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Who are the terrorists?

An open letter to Cheryl Selby, Mayor of Olympia

Mayor Selby, your description of the incident wherein protesters spray-painted “BLM” on your house as “like domestic terrorism” is a boot in the face to actual victims of domestic terrorism. I mean really and truly, Mayor Selby? Having your house spray-painted is like the Boston Marathon bombing? Having your house spray-painted is like the Pulse Nightclub massacre? Having your house spray-painted is like a White supremacist murdering Black parishioners in Charleston? You are an elected official and it matters what words you choose to employ. And the words that you chose have the potential to incite violence.

What happens if someone decides to murder protesters because the Mayor of Olympia described those protesters as carrying out an action “like domestic terrorism”? Nothing is “like” domestic terrorism. Vandalism is not comparable to maimed and murdered bodies. Destruction of property is an inconvenience to capital, not a capitol offense. How could you dare to conflate them? But you did, Mayor Selby.

Your police force used chemical weapons on protesters: weapons that are banned from use in warfare under the Geneva Convention! So…

Who are the terrorists, Mayor Selby? Here’s a hint: they aren’t the fed-up kids spray-painting a rich person’s house.

Timothy Murphy lives in Tumwater and is a graduate of The Evergreen State College.

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