22 July, Terrorism, and Hate in the United States of America

This past week Netflix has released a drama called 22 July, which retells the story of Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack. On July 22, 2011, a right-winged terrorist bombed an Oslo capitol building, then proceeded to open fire at a summer camp on nearby Island Utoya, killing 77 children. Directed by Paul Greengrass, this movie delivers emotional performances, while addressing political issues and acts of domestic terror. After watching this movie, I was in complete shock and heartbroken over what the victims had to go through.

Although the attack happened in Norway, the conflicts in the movie are prevalent in the United States today. Anders Breivik, the far-right terrorist who committed the attacks, stated that he was politically motivated, and personally identifies as a fascist and national socialist. When planning the attacks, Breivik intended to start a war against the political left and those in government positions while expressing his desire to end immigration into Norway. This political ideology can be seen in domestic acts of terror here in the US. 

Terrorism is defined as “any actintended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act". Although not all attacks are considered to be terrorism, the United States has seen a rise in mass violence. Last Wednesday, there was a discovery of pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democrats and CNN. It appears that the attempted bombings were politically motivated, and the targets are all liberals or openly anti-Trump. The attempt to take down elite members of the political left is similar to the attacks in Norway.  

Unfortunately, this attack is not unique in the way that it targeted a specific group of people. 

In the past few years, the US has suffered shootings in a synagogue, a primarily black church, and an LGBT night club just to name a few. These bias-fueled crimes against minority groups are most often committed by white people. Like the attacks in Norway, white supremacy and bigotry continue to fuel exploitation, oppression, and colonialism in our culture. Our country might not have a solution for terrorism or mass acts of violence, but we as citizens can support victims and show love to people off all backgrounds to dismantle any platform that hate is given.