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terrorism

September 11, 2021 marks the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Two decades, yet in many ways it still feels like yesterday.

We'll never know how much worse the attack could have been, how many more buildings would have been hit if flights had not been grounded after two planes hit the World Trade Center and another hit the Pentagon. But we do know that the heroic acts of passengers and crew members on Flight 93 prevented one attack, likely on the U.S. Capitol or the White House.

After learning about the attacks in New York, passengers and crew aboard Flight 93 realized they were part of a planned attack and took matters into their own hands. A group of them stormed the cockpit and foiled the plan. The terrorists ended up crashing the plane in a rural area of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, east of Pittsburgh. No one survived the crash.

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When politicians use terrorism as a tool for swaying voters, they usually mean a specific kind of terrorism. This became clear in the 2016 election season when then-candidate Trump falsely accused President Obama and Hillary Clinton of refusing to use specific words to describe it.

Say it with me, everyone: "Radical Islamic terrorism."

But there's another face of terrorism in the U.S. that often gets overlooked—one that looks, on the surface, like more than half of the U.S. population.

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This was the scene on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Those are rescue workers aiding an injured, shaken woman who was plowed into by a car driven by an alleged white supremacist. In 2017. In America.

It's a difficult photo to see — as are many of the other photos taken over the weekend — but it's important we all see it and recognize this image for what it is.

The terrorist attack, allegedly carried out by a 20-year-old from Ohio who was in town supporting the "Unite the Right" white nationalist conference, left one victim, counter-protester Heather Heyer, dead. It injured 19 others.

It's easy to feel helpless in the days following an event like Charlottesville. If you're in a position of privilege, it's maybe even easier to intentionally tune out — to put on your headphones and ignore the bigger problems waiting outside your door. But it's important we act.





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Riz Ahmed performed a moving spoken-word song in response to Charlottesville.

The powerful performance of 'Sour Times' drew a roaring applause.

"It seems that we’re living in really, really divided times, and it really hurts," said rapper, actor, and activist Riz Ahmed on "The Tonight Show."

Just days after a white supremacist killed a protester at a Charlottesville, Virginia, march, the "Rogue One" star found himself seated next to Jimmy Fallon discussing his latest TV, film, and music projects. After a few minutes of standard talk show banter, the conversation turned serious, and Ahmed brought up a song he wrote a while ago, that he hoped would never be relevant.

[rebelmouse-image 19532426 dam="1" original_size="450x253" caption="GIFs from "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon"/YouTube." expand=1]GIFs from "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon"/YouTube.

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