Eric Garner died through the actions and will of agents of the state. Yet the UU-universe of blogs is not calling that terrorism. (In fact, one has to search quite a while to hear any in the UU-universe talk about the death of Eric Garner at all) Plus, as of yesterday, the young man who videotaped the situation that lead to the death of Mr. Garner has been arrested (supposedly on a gun and possession of marijuana charge), along with a young woman he was talking to at the time. And if the report was released today by the Justice Department and reported on in the New York Times is to be believed, then children who have to spend time at Rikers Island are under constant threat from those who have any kind of authority over them.
Yet I find it completely fascinating that there has been no shortage of calling the vile situation that happened at First UU-NOLA terrorism.
And while it may seem as if I am comparing apples to oranges, think about this. There are UU congregations that have gone through very real acts of terror–Tennessee Valley most prominently, but there are others.
But let’s be very clear about this; there are communities in this country where the threat of terror is real and not a sign of paranoia. That terror (or threat of it) comes from agents of the state.
What happened at First UU-NOLA was disgusting and vile; it was NOT terrorism. Especially when you compare it to the real threat that is faced by too many people in too many communities across this country who have encounters with agents of the state that, too often, turn deadly.