Why has there been such little coverage of the attempted bombing along the MLK Parade route in Spokane, Washington, January 17, 2011? Is it because of the Eastern Washington and close-by Idaho hot beds of White supremacists, Aryan Nation types, survivalists, and other American fringe White groups? Is it another negative outgrowth of the terrorist shooting in Tucson? How can journalists justify not reporting the news?
Spokane papers and news outlets immediately reported the incident and covered the frightening discussions of what happened on MLK Day: the discovery by city workers of a suspicious knapsack left on a metal bench on the northeast corner of Washington Street and Main Avenue in downtown Spokane. Their alertness led to a re-routing of the parade as bomb squads investigated and found a powerful bomb with substances, still being analyzed, that have added a bio-chemical dimension to the bomb’s analysis.
Some may object to the use of the word terrorist in connection with Whites, seeing terrorists as non-Whites. But the Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force (made up of the FBI and other local law-enforcement agencies) investigates Whites too. And African Americans know all too well the centuries of White terrorism (slavery, Jim Crow, inner cities).
Bombs left to kill people are acts of terror, regardless of who leaves them. What is disturbing to me is that with the exception of Spokane’s major paper, The Spokesman-Review, the national media both Black and White seem to have been pressured into silence (for others it could be they deem bombings of MLK Day marchers as inconsequential).
Even more terrifying about this explosive device, according to the FBI, is that it had substances being analyzed for biological and chemical capabilities. I encourage my readers to go online and read the daily Spokane paper, The Spokesman Review. If not for the alertness of three city workers, we would not be talking about what could have happened but of a devastating terrorist attack inside the United States. We would be talking about the first reuse by White supremacists of methods of mass destruction since Oklahoma City.
It has been reported that the epicenter of the planning and manufacturing and testing of the explosive device is Sand Point, Idaho, and the areas along the Priest River and Priest Lake about 50 miles West of Sand Point, Idaho. It appears that the device was transported down Highway 2 through Newport, Washington into the Spokane metropolitan area.
This would not be the first time that White supremacists in the Spokane area have launched terrorist actions. Again, review the stories in the local Spokane paper, The Spokesman-Review, going back 30 years, long before 9/11. And as this column reported last week, White America is still having a problem discussing, analyzing and investigating misconduct based on race, religion and politics. It is clear that the fourth estate is terrified of retaliation by White supremacist groups in the United States, and in particular, in the Northwest, which includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.
It certainly provides a significant discomfort to what is left of the Black press and media. We are on extremely shaky grounds. I imagine it is different for members of the Black fourth estate to call attention to a very dangerous pattern and practice of terrorism inside the United States, which cannot be identified with people of color.
As local print and broadcast stories there in Spokane show, the authorities have known about the activities in the so-called panhandle section of Idaho for over 30 years. But one of the discussions that is taking place among White extremists is that the intelligence services of the U.S. have neither the energy, resources, or interest to watch as closely as they did in the days immediately following Oklahoma.
White extremist groups are taking full advantage of the downsizing of intelligence gathering against their planning and plotting. An explosion killing hundreds on January 17, 2011 would have been a disaster carried out by a device with bio-chemical components that could have torn this country apart in terms of racial backlash.
Let us hope that the master planners and designers of this device are brought to justice quickly. This nation is at a delicate and crucial crossroads in which all who plot and plan against democracy must be placed under equal scrutiny.
As Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
So help us God. And God save the United States of America.
Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!” Saturdays at 5 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOn TheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his solution papers and “web log” at www.TheMinneap olisStory.com.