On July 14, the world asked ourselves what kind of monster could possibly drive a truck into a crowd of people. The media promptly mentioned Tunisian within the opening paragraphs of summaries of that evening–the ever-so-slightly more credible outlets pointed out he was a Tunisian-French dual national. The ethnicity was front and centre. He had a Muslim name. Terrorist this, terrorist that.
So now we have an example of another truck driver, one who had been hurling ethnic slurs at Indigenous environmental protesters prior to his attack where he deliberately accelerated his vehicle through a crowd.
“What kind of monster” we should ask. If we are so quick to draw a pattern between lone wolf terrorists when they’re brown and black, one wonders where this patterned analysis disappears to when the perpetrator is, time and time again, white.
RENO, Nev. — Detectives are reviewing witness accounts and “horrifying” cellphone video while they consider filing a criminal complaint after a pickup truck plowed into a crowd of people during a Native American rights demonstration in downtown Reno, the police chief said Tuesday.
A Facebook Live video of the protest shows a pickup truck revving its engine in front of the crowd that had spilled onto the street in Reno’s downtown. Several protesters confronted the driver and the passenger before the truck drives through the crowd, tires squealing, at about 6:40 p.m. Monday.
One of the witnesses who posted video on Facebook Live said the two men in the pickup had been “stalking the protest” at the original site where the activists had gathered two blocks away.
“They drove by once as we were walking toward the arch, yelling obscenities,” said Taylor Wayman, 27, who said he was not an official member of the sponsoring groups but decided to attend the rally.
“I heard the driver ask one of the protesters, ‘Do you want me to kill your homies?’ and that really set everybody off,” Wayman told AP on Tuesday.
So he circles around the protest hurling ethnic slurs, and we’re supposed to believe he had no intentions of deliberately manoeuvring to position the protest in front of his vehicle, threaten to run them over–which rightly pissed the protesters off–and then use their anger as a pretext to do exactly that?
Here’s the word you’re missing, mainstream media: White Supremacy Terrorist. Stop excusing this behaviour. Even a hate crime obfuscates what is happening here. That man threatened the protesters. That man is trying to make Indigenous Americans afraid to protest the ghettos, the segregation, the police brutality. That man is sending a message to people across the country: Your white skin is worth more than their red skin.
That driver is using fear to control.
That driver threatened the protesters with death on multiple occasions.
That driver is a terrorist motivated by white supremacy.
That’s the kind of monster. Now don’t be fucking shy to name it.