Greensboro's African American Community Newspaper since 1967

Leadership silence on domestic terrorism


Julianne Malveaux Julianne Malveaux
Twenty-two people died and more than 50 were injured when a terrorist jihadist released a bomb at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England on May 22. The heinous act of terrorism was condemned worldwide, as it should have been. Our 45th president was full of condemnation, although his very limited vocabulary only allowed him to call the perpetrators of the deadly attack “losers” (the same thing he called Rosie O’Donnell and Senator Chuck Schumer). House Speaker Paul Ryan also condemned the bombing in harsh terms and asked for a moment of silence to commemorate the “young and innocent” victims of terrorism.

Just a few miles away from Capitol Hill, though, an outstanding young Black man was massacred by an intoxicated and crazed racist. Second Lt. Richard Collins III would have graduated from Bowie State University on May 23, 2017. A distinguished part of the ROTC, he had received a commission as second lieutenant in the United States Army and planned to work in Army intelligence. I’m not comparing deaths, but I am suggesting that Collins was the victim of domestic terrorism. Terrorism, after all, is defined as “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” The man who, unprovoked, stabbed Collins in the chest is little more than a domestic terrorist. My vocabulary is a little more advanced than 45’s, so I won’t call the devil (I refuse to call his name) that stabbed Collins a loser. He is a monster; a disgusting, depraved and soulless piece of human excrement. The death penalty is too good for him. I digress.

The news in Washington, D.C., has explored many aspects of the massacre of Richard Collins III. It is impossible that House Speaker Ryan is unaware of the massacre. Yet Ryan has, to date, been silent about this terroristic massacre. So has the 45th President. So, for that matter, have so many. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Mr. Law and Order, has not deigned to offer condolences to Richard Collins’ family or to make any of the broad generalizations that he likes to make when Black and Brown men are involved in crime. Why has there been no moment of silence on the Congressional floor for Second Lt. Richard Collins III? Why have the Republicans who support the military so strongly that they are prepared to slash social service spending to put billions in military spending not spoken up for this young Black man?

 Second Lt. Richard Collins III Second Lt. Richard Collins III
I am sure some member of Congress will say that they’ve not spoken up because this is not a national story, because the killing of one man, no matter how exceptional, may not merit a moment of silence for the whole Congress. I disagree! When some Republicans are all-too-eager to embrace racist stereotypes, lifting up a young man who did all the right things, and condemning his killing could be meaningful. In order to do that, though, Congress would have to implicitly (if not explicitly) acknowledge the toll that domestic terrorism has taken on African American communities. I suppose they would rather be silent.

The evil, horrible University of Maryland student who killed Richard Collins III was part of an alt-right Facebook group. Why does Facebook facilitate the gathering of these racists? The FBI is supposedly “investigating” whether the Collins killing is a hate crime. They know it was. All they have to do is check the Facebook group and the mess they posted, or follow the repugnantly encouraging posts that the vicious killer has received from his high school classmates through social media.

For example, Welby Burgone, who went to high school with the killer devil, now works for the Anne Arundel County (which is in suburban Maryland) police department as a communications specialist. “You mess with crabo, you get a stabo,” Burgonet posted in response to an even more odious post that cheered the stabber on, writing, “That’s what happens when a n—try (sic) to get frosty with an OG. Talk s…, get stabbed. lol.” And the FBI has to “investigate?.” Really.

Even the Anne Arundel police have to be questioned for their soft peddling of this matter. Yes, they suspended Burgone. But they also described his statement as “extremely insensitive.” It’s a lot more than that. It is brutal, it is repugnant, and someone with those views has no business working in law enforcement in any capacity.

Second Lt. Richard Collins III was massacred on Saturday, May 20. At this writing, on May 26, there has been no congressional moment of silence, no outreach from the 45th President, no statement of repugnance about this domestic terrorism from anyone other than the Presidents of both Bowie State University, where Collins was to graduate, and the University of Maryland at College Park, where the killer matriculated. Why are White leaders so silent on matters of domestic terrorism and, in particular, the massacre of Richard Collins III? Shame on them and shame on those of us they represent for not demanding more.

Julianne Malveaux is an economist, author, and founder of Economic Education. Her podcast, “It’s Personal with Dr. J” is available on iTunes. Her latest book “Are We Better Off: Race, Obama and public policy is available via