Last Friday, authorities thwarted an attempted bombing at Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina by a man who allegedly wanted to “fight a war on U.S. soil.”
If you didn’t hear about how close the would-be bomber, Michael Christopher Estes, was to committing a deadly terrorist attack on fellow Americans, you’re not alone.
Estes attempted to leave an explosive device powered by ammonium nitrate and fuel oil and containing both sharp nails and bullets at the terminal, but was caught by law enforcement with bomb-sniffing dogs before he could detonate the device. Estes meant to hurt people — a lot of people.
But for some reason, his story didn’t catch on. Even President Trump, who has been so quick to comment on acts of terrorism in other parts of the world, was silent on the matter.
As journalist and activist Shaun King noted, the likely reason for the silence is just what you’d expect: the terrorist is white.
“The story didn’t go viral and Trump didn’t tweet about it because the bomb was not placed by an immigrant, or a Muslim, or a Mexican,” King wrote for The Intercept.
“It was placed there by a good ol’ white man, Michael Christopher Estes.”
His name is Michael Christopher Estes.
He literally planted a very dangerous bomb at the airport ON FRIDAY.
Trump never mentioned him. https://t.co/nR0Or28CGS
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) October 11, 2017
“A Muslim attacker’s mugshot would become a meme across the conservative media. Mainstream American outlets would be covering the heroic bravery of those who thwarted the terrorist plot,” King wrote, but none of that happened because even though Este’s motives were clear, he didn’t fit right-wing narratives around terrorism.
“His actions aren’t an indictment of his whole faith, political outlook, and race. White people aren’t, thanks to Estes, suddenly labeled terrorists or seen as a threat to American safety in the way that would almost certainly happen had it been anybody other than a white man.”