Terrorist Down the Block


“If the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms, and it would be the lead story on the news every night.” — former US Rep. Mark Green (R-Wis.)

My thoughts on this subject started to brew after the San Bernardino massacre. Understandably, those in high government office as well as those seeking the same are quite verbal about the need to be vigilant against the specter of more attacks. Domestic terrorism has indeed been a major focus in the US even before the California tragedy, with, of course, 9/11, Newtown, Fort Hood and the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh.

For this argument, however, I want to focus on those domestic terror deaths since 2000 and compare that number to the number of deaths resulting from so-called domestic violence, which is even more pernicious because it happens right under our noses, broken or not. This must be done because to most of the US, domestic terrorism apparently stops at our homes’ thresholds, with rarely a murmur of dissent.

Since 2000, there have been approximately 3,300 Americans killed on our soil as a direct result of domestic terrorism. However, since 2000, approximately 20,000 women have been killed as a direct result of domestic violence. It’s funny how using the word, terrorism, elicits great sympathy and resolve while when the word, violence, is substituted the silence can be, at times, deafening.

Let’s say I go over to your home, and once I enter you slug me right in the jaw without me provoking the attack. You could very likely be arrested for felony assault depending on the extent of my injuries. Now, let’s say instead of slugging me without good reason, you slug your wife. You’re more than likely to be arrested for misdemeanor assault with the extent of your wife’s injuries having little or no effect on how you’re charged. This inherent prejudice continues in this country to this day. Believe me that one of the biggest women’s issues, in this case having to do with their injuries or deaths, is hardly addressed, and frankly there is no sane reason for this ignorance.

You would think thousands of women being slaughtered would garner some sympathy for its victims, but they has been nary a word about how violent our culture is and how very few of its perpetrators ever receive a just penalty.

Occasionally we do hear about women’s health issues on the 2016 stump. There is talk of whether a woman has the right to attend to her needs without government intervention. There is even a rare time when candidates explain their stance on the federal Violence Against Women Act (Clinton and Sanders are firmly in favor, Ted Cruz recently voted against it, while Donald Trump is so uninformed, he’s probably never heard of the law). Truth be told even with these protection, the abuser must first break that law before facing any stiff punishment.

Nonetheless, we never hear any ideas of how broken arms and concussions caused by the terrorist at home can be prevented, nor do we ever hear if a female decides to purchase a firearm for her subsequent protection, said firearm is more likely to be against her, not her partner.

Additionally, the mass media remain relatively silent. They are unceasingly complicit in squelching stories about true domestic terrorism. Except for the Ray Rice interlude or when some rich folks are victims of a domestic “dispute” resulting in a murder-suicide, little heed is paid to the carnage. The issue remains stowed away deep in the nation’s conscience.

Isn’t it time we dredge up this filthy secret and make the nation admit, that when it comes to keeping women safe from the terrorists in their homes, we haven’t come along way, baby?

Eric Blumberg is a former radio news reporter and talk show host who now teaches communications and writing at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City. See ericblumberg.net.

From The Progressive Populist, May 15, 2016


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