Yesterday (March 21), the White man responsible for a slew of bombings in a Black and Latinx neighborhoods in Austin, Texas, blew himself up as police closed in on his vehicle.
After viewing a “confession” video found on his phone, interim police chief Brian Manley made the following statement to press, as reported by The Washington Post: “Having listened to that recording, he does not at all mention anything about terrorism, nor does he mention anything about hate. But instead, it is the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point.”
Many Twitter users were upset with the portrayal of Mark Anthony Conditt as a “challenged young man,” rather than a man who terrorized an entire city. They wondered if the same language would be used by police—and media—if he were a person of color:
Again, how the police chief talks about a young white man who terrorizes a city. Remember how they talked about innocent Black children like Trayvon, Tamir or young men like Freddy Gray. Police: Austin bomber left 25-minute confession on phone @CNN https://t.co/Kvoetv9V13 pic.twitter.com/k0MjK6Dl59— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) March 22, 2018
Fixed it. pic.twitter.com/t2Kl1mSBAV— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) March 21, 2018
They don’t want to call Austin’s white terrorist a terrorist.— (((YousefMunayyer))) (@YousefMunayyer) March 22, 2018
Do you remember how the media, right wing media especially, covered the story of the brown 14 year old, Ahmed, who brought a clock into his Texas school to show his teacher?
Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt was a DOMESTIC TERRORIST.— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) March 21, 2018
FACT: Since Trump took office, more U.S. citizens have been killed by domestic white male terrorists than by immigrants, Muslims, refugees, or any of the other groups Republicans have tried to falsely stereotype. pic.twitter.com/geKOwdb37K
Mark Anthony Conditt is a domestic terrorist who posted on Reddit with the username austinbomber. These trolls and online abusers spewing hatred on Reddit, 4chan, and other hidden internet forums are radicalizing terrorists. pic.twitter.com/w9bUZZvNLP— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 21, 2018
This friendly smiling Facebook post is exactly the kind of image the media would also have used if it was a Muslim terrorist. Right? https://t.co/H6jcQyjPdW— rabia O’chaudry (@rabiasquared) March 21, 2018
Once, before I die, I’d like to hear a cop or prosecutor declare – and mainstream media report – that the confession of a black- or brown-skinned suspect to a crime of violence is “the outcry of a very challenged young man, talking about challenges that led him to this point.” https://t.co/m0st3rvUyL— David Simon (@AoDespair) March 22, 2018
This is Mark Anthony Conditt — the Austin Bomber. He is a terrorist.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) March 21, 2018
I want you to imagine for just a moment if it was a Muslim man who bombed and murdered people all over an American city.
Then killed himself with a literal suicide bomb — injuring a cop in the process. pic.twitter.com/CiMzI2SUSt
The Austin Police Chief referred to the serial bomber as a “challenged young man.”— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) March 22, 2018
Murdering multiple people and being called “challenged” is the height of white privilege.