[Content Note: Terrorism; violence.]
There are no new developments this morning in the Boston Marathon Bombing, but if and when any additional information becomes available, we will be sure to share it here.
I'm not going to engage in speculation about who did it, or why, or make any kind of political statements, aside from this one observation: I am extremely unhappy with the number of times I have seen members of the media, and various people on Twitter, call this "the first act of terrorism on American soil since 9/11."
Sure it is. If you ignore every single incident of anti-choice terrorism—including the 2009 murder of Dr. George Tiller, and a number of clinic bombings and acts of vandalism, including one as recently as last week.
This flagrant, shameless campaign of intimidation, harassment, and threats and acts of violence against healthcare providers who offer services to women and other people with uteri, and the spaces in which they offer them, in defense of an inherently violent ideology, is a comprehensive terrorist movement which, from just 1977 to 2011, has included multiple assassinations, multiple attempted assassinations, and over 200 arsons and bombings.
This is not the first act of terrorism on US soil since 9/11. And every time someone says that, what they're really saying is: "This is the first act of terrorism on US soil against People Who Matter."
Which is deeply wrapped up in the outrage preoccupying conservative writers the past week, about the alleged "media blackout" on the case of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia doctor who, despite having no certification in gynecology or obstetrics, was offering abortion services to low-income women, including illegal terminations well beyond the legal limit of 24 weeks, inducing labor in his unsanitary clinic staffed with people who had no medical training and killing viable newborns by severing their spinal cords. He also left many women maimed and several dead.
A couple of liberal men were happy to concede the point about liberal media bias: Conor Friedersdorf and David Weigel. Because if they hadn't heard about the case, ain't no one heard about it!
Except: Here I am writing about the case in 2011, at the end of which are links to five other feminist writers weighing in, and that hardly constitutes a comprehensive list of people who concern themselves with reproductive rights who wrote about the Gosnell case, making the point Irin Carmon made in Salon this week, that the Gosnell case speaks to the need for safe and accessible legal abortion, not tighter abortion restrictions.
There's no goddamn cover-up: It's just that the People Who Matter weren't writing about it.
And of course abortionists, abortion advocates, and abortion-seeking people are not the only people who have been terrorized since 9/11. The mass shooting at a Sikh temple was last August, for fuck's sake. And what about the guy who flew his plane into a federal IRS building in Austin in 2010? Or the white supremacist who attempted to bomb an MLK Day Parade in Spokane in 2011? Etc.
There have been other acts of terrorism in the US since 9/11. But because they are directed at women and/or at people of color, because they happen outside major coastal cities, because the people who write about them aren't doing it in columns at USA Today, these acts of terrorism don't count.
I have a problem with that.
And it makes me ache to see the invisibilizing of survivors of terror during coverage of another terrorist attack. Let's not do that. Please.