As Trump Targets Muslim Refugees, Don’t Forget Our Long History of White Christian Terrorism

Donald Trump has repeatedly associated Islam with terrorism, and banned muslims from entering the US. But he is completely overlooking (probably consciously ignoring) the abundant terrorist acts committed by white nationalists and Christian extremists right here in America.

And while Trump has attacked the media, he should actually be more grateful: because they have stoked the fire of fear with which Trump now wields. Without that, Trump’s campaign may not have been nearly as successful.

Trump isn’t the only one who treats acts of violence and terror differently depending on the religion and skin color of the culprit. Many Americans see violence committed by white men and pass it off to crime or mental instability, but then see violence committed by Muslims as acts of terror and representative of the entire faith.

What kinds of violence and terror attacks have white people committed over the years? Slate recently put together a list of those that occurred between 1995 and 2015. Here are a few of those attacks:

On October 9, 1995, an Amtrak employee was killed when the train derailed. It turns out that the railroad track was tampered with, and there was propaganda material from the “Sons of Gestapo” near the scene of the crime.

Neo-Nazi Lary Wayne Shoemake murdered a black man at random on April 12, 1996 in Jackson, Mississippi.

Eric Robert Rudolph committed two acts of terror, first by bombing the Atlanta Olympics and killing one person. Two years later, he killed another person when he bombed an abortion clinic in Birmingham. He claims that he committed the bombings to fight the homosexual agenda and abortions.

On July 1, 1999, Benjamin Matthew Williams and James Tyler Williams, a pair of white supremacist brothers, murdered a homosexual couple in Redding, California.

Only a day later, a Neo-Nazi named Benjamin Nathanial Smith started a three-day attack on a series of non-white victims. He ended up murdering Ricky Byrdsong, a black basketball coach, and a Korean graduate student. He also wounded nine other people, none of them white.

From September 15 to October 4, 2001, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood named Mark Stroman shot three men of South Asian descent around the Dallas area. Two of the men died and one survived. Stroman says he was doing it to take revenge for the 9/11 terror attacks.

In a particularly sickening act that occurred on January 21, 2009, a Neo-Nazi named Keith Luke raped and then murdered an immigrant from Cape Verde in Brockton, Massachusetts. He then went on to murder a homeless immigrant who was 72 years old.

James von Brunn demonstrated that white supremacy has no age limit on June 10, 2009. At 89 years of age, the white supremacist murdered a security guard at a Washington D.C. Holocaust museum.

Of course, one of the more recent and famous acts of violence occurred on June 17, 2015 when Dylann Roof murdered nine people who were in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

This is simply a small selection of the violence and terror committed by a specific group of people over the years. This isn’t to say that any specific group should be associated with violence and terrorism. In fact, it’s the opposite – every ethnicity and religion has likely committed an act of violence or terrorism at some point throughout history. All are capable of it, but none are predisposed to it, which is why it’s so wrong for Trump to single out Muslims.