Domestic terrorism is a relevantly old term in the USA since independence; it still influences the political and social structure since the beginning. The word terrorism is rather difficult to define and may be subjective. Generally, domestic terrorism is defined as the illegal use of violence against people or property for a particular goal, which may be political or social within the US borders (Bjelopera, 2017). Scholars find it difficult to characterize and understand the motivations of the organizations that conduct domestic terrorism. However, one thing is clear about the deleterious nature of these groups. At the very least, they should not be tolerated.
Generally, there are four categories of domestic terrorists currently in the USA. The groups are categorized based on their main motivation namely: religious convictions, racial prejudice and supremacist objectives, anarchist or antigovernment, and those in pursuit of special interests (Bjelopera, 2017). As highlighted above the persons are motivated by the ever-present divergent views of the citizens which are never bound to change. Divergence in ethnicity, religion, culture, racism, and superiority are the main driving forces of domestic terrorism. Weirdly, these people cannot accommodate the diversity of their fellow Americans. For example, Catholics may feel superior to Protestants or whites feeling superior to Black Americans. Most of these groups begin humbly and containing strong opinions against a particular subject. Also, these factions try to use peaceful mechanisms to send their message. When the methods fail, violent measures are undertaken. Between 1982-1994, some of the extreme factions targeted commercial establishments that ‘perpetrated’ the acts they concluded were illegal.
America is a great nation that assures its people the freedom of religion and to bear arms under the provisions of the US constitution. In the past, there have been radical groups that envision themselves above other people and choose violence as a means to an end. Luckily for Americans, this law has ensured that the country is not torn in religious wars unlike in other countries such as Bosnia and Nigeria. However, a more serious issue is racism. The white supremacists conduct a series of crimes in the nation. The Trump administration and media accused the white supremacists of causing violence during the peaceful protests caused by the murder of George Floyd (Oriola & Knight, 2020). Whether this was true or not has not been fully investigated. Nevertheless, such groups bring forth fear to the majority of peace-loving citizens. It is difficult to smoke out these people since they are protected by the freedom of speech and thought. The worrying trend presents imminent fear to minority groups whose property can be easily targeted by these groups.
The anarchistic or anti-government groups are the most worrying factions of domestic terrorists. The personnel is engraved in political positions financing their militia on their ground. One such group is the Puerto Rican freedom fighters. The groups bombed Oklahoma City (Choi & Piazza, 2016). Their action elicited wary concerns from the police and civil-rights groups. Anarchists tend to lay low protected by the first and second amendments until the appropriate situation presents itself. These people present the most audacious level of domestic terrorism. Lives are often lost in these wars to enact their opinion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. No single person is without one. The critical matters need proper nationwide discussions to recognize and appreciate our differences.
Bjelopera, J. P. (2017). Domestic terrorism: An overview.
Choi, S. W., & Piazza, J. A. (2016). Ethnic groups, political exclusion, and domestic terrorism. Defense and Peace Economics, 27(1), 37-63.
Oriola, T. B., & Knight, W. A. (2020). COVID-19, George Floyd, and human security.