Saturday, June 11, 2005

More on terrorism

First of all I want to commend critcowboy for starting up the Anti Becker-Posner Blog and for allowing me to post here.

The topic I'd like to explore is terrorism. There has been a lot of analysis of its nature, causes, and effects; most recently, both here and at the Becker-Posner Blog, people have been debating whether terrorism is at least partially caused by poverty.

Whether one believes that poverty is a root cause of terrorism, or whether the concept is broadened to include political disenfranchisement and cultural dislocation, there is one point that strikes me as very significant that I haven't seen discussed anywhere.

Why didn't black Americans ever resort to terrorism? In this case we see every factor which has been associated with terrorism in its rawest form:

--A clear-cut and longstanding historical grievance;

--Poverty in the midst of general prosperity;

--Political disenfranchisement, both institutionalized and informal;

--The disruption of family and cultural ties in the Great Migration to the industrial north.

I would be very interested to hear what anyone had to say about this. I am discounting the Black Panthers and similar groups because I don't think their activities fit any coherent definition of terrorism.