Perhaps you heard that a bomb was discovered in Spokane this week? Thankfully, it was detonated before anyone was harmed. Police have confirmed that the bomb was designed to kill or maim a significant number of people.
A gal I know works downtown not far from where the bomb was found. I didn’t learn until two days later that her neighbor had actually parked a car within feet of where the backpack containing the explosives was found. This neighbor had considered it good fortune to have found a parking space so close. Odd, she thought, that she was the only one.
But the neighbor didn’t know then about the bomb.
The bomb was strategically placed where it could harm the most number of people.
“Domestic terrorism” news reports said.
“How do they know it’s domestic?” my husband asked. “Maybe the bomb was planted by someone outside the country.”
Unless, of course, he reasoned, they know for a fact that the bomb was planted by someone associated with the Skinheads.
Aryan Nation folks.
Spokane, which is truly a lovely city, has long been a stomping ground for those who believe the only righteous race is a white race. Oddly, law enforcement folks have been reluctant to say the bomb was planted by racists: “The FBI admits it’s not a coincidence the bomb was left along the parade route on MLK Jr. Day. But they are hesitant to say it was a racially motivated event.”
We play loose-lipped with words all the time, assigning meaning as best suits our purposes. Perhaps there’s some national security reason why the law enforcement would rather refer to a backpack laden with a bomb as “domestic terrorism”.
Or perhaps the good folks in the fair city of Spokane, who have had more than it’s share of ugly press coverage this year connected to police shootings, simply can’t afford any more negative press.
It sounds so much more high-flutin to say your city was the subject of an act of “domestic terrorism” than it does to say that a bunch of redneck racists tried to do serious harm to some peace-loving people of color, doesn’t it?