He Must Have Terrorized Himself…

Charles Glander, a seminary student in Minnesota, has been charged with making terrorist threats because he scrawled a racial slur on his own truck. That’s right, his own truck.

Actually, this story illustrates a number of different concerns.

It seems that Glander is under suspicion over several instances of legitimate unlawful threatening graffiti — but he has thus far not been charged. In light of this, consider the following quote:

Obang Okello, a Bethel senior who found and reported a racist message drawn on his car in April, said he was somewhat eased by the arrest.

“That brings hope that something is being done about it,” he said. But “I’m very sure there could be more people involved.”

Wait a sec. As of now, there’s no evidence that Glander is responsible for anything other than the graffiti on his own vehicle. It’s a bit hasty to assume that his arrest constitutes “something being done” about the other incidents. This could be — not is, mind you, just could be — the early stages of a good ol’-fashioned scapegoating.

Perhaps of more obvious concern is the fact that no elaboration on the allegedly racist message on Glander’s truck is given anywhere in the article. How can the reader make any assessment if the reader has no clue what the message was about? Frankly, only something like “I will kill all Spics today” would be an arrestable offense. Simply putting, for instance, “nigger,” “kyke,” or some such vulgarity on his truck does not strike me as an illegal act, and it certainly does not count as a terrorist act. (It could be that he was violating some local ordinance on obscenity, under the colloquial understanding of the word. But again, that’s not terrorism.)

But the reporter gives absolutely no hint as to the content of the message. I think this is rather emblematic of how paralyzing racial ettiquette has become in this country. The slur itself need not be reported, but what would be wrong with saying “a slur against blacks” or “a death threat to Muslims” or some such thing? It’s impossible to make any sort of assessment from reading this article.

Very interesting stuff.

UPDATE FIRE’s legal director, Greg Lukianoff, also raised a very interesting point about this incident. The article never mentions Glander’s race. Considering his defense:

Glander’s explanation for marking up his vehicle, according to the complaint, was that he was angry at whoever was targeting minority students on campus and at Bethel for what he saw as the college’s failure to properly deal with the incidents. He also said he was angry at campus security for ignoring complaints he had made about alleged harassment of him and his spouse and upset that a professor had failed to give him academic help he needed.

Oddly, then, this fellow could be a minority himself. The plot thickens…