OURVIEW: National violence hits close to home in Austin bombings


Officials holding a press conference after the Monday morning explosion.

Each week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff. This week’s editorial board is composed of Viewpoints Editor Lauren Sanchez and writer Collin Mims

In case you’ve had your head under a rock or filled with the delightfully raucous music from the South by Southwest conference, here’s a heads up. As of Monday, there have been four bombings in the local Austin area, three of which were package bombings and another, the most recent, which involved a trip wire. While this alone is concerning enough, it has the potential to moreover disrupt the ongoings of campus, both in terms of classes and with the underlying threat it poses to the students here.

What would happen should one of the packages make it into a dorm? What sort of potential damage can be caused to our campus and community? Especially, as we’ve seen in the current victims, our students of color? 

It’s worth noting this seems to align with a current thread in America where violence is increasingly on the rise, especially hate-driven violence. We have seen this with the numerous mass shootings that have taken place in this country, both in and out of schools. The normalization of this violence caused by the 24 hour news cycle and politicians also contribute to this rise in violence. Being flooded with news of violence, blood and death 24/7 and having politicians shrug it off has led to a lack of care in these situations. We give our thoughts and prayers then that’s all we have to say on the subject.

Some may argue that these bombings are not a result of the hate that seems to be ever present in our country. However, almost all of these bombs were sent directly to people of color in Austin. The only non-targeted attack occurred Monday morning and was the result of a tripwire in the South West Austin area. The attacks overall have racist undertones in how they have been targeting people of color, so much so that this could be an issue of white supremacy in Austin.

Not to mention that the incident with the tripwire could very well be a second bomber, either allied with the original bomber or identifying with the agenda of the first bomber. There has also been failure to adequately deal with the issue. Three congressional Black Caucus members have called for law enforcement officials to take action, stating that “we cannot stand idly by while our communities are under attack, this has become a national security issue and the full investigative force of the federal government must be focused on stopping these attacks.”

As it stands, we seem to be in a state where racists, bigots and generally violent people are empowered and allowed to fulfill their violent tendencies. In these times, it’s important that we don’t bend out will; it’s important that we stand strong and resilient in the face of violence, especially for those of us who aim to be allies. More than that even, we have to make a point to shame the people who tolerate and perpetuate this violence. These actions are abhorrent and the sentiments they come from even more so. We cannot tolerate intolerance, we cannot abide by bigotry and we cannot go on without taking action.