turban breaks wind getting up from the table and the next thing you know men in Velcro crash through the ceiling and surround the place. Life’s like that sometimes, isn’t it?

    On the other hand, why do a lot of folks tend to flinch and go into automatic response mode as you pointed out?
    Black = “gangbanger”
    Latino= “illegal allien” (sic)
    Muslim = “terrorist”

    Think about it. Much as those who wear labels they didn’t earn may rankle at such knee-jerk associations, is it not understandable why such associations are often made, whether we like it or not? Whether they are deserved or not?

    I think we are all more likely to bring about the desired changes by working on the minority of players whose behaviors tend to encourage such associations than by bitching about those who tend to go on alert when a “black, Latino, or Muslim” walks into the room.
    I’ve watched this particular scene unfold for more than sixty years. I’m tired of it. I want something else to come along to piss me off for a change. I grew up in the Philadelphia area during the fifties and early sixties. I lived in Florida during the mid-sixties and Miami during the seventies. I’ve lived in “southern” states. I’ve lived in “northern” states. I’ve lived in the city and I’ve lived in the middle of the woods doing the “Grizzly Adams” thing. I’ve had to change my vocabulary a half dozen times or so in order to remain inoffensive as friends, neighbors, classmates, and the guy on the other side of town where I wouldn’t dare go on a bet kept changing how they preferred label their physiological characteristics and geographical heritage.

    I live in Maine and have for more than three decades now. I don’t flinch when someone of Passamaquoddy heritage or some pickle-faced preacher from Massachusetts walks toward me. Heck, I wouldn’t know those labels applied unless they told me. Even then it would be a major “so what?” Such would not have been the case three hundred years ago or so. My life might have depended on my ability to beat feet in a hurry then. It takes time, and “public” attitudes will only change when the actions of those responsible for the negative reactions change, not the other way around. Sorry. That’s just the way things are and always have been.

    So, the bottom line is this: my life really isn’t made better or worse because you get upset when I flinch if a skinny melanin-blessed guy in size 92 jeans draped with chains and doo-dads, floppy sneakers with laces dragging behind and his hat on backwards sashays my in direction babbling Ebonics. I don’t give a shit if he has a PhD. in Elizabethan literature, I’m switching to flight-or-fight mode whether I want to or not. Life experience has taught me that that is intelligent thing to do. If he walks in wearing a pair of khakis and an L.L. Bean shirt and toting a Blackberry, I’ll nod hello and go on about my business without a second thought. On the other hand, if my doctor starts wearing baggy jeans etc. etc. and the “Gangbangers” start wearing three piece suits and wing-tips, I rather think my responses will change accordingly.

    The same goes for every other social group or culture that is feeling (with justification) unfairly “profiled” these days. Don’t scowl at me, scowl at your brother who is being an ass. That’s what I do. Nothing worse than a holier-than-thou but dumber-than-dirt “red neck”.

    You, the “media”, and I are all just doing what ALL living things do……..looking around and responding naturally to stimuli that experience has taught us are either safe or unsafe.

  2. What? Are you serious? Your response is only tangentially related to the post. The reason why people get upset about racial profiling is because it effects INNOCENT PEOPLE who fit the description?

    Get real, man.

  3. Let me get this straight.

    Part 1
    You wrote an essay about the jerk that flew his plane into a building and the focus was on the point that, if he had been black, Latino, or Muslim, the terrorism flag would have gone up. However, since he was NOT from one of those populations, your perception was that THAT was why the responses were different. I don’t know what blacks and Latinos have to do with it, other than the fact that the decorated Viet Nam vet who was murdered by the act was of African American heritage.

    Part 2
    I commented on the subject of “profiling”, as that seems to fit the circumstances you described and to be related to your remarks. I find your perspective interesting and certainly understandable. I suggested that there was another perspective and offered it as counterpoint. I happen to believe that what he did was an act of terrorism, but I find any suggestion of cultural or “racial” factors to be irrelevant and, well, tangential.

    My remarks were blown off as “tangential”. Seems to me we spend too much time and energy parsing our differences instead of finding ways of getting comfortable with our similarities………

    Here’s one: We are both full blooded American citizens who are a little fed up with some of the crap going on both within our country and from outside of it by folks neither of us know or have ever caused harm to…

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