Until the Trump administration listens to the facts that most of the terrorist actions in America are perpetrated by Americans, the likelihood of such “radicalized” persons doing the bidding of ISIS or other terrorist groups from within our borders will likely, sadly, tragically, continue.
These terrorist acts, from bombings to mass shootings and knife attacks, originate within the minds persons who share some common experiences. I am suggesting here that our homegrown seeds for radicalizing persons are planted in the policies, practices and prejudices sown across our nation.
Simple web searches can reveal formulas for making bombs, or so I have been told. What I have found, however, is, what I call a “formula” sure to create the bombers.
So how do you get an American resident or citizen, born here or naturalized, to turn on their fellow Americans with such horrific displays of hatred. And, no, its not, as George W. Bush once explained, “It’s because they hate our freedom.” It is because the “land of the free” betrayed them on so many levels.
This is not a blog excusing terrorists or their acts within and outside our borders. This is simply a review of common elements that make up a “formula” for hate and therefore re-active acts of vengeance. That is how I see it. The motivation for committing these homegrown acts of terrorism is, at least to a significant extent, based on revenge, as one would strike out at a bully who has taunted this person for a long time, with no stopping in sight. Finally, it just happens! BOOM! The bullied kid or adult just snaps. Just can’t take it anymore. Just ignites all the pent up fury!
As I see it, here are some of the ingredients that make up the formula for creating terrorists within our borders. Yes, one might say, these acts of terror are like “time bombs” – violent explosions of the mind and emotions, set to go off at no particular time, but the fuse is lit over time, mixed with the ingredients that, when shaken enough, will go off.
So, here are the steps, the ingredients, which have the potential to set off an internal chain reaction that may well, with just enough external influencers, such as propaganda by terrorist groups, start the ticking countdown to action.
I write this formula now and I ask your help. If you see these steps being taken. If you hear or observe how these ingredients are causing harm to your neighbor or fellow American, please intervene. Be the antidote. Interrupt the making of a bomb-er.
The recipe for creating internal terrorist include these ingredients…
- The value of the person is discounted as having no real purpose or place or contribution to make in “our society.”
- The person becomes isolated from society, either by being ostracized or by self-isolation, withdrawing from voices saying, “You don’t belong here. Go back to from where you came.”
- The person is removed from opportunities for personal growth or fulfilling their version of the “American Dream” a.k.a. achievement or reaching their goals. This is caused by refusing the person access to educational and training services, denial of advancement in a business or career, due to prejudice based on race, religion, etc. Incarceration, and the entire “prison industrial complex” is one of the key contributor to both isolation and denial to avenues for making his or her way in this country.
- The person is forced, through media stories, to hear how he or she is not only without value or deserving a place in America, but, is literally feared and assumed to be a rapist, criminal, terrorist or one with ties to radical groups, who has no respect for the so-called “American way of life.”
- The person is powerless as a victim of out-right, right-in-the-open, hate crimes from desecration of houses of worship to even being denied the permit to build a place for cultural and spiritual gathering.
- The person’s family, though possessing valid visas, is not permitted into the USA to strengthen bonds, receive medical attention, or find refuge and asylum.
- The person then despairs over some or all of these contributing ingredients and seeks shelter in the teaching and persuasions of other voices who accept, understand and offer “another way” to have purpose, meaning and…not to forget…a way of getting back at those who rejected all he or she is as a human being in a land where “all are created equal.” The hypocrisy of this “false truth” is then finally answered with a different, explosive, “truth.”
Please join me in recognizing when and where and among whom these seven ingredients for creating a most volatile chain reaction may well occur. Stop the hate speech, the jokes, the racist and ethic loose talk, the taunting, the placards, the shouting, the spitting, the abusive language and actions when you see them.
Yes, “free speech” is a valued right in America. But certain speech will come at a price and, God forbid, that price is not meted on the taunters in ways they, and we all, never imagined.
Please read this blog not as an excuse for terrorism, nor a warning that such acts may continue to occur, but as a call to returning our land to one of acceptance and opportunity in community.
The Unlikely Student
, and, I would suggest, these very preventable experiences are we will continue to see such acts concerning the radicalization of persons who do terrorist acts from within the USA, all the refugee bans, even if they were upheld by the courts won’t prevent more violence.