The word "terrorism" is one of those slippery handles that serves many masters.
It is always a term intended to heap shit on the people you're talking about. I think the English teachers call that a "pejorative."
It's a propaganda term, a political term.
That's why we time and again see last year's terrorist morph into next year's statesman, as has happened in the Middle East and in the UK, and most noticeably to Nelson Mandela.
Terrorist today. Icon of freedom, hope, democracy, everything good under the sun the next day.
So what happens when we apply this slippery propaganda term to Dylan Storm Roof?
As in, "Dylan Roof is a terrorist."
What does that word mean to America?
That's what America has been fighting a no-holds-barred battle against since 9/11, is it not?
When we affix that label to Dylan Roof, we excise him from the body of that great dysfunctional family known as America. That label marks him as an outsider, an enemy, someone we've been fighting for years.
That's not who Dylan Roof is.
Dylan Roof is very much a member of that dysfunctional family.
Dylan Roof is every bit as American as apple pie and the second amendment.
Calling him a "terrorist" allows America to avoid looking at itself.