Reacting to Bomb on MLK March Route

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Spokane, Washington’s Martin Luther King Jr. march was disrupted Monday, when a backpack containing a bomb was discovered along the march’s route. Luckily, the bomb was found and neutralized by an FBI bomb disposal unit before it could detonate, as the FBI later reported that the backpack’s contents were “capable of inflicting multiple casualties.”

According to a reporter from the local newspaper, the Spokesman-Review, “the device was placed to direct the blast outward toward the marchers.” Though no suspects or motives have been identified, a local FBI special agent has told NBC news that the act is considered “domestic terrorism,” as the timing and placement of the device signal obvious political or racist motivations.

In addition to the significance of where and when the bomb was found, its discovery close on the heels of the recent shooting in Arizona is likely to further the discussion about political rhetoric sparked by the initial tragic event. Some bloggers have kicked off that discussion already.

  • Not That Unusual for the Area  Los Angeles Times reporter Abby Sewell points out that “the area has a history of white supremacist activity. Until 2001, the Aryan Nations was headquartered in nearby Haydenn Lake, Idaho. As recently as April 2009, the Spokesman-Review newspaper reported that residents of a Coeur d’Alene, Idaho subdivision had found Aryan Nations recruitment letters on their lawns.”
  • What Else Happened on Monday? Blogger Zandar is shocked at how little news coverage this bomb received on Monday when it was discovered. He writes:
Why this wasn't wall-to-wall national news Monday I have no clue. This was clearly a domestic terror attack, set by somebody on MLK Day, at an MLK Day parade. No clue on the suspect or their motives, but the intended target and timing says a hell of a lot.
Someone tried to kill people marching for peace on Monday. This is horrendous. I pray the FBI can nail the people responsible and fast. Two things stand out: the intended target and of the attack and the fact that it was stopped. The system worked here, the backpack was found and disposed of and nobody was hurt.
  • It’s Only a Matter of Time  Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit wants to know: “has the media started blaming the tea party yet?”
  • Just a Coincidence?  Joan McCarter at Daily Kos offers a prediction at the right-wing response to Monday’s events, based on recent disagreement over the motivations of the recent Arizona shooter:
But surely it wasn’t politically motivated, the far right will say. IT was the act of a deranged individual who had no political inclinations at all. It’s just a coincidence that it was a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.
  • MLK Marchers Were Lucky  Blogger Steven D. at the Booman Tribune comments on the unpredictability of such violent events as the attempted bombing of the MLK march and the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona and notes it was pure luck that kept those in Washington safe, unlike those in Arizona.
That’s the trouble with luck. You never know when it’s going to be “good” or “bad.” What we can predict, with a fair amount of certainty based on recent events over the last three years, is that as long as the Right continues to demonize minorities, liberals and even scientists and uses language that subtly and often not so subtly calls for violence to be used against those individuals, the more incidents like the Tucson Massacre and the attempted bombing in Spokane will continue to occur.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.