The string of bombings in Austin kept the city in fear for almost a month before the perpetrator of the attacks killed himself when confronted by the police. Many questions arose throughout the ordeal, but the primary debate was related to the role that race played in America’s attitudes towards the attacks.
Of course, many on the left quickly began injecting race into the story — even after the bomber attacked whites. Instead of exploring the real motivations behind the attack, they focused on highlighting supposed racism in the way Americans view these types of attacks.
The Left Injects Race Into The Austin Bombing Story
While the bombings were still occurring, I made the mistake of going on Twitter to see what people were saying about the attacks. Not surprisingly, many believed that the attacks were racially-motivated. Indeed, when the first bombings occurred, it did appear that way since the victims were minorities. However, when the perpetrator planted a bomb in a white neighborhood, it became clear that the serial bomber was motivated by a desire to create mayhem — not racism. Nevertheless, people continued to argue that race was a factor in these bombings. Here are some of the tweets pushing this argument:
If #AustinBombings targeted white people, or the white economy, countries around the world would be lending support. When it targets Black people, Black people’s lives aren’t even deemed worth the support or coverage or protection in the country built on the back of Black people
— Price of Silence (@pos_theatre) March 19, 2018
This is Draylen Mason, a gifted musician aspiring to become a surgeon. The Austin package bomber took him away from all of us. He was only 17.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 19, 2018
As a white person, I think it is important for me to say this. Isn’t it weird that after three bombs target people of color the national media barely covers the problem. Last night, two white people are injured and suddenly we have several blocks of news coverage. #AustinBombing
— Jeremy (@jeremasaur) March 19, 2018
Even the establishment media got in on the act. The New York Times published a piece titled “In Austin, a Bomber’s Rampage Exposes Racial Fault Lines Long Buried.” The article explores the potential racial motivations behind the killer’s attacks. Daniel Arriaga, a furniture mover, told The Times that he believed the bomber committed his acts because of racism even though he attacked whites. He stated that he only went after white victims “just to throw it off.”
Obviously, this statement has no basis in reality. If a killer is going to target minority victims, they’re not going to try to hide their racial animus. It’s not likely that a man who wants to murder minorities would be concerned about appearing to be racist.
The Washington Post also stated that black residents and leaders have “accused the police of failing to take the first bombing seriously because the victim was black.” However, the police stated that they were not aware of the fact that the bombing was the beginning of a murder spree. They believe that it was retaliation for a drug raid the police carried out three days before the explosion. The explanation makes sense — why would the police immediately assume that the bombing was the start of a citywide bombing campaign? This is the first time a series of incidents such as these have occurred in Austin.
Was Race A Factor In The Serial Bombing Situation?
There are three ways the left is injecting race into the Austin bombings story. First, they claim the killer was motivated by racism. Secondly, they have criticized the media for failing to cover the story until whites were targeted. Finally, they have indicated that the government has not labeled the killer as a terrorist because he was white.
As stated previously, there is no evidence that the bomber had racial motivations. Indeed, two of his victims were white. Moreover, the package that exploded prematurely at a FedEx facility in San Antonio was addressed to a white woman. It’s clear that the bomber was choosing his victims randomly.
When it comes to the media, there is no evidence that they ignored this story. I’m all for criticizing the press, but in this case, it is not clear that the left’s criticism is deserved. It is possible that the media did not provide substantial coverage at the beginning of the serial bombings, but this is likely because they didn’t realize it would turn into a series of attacks. Like the police, they may have assumed it was an isolated incident. When it became clear that the bomber was going to continue the attacks, the story gained national coverage.
According to The Austin American Statesman, the media DID cover the bombings. They write:
“National news outlets started taking notice March 12, when two more explosions occurred in Austin, killing Draylen Mason and injuring two others. That afternoon, police said the cases were linked and urged residents to provide information. At that point, the three explosions had all occurred east of Interstate 35. Outlets like the New York Times, CNN, USA Today, the Washington Post and more have picked up the story.”
The Statesman also notes that The Huffington Post and The Washington Post also published multiple stories on the attacks.
Finally, there is the complaint about how we label terrorists. This is an issue that arises whenever any terrorist commits a violent act in the United States. The left wants the American public to believe that we fail to label white men as terrorists because we’re all racist bigots who hate brown people who worship Allah.
However, the truth is a bit more complicated. Not every mass murderer fits the label of terrorist. This, of course, does not take away from the fact that these people are evil. Nevertheless, it is essential that we use definitions accurately. According to the F.B.I., for an act to be classified as domestic terrorism, it must be “perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with primarily U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.”
Currently, there is no evidence linking the bomber to any extremist groups. Additionally, there is no indication that his acts were inspired by any ideology. He was evil, plain and simple. The other flaw in the left’s argument when it comes to definitions of terrorism is that their assertions are not true. We have labeled whites as terrorists previously.
Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev — the Boston Marathon Bombers — were designated as terrorists. They were Kyrgyzstan — and white. Sayfullo Saipov, who murdered nine victims in New York City by running them over in a truck was a Uzbekistani immigrant — also white. Timothy McVeigh, who carried out the Oklahoma City Bombing was labeled as a terrorist. These are just a few of the white murderers who have been tagged as terrorists.
Injecting Racism Where It Doesn’t Belong Obscures The Real Issues
When an incident like the Austin bombings occurs, Americans want answers. We want to know why a person could commit such an atrocity. As humans, we have a deep need to understand the forces that motivate evil acts such as these. This is why it is harmful to push race into a situation in which it does not belong.
The obsession with race in this story has obscured the conversation. Instead of focusing on the killer and his real reasons for perpetrating his acts, we end up talking about bigotry and race, which have nothing to do with the bombings. If evidence existed that showed that the bomber had racist motives, it would be appropriate to discuss race. However, this was not the case, and the left has cynically used this tragic story to promote their narrative of victimhood.