FBI Director Has a Hard Time Calling a White Supremacist a Terrorist

James Comey Cant Call Dylann Roof Terrorist


FBI lost, mislabeled evidence for years

James Comey, the Director of the FBI, says he is unsure if the white supremacist attack on the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, which left nine African-Americans dead, is an act of terrorism.  His reluctance to identify white people as terrorists reflects a larger issue of white America’s comfort level with addressing white violence.


“I don’t know yet,” Comey told the The Huffington Post when asked whether the Charleston shooting was an act of terrorism. “I was asked about that a day or so after and said that, based on what I knew at that point, I didn’t see it fitting the definition. Since then, we’ve found the so-called manifesto online, so I know the investigators and prosecutors are looking at it through the lens of hate crime, through the lens, potentially, of terrorism.”


The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.”


Dylann Roof, 21, was charged with the murders of the Bible study group.  In his online manifesto, Roof, a neo-Confederate sympathizer who was inspired by hate groups such as the Council of Conservative Citizens, said, “I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight.” He added, “I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”


The white supremacist also said he wanted to “protect the White race” and had “no choice” but to kill innocent worshipers.


How Comey responds to this crime at this crucial point in time could impact how future acts of domestic terrorism are handled, setting the tone for things to come.  And when it comes to acts of terror and racial violence, the FBI’s hands are not clean.  Although the FBI infiltrated and went after the Klan in the 1960s, it also waged a war on Black America.  Through his COINTELPRO program, J. Edgar Hoover disrupted and destroyed civil rights organizations and Black liberation groups, and had his hands in the assassination of Black leaders in order to “prevent the rise of ‘RISE OF A “MESSIAH’ who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement.”


Comey seems to understand this troubling history of the Black community and law enforcement, and the “hard truths” of racism in policing.


“There is a reason that I require all new agents and analysts to study the FBI’s interaction with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to visit his memorial in Washington as part of their training,” Comey said during a speech at Georgetown University on February, 2015. “And there is a reason I keep on my desk a copy of Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s approval of J. Edgar Hoover’s request to wiretap Dr. King.”


Comey has also spoken about racism in policing.


“Much research points to the widespread existence of unconscious bias,” he said. “Many people in our white-majority culture have unconscious racial biases and react differently to a white face than a Black face. In fact, we all, white and lack, carry various biases around with us.”


In light of what Comey has said in the past on racism in policing, it is even more troubling, though understandable, that he refuses to call the Charleston massacre an act of terrorism.


As Musa al-Gharbi pointed out in Al Jazeera America, a New America Foundation report found that American right-wing extremists have killed twice as many Americans as so called Islamic “jihadists” since 9/11.  Though Islamic terrorists have been responsible for only 35 percent of the terrorism-related casualties, they account for 60 percent of the indictments.


“Politically, it is nearly impossible to target these groups, because of the protection they receive from Republican lawmakers and lobbyists. And disparities in media coverage have tended to minimize the threat from right-wing terrorists (at times even presenting a sympathetic view of them) while greatly exaggerating the threat from Islamic extremists, removing ethnic nationalists and separatists from public scrutiny as well,” he said. “Right-wing extremists are thus given ample breathing room to spread their ideology and to plan and carry out their attacks, which helps explain both the higher relative lethality of right-wing attacks and the significantly lower rate of indictment for their perpetrators.”


Further, as Timothy McGrath noted in the Los Angeles Daily News, when the GlobalPost published an article called “White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States,” it angered many readers.


“Some of them objected to our decision to call the terrorists ‘white Americans’ instead of ‘some white Americans’ or ‘white American extremists,'” he said. “Without qualifying the term, they argued, we were claiming that ALL white Americans were a terror threat. Other readers worried that the headline, though correct, was unnecessarily divisive. Some thought it was unfair to focus on racial data when the study’s summary didn’t call attention to it.”


Who is labeled a ‘terrorist’ is a political decision informed by race and the values and priorities in society. In the U.S., Black and Brown people are the terrorists, the thugs and the gangbangers, but white people are not. Hence, there is no sense of urgency when whites commit atrocities. As Fariza Patel wrote in Just Security, how society describes violence is crucial.


“Calling an act of violence ‘terrorism’ signifies that it is part of a broader pattern that requires attention beyond ordinary crime fighting. Calling Roof’s actions murder rather than terrorism underplays the role of his evident racist motives and avoids questions about the prevalence of racism in our society.”


If America wants to fight terrorism, it needs to identify white supremacist violence as part of the problem.  At this point, neither the FBI chief nor white Americans in general are willing to do that.













"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins









Original Post

Calling shameful domestic terrorists by their real name is in transition. At least he is beginning to use the right word. That's something. We are changing the discourse on these throwback Anti-Christian Domestic Terrorists - the Enemies oF America!  Those who are soft on America's enemies are sympathizers with evil! That's reality!!


 - - - - - Change the Discourse - - - - -

White folks stick together, regardless. Donald Trump's moseying along isn't he? They don't call each other names; they leave that for us to be the recipients, and they have some names to call.

The Baltimore and Ferguson Rioters were domestic terrorists by the letter of the law.

"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:

  • Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
  • Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
  • Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

And no, the rioters after sporting events are not. The difference is the social commentary. 



Because of intensifying civil strife over the recent killings of unarmed black men and boys, many Americans are wondering, “What’s wrong with our police?” Remarkably, one of the most compelling, but unexplored explanations may rest with a FBI warning of October 2006, which reported that “White supremacist infiltration of law enforcement” represented a significant national threat.


Several key events preceded the report. A federal court found that members of a Los Angeles sheriffs department formed a Neo Nazi gang and habitually terrorized the black community. Later, the Chicago police department fired, Jon Burge, a detective with reputed ties to the Ku Klux Klan, after discovering he tortured over 100 Black male suspects. Thereafter, the Mayor of Cleveland discovered that many of the city police locker rooms were infested with “White Power” graffiti. Years later, a Texas sheriff department discovered that two of its deputies were recruiters for the Klan.


In near prophetic fashion, after the FBI’s warning, white supremacy extremism in the U.S. increased, exponentially. From 2008 to 2014, the number of white supremacist groups, reportedly, grew from 149 to nearly a thousand, with no apparent abatement in their infiltration of law enforcement.


This year, alone, at least seven San Francisco law enforcement officers were suspended after an investigation revealed they exchanged numerous “White Power” communications laden with remarks about “lynching African-Americans and burning crosses.” Three reputed Klan members that served as correction officers were arrested for conspiring to murder a Black inmate. At least four Fort Lauderdale police officers were fired after an investigation found that the officers fantasized about killing black suspects.


The United States doesn’t publicly track white supremacists so the full range of their objectives remains murky. Although black and Jewish-Americans are believed to be the foremost targets of white supremacists, recent attacks in Nevada, Wisconsin, Arizona, Kansas, and North Carolina, demonstrate that other non-whites, and religious and social minorities, are also vulnerable. Perhaps more alarmingly, in the last several years, alone, white supremacists have reportedly murdered law enforcement officers in Arkansas, Nevada, and Wisconsin.


In fact, the FBI reports that of the 511 law enforcement officers killed during felony incidents from 2004 to 2013, white citizens killed the majority of them. Of the citizens stopped by law enforcement officers in New York City and Chicago, white citizens were more likely to be found with guns and drugs. Given the white supremacist penchant for violence, guns and drug trafficking, the findings may be an indication that their network is just as destructive and far-reaching as that of foreign terrorist groups.


The unfortunate consequence of today’s threat is that a law enforcement officer may be good or bad, a villain or hero; one exceptionally prone to exhibit malicious forms of racial hatred, or, distinctively suited to protect the racially oppressed. But the paradox doesn’t end there.

The white supremacist threat brings to light a dark feature of the American experience that some believed extinct. It rouses ingrained notions of distrusts between police and communities of color, while bringing to bear the vital interest citizens of good will share in the complete abolishment of race as a judgmental factor.


As the nation struggles to resolve the perplexities of police brutality, the white supremacist threat should inform all Americans that today’s civil discord is not borne out of a robust animosity towards law enforcement, most of whom, are professional. Rather, it’s more representative of a centuries old ideological clash, which has ignited in citizens of good will a desire to affirm notions of racial equality so that the moral ethos of American culture is a reality for all.

Samuel V. Jones is a former military police captain and currently a professor of law focusing on criminal law at The John Marshall Law School. 




Last edited by Momentum

"In near prophetic fashion, after the FBI’s warning, white supremacy extremism in the U.S. increased, exponentially. From 2008 to 2014, the number of white supremacist groups, reportedly, grew from 149 to nearly a thousand, with no apparent abatement in their infiltration of law enforcement."


Its going to come to an head sooner or later and the FBI will have to deal with them like terrorists no matter how they shy away calling them exactly what they are.

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