The Different Faces of Terror

When a non-POC (Person of Color) is behind a mass, horrific act, the conversation throughout the nation and social media turns to mental health. 

“What are the early signs?” “How can we get these people help before they turn to violence?” These terrorists, or, “suspects” according to the media, seem to always be nice, quiet kids on the Honor Roll. 

Above: Left, Sandy Hook Terrorist. Right, Charleston Terrorist.

When a Muslim enters the media as a suspect behind a mass attack, “terrorist” is quickly pinned to the individual with little thought and even less backlash. Nothing of honor role, or a quiet past is ever reported. Never mind about mental health. 

With those of middle eastern decent, religion immediately matters. If the individual(s) wasn’t born in an Islamic nation, the press is quick to tell the public which generation emigrated from one. 

Anyone born in America is an American. When it comes to a non-POC, the orgin of the terrorist’s family for some reason isn’t important. Neither is religion. 

When a Muslim is behind a mass, horrific act, the conversation throughout the nation and social media turns to immigration, religion, and the ban of a specific people from entering the country.

No terrorist…..Muslim, Christian, orange, green or white deserves to have a soft image in the media. Why though, do we soften the image of White terrorists, or even hesitate to call them such? 

Many Americans who do not outwardly claim hatred toward Muslims suggest that Islam is a religion of peace. Yet, by continually showing images of Middle Eastern faces with words “Muslim” and “terrorist” dominating the voice-over and conversation, it is clear what is truly believed. It makes the audience, and in times of fear, an entire nation believe that the two descriptions cannot be mutually exclusive. “The only terrorists I hear about are Muslim. Therefore, all Muslims are terrorists,” the people believe. 

Even while popular media will outwardly fight that claim, the only reported terrorists throughout networks are Muslim. If the press thought differently, they would report differently. It is not only intentional abusive use of the media’s power but the true echoing of the bias of our nation.

Notice the difference in these shots below?

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When searching “t” after the name of a mass shooting with a white terrorist, the word “terrorism” is no where in the suggested searches. When Muslim terrorists are known to be behind a mass shooting, “terrorism” automatically appeared in the suggested searched after only typing the letter “t.”

A terrorist is a terrorist. While popular media mocks and criticizes the Anti-Muslim rhetoric of Donald Trump, the type of coverage American media hosts shows a bias not far off from the candidate’s beliefs. Check yourself. And your local stations.

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