Special News Report
College Park, MD
February 4, 2012
By Solomon Comissiong
The words “terror”, “terrorist” and “terrorism” seemed to take on new meaning after the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001—a day that will live on in infamy. However, if one did not know better, you might think that the aforementioned words failed to exist prior to 9/11. Unfortunately, due to a combination of factors, many Americans behave as if these words, and their trepid meaning, were unfamiliar inside America. Mass racially motivated propaganda has juxtaposed the word “terrorist” next to that of a Muslim person of color. Unfortunately for countless Indigenous people and Africans, who were mass murdered on “American” soil—they came to fully understand terror in some of the worst possible ways. The face of their terror was white and originated throughout Europe.
Terror on American soil has existed for hundreds of years, dating back to the arrival of ill intentioned invaders from Europe. These invaders/illegal aliens (commonly mislabeled as ‘settlers’) came to a land that was foreign to them in innumerable aspects. It was prosperous, abundant with resources, communal and egalitarian. It was only a “New World” to their limited way of seeing the world. Turtle Island (North America) had been inhabited by indigenous people for tens of thousands of years. These people lived in prosperous communal settings where private land ownership was quite literally a foreign concept. They respected the earth/nature (and the animals), which they used to feed, clothe, and shelter their communities. Despite living in lands abundant with resources they never over consumed. In 2012 over-consumption is synonymous with American society. In essence, these people lived in a way that was in balance with nature itself. Unfortunately, with the arrival of scores of European invaders, the prosperity they enjoyed would soon come to a “terrifying” end.
Sharing land that was not theirs was an unacceptable option for these cretins from Europe—they rejected the indigenous people’s hospitality, opting for genocide instead. It was not long before the white man began a killing spree that would have made Hitler blush. Hitler would have felt compelled to take copious notes on the effectiveness, diversity, and sheer barbarity of their murderous ways. Within years to decades many native communities were on the verge of extinction. The white man spared no one, killing man, woman, the elderly and children. They sometimes would burn them alive in their homes, other times decapitating them—subsequently placing their severed heads on poles to send doomsday messages to other native peoples. Giving the native peoples blankets infected with small pox (a disease foreign to the natives and therefore no immunity) was one of the earliest forms of biological warfare. Biological warfare is something future generations of Euro-Americans would experiment with, on the likes of Africans/blacks (Tuskegee Experiment) and Central Americans (Guatemala)—to name couple of well known blatant examples. Now in 2012 the decedents of the indigenous of “America” are decimated in sheer numbers and relegated to impoverished reservations, on land that was their ancestors. If this historical snapshot detailing the multitude of atrocities unleashed on these once prosperous people is not terrorism, this author does not comprehend the meaning of this word.
European terrorism had no boundaries when it came to the non-white people of the world. They showered hundreds of years of brutality and murder upon the Africans they kidnapped and brought to the so-called “new world”. Millions upon millions were tortured and killed on the boat rides from hell, across the Atlantic Ocean. Those who survived the several months long trips, stacked upon one another like sardines and forced to defecate upon themselves, were forced to work in hellish conditions by shiftless amoral “people”. As if working up to 16-18 hour days in the blazing hot southern sun (and muggy evenings) was not enough—these European monsters beat, raped, mutilated and mass murdered countless enslaved Africans. The brutality they carried out upon the Africans had an array of vile forms. Some Africans were hunted down like dogs and then lynched—-all the way in to the middle of the 20th century. This unfortunately was not half of this reprehensible experience. These barbarians would often slowly burn the African/black people to death as they mutilated their bodies, all the while showcasing these events in front of thousands of people, including their wives and children. The kind of person that could repeatedly carry out these kinds of atrocities, let alone in front of children, is soulless and riddled with pure evil. They were not only terrorists, they were devilish.
These European serial murderers were proud of the brutal campaigns of death and mutilation they carried out—so much so that they routinely took pictures of the charred lynched bodies and sold them, by the tens of thousands, as postcards. They not only terrorized and mass murdered, they had no remorse for their crimes against humanity. Euro-Americans carried out their genocide of Africans in America from the 1600s until well in to the 20th century. However, many would contest that this genocide continues today in the form of community-wide police orchestrated brutality and terror. When looking at the cases of people like Sean Bell and Oscar Grant, it is hard to argue against that valid assertion. And the institution of slavery has taken upon another name, in the form of Mass Incarceration/Prison Industrial Complex. The massive prison warehousing of African/black people is big business within the white settler state now known as America.
I have not even begun to scratch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Euro-American atrocities carried out upon people of color, within, and outside of the stolen US borders. I have not touched upon the mass rapes of African and indigenous women. I have not detailed how they stole babies and broke up families, all in the name of slavery. Most children were destined for a life of brutal servitude, beatings and possible murder. And I have not yet to discuss how Africans were renamed, prevented from being literate, and force fed Christianity (as a means of pacification). These are all facts that no honest historian can deny. This was also terror by any description.
Despite what masses of mentally programmed Americans may believe, the fact remains that Euro-American terror continues to inflict damage—throughout the globe. Mass indiscriminate bombings in places like Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq has taken the lives of (at least) hundreds of thousands of civilians. This is terror, in the raw. This is terror similar to that which was carried out on 9/11, except on a much larger scale. There is little difference. Knowingly killing masses of civilians, in an effort to intimidate and accomplish an imperialist end game, is terrorism—plain and simple. Those civilians (men, women, and children) had nothing to do with the tragic events of 9/11; however that mattered little to the US government, and much of its populous. Many Americans wanted blood, they wanted revenge—-and it did not matter whose blood it was so long as it came from people thousands of miles away. In some sadistic way, it made them feel better knowing others had died. Little time was spent reflecting on the fact that the majority of people killed in places like Iraq, were in fact, too, civilians. These actions are terror just as the lynching of African/black people in the United States.
One can attempt to rename terror all they want, however it does not escape the fact that it is terror, murder, and brutality. If most Americans understood this or recognized these truths, they, too, would know that some of the planet’s worst atrocities have been committed by their own government. The US, particularly Euro-Americans, have inflicted vicious acts of terror, not only on people within this country, but throughout the world. Mass propaganda and indoctrination has conveniently blinded most Americans of these facts. This social myopia makes it all the more difficult for a better, more humane, world to be envisioned. And without a critical mass of social justice visionaries, the quest for social justice (and peace) become even more burdensome to social activists whose work remains critically vital.
Terror did not begin with the catastrophic events of 9/11. Terror began long before that infamous day in history. Americans, especially those of European decent need never to make blatantly false racist generalizations stating that all terrorists are Muslim, unless they willing to discuss the terrorist acts their ancestors, and government, have committed. Their crimes of terror are responsible for taking the lives of countless people—-well into the tens of millions (conservatively). Why doesn’t America mourn the lives of the masses of slain Iraqi, Pakistani, and Afghans, just as they do Americans who lost their lives on 9/11? Most Americans don’t mourn them because they have been programmed how to think and feel. They don’t see these people as fellow human beings, similar to themselves. This hollow thought process allows the globally deleterious actions of the US government from ever being challenged by a critical mass of its own citizens. Americans’ indifference is essential to the sustaining of destructive US foreign policy. America, as a nation, may never repent for its terrorist crimes against humanity, however if it ever does—it will be the very first crucial step towards building a much better global society. Until that happens the work of social justice surgeons remains critical—this is a socially sick society in desperate need of repair. A world of Peace, Justice, Equality and Prosperity depend upon it.
Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News media collective (www.yourworldnews.org). He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org