OpEd

(Opinion) Domestic Terrorism and the Media’s Dangerous Rhetoric 

Over the weekend, domestic terrorists attacked two power stations in Moore County North Carolina. The attacks left 45,000 people and an entire county without power due to suspected extremist ideology. The rumored motive was that the power stations were attacked to stop a drag show from performing. For weeks, there have been threats towards the “Downtown Divas” drag show at the Sunrise theater in Southern Pines, North Carolina. 

Photo by Luca Nardone on Pexels.com

On Saturday, December 3rd, around 7 p.m., the two power stations were attacked by armed assailants. The rumors about the attack were circulated on Facebook, by an individual named Emily Rainey. Her posts claimed the attacks were “the wrath of God” and that she “knew why the power was out,” connecting the outage to the drag show. The police showed up at her house following the posts, and left shortly after. Rainey told the police that “God works in mysterious ways.”

The sheriff of Moore County Ronnie Fields said that the connection of these two events is neither confirmed nor ruled out. The FBI is now investigating the outages and the motives for the attack. While some argue that it’s irresponsible to claim the drag show was the motivation since there hasn’t been “confirmation,” there has been a rise in attacks towards the LGBT+ community lately, and the rhetoric of the media is partly to blame. 

The recent shooting in Colorado where five people were murdered and nineteen were injured was an attack motivated by fears and hate towards the gay community. If you watch right wing media, you’ll note a clear link between this rise in attacks towards the gay community and the dangerous language being used on networks like Fox News. On Fox News you can see Tucker Carlson and his guests claiming that drag shows are committing  “sexual abuse of children.” How is it abuse to watch people dance? These extremist perspectives that appear in the media have real life consequences. 

 Drag shows have become the latest battleground in the culture war as talk show hosts claim these performances hurt children and are connected to pedophilia. These claims are dangerous and are not backed up with evidence. The members of the media claiming it’s hurting children know that linking drag shows to hurting kids will ignite their base. People want to protect children from whatever risks are out there so finding a new potential danger invokes an emotional response in parents. Claiming that drag shows are “grooming” is false and leads to events like what happened in North Carolina. The Right is using drag shows as fuel for their rhetoric, and it puts the LGBT+ community in harm’s way. 

Weeks after a segment on drag brunches aired on FOX News, a domestic terrorist attack on infrastructure plunged 45,000 people into darkness. While no group has taken responsibility for the attack yet, it’s not a stretch to assume it was a right wing, fringe group. Emily Rainey, who made the posts on Facebook about the outages, was present on January 6th at the raid on the capital. Rainey resigned from her position in the military following the Army’s investigation into her involvement in the insurrection. 

Photo by Mauru00edcio Mascaro on Pexels.com

Rainey led one hundred members of the Moore County Citizens for Freedom group to the capitol on January 6th. The group describes themselves as promoting conservative values and supporting Trump, after the election fraud. Rainey was an officer in the military as a member of the 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg known as PSYOP. PSYOP manipulates information to influence people’s views and emotions regarding American political decisions. It’s unclear how much of a role PSYOP had in January 6th or with Moore County militia’s activity. Rainey resigned following the failed insurrection, but she was still on duty when the coup attempt unfolded. 

The domestic terrorist attack on the power stations in Moore County should’ve been the biggest headline in the news days ago. It wasn’t and it never will be. The cognitive dissonance in this nation prevents people from drawing real conclusions and pointing fingers at who’s really at fault. This story will be washed away with the tide of never ending news stories as the next wave of culture war nonsense washes in. This attack will be forgotten about by everyone except the 45,000 people in Moore County and the LGBTQ+ community. Domestic terrorism is a real and significant threat to the American people and is being propelled forward by politicians and the media. It’s up to we the people to filter the news and rely on citizen journalism to get the truth because viewers will never be told the entire truth by the gatekeepers. 

Categories: OpEd, State Politics, Technology

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