By: Maddie Joiner
AUBURN, Al - Justus Armstrong is a 20-year old male of European descent majoring in political science at Auburn University. Armstrong has a strong interest in current events and frequently keeps up with national issues. He discussed issues regarding domestic terrorism and the importance of the Beloved Community. The Beloved Community, a term made famous by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, focuses on addressing the social issues connected with racism, poverty, and militarism, and has the ultimate goal of creating a world where everyone is loved and respected regardless of their different characteristics, in hopes to end domestic terrorism.
Q: Why do you think the idea of the beloved community is so important?
A: The idea of the beloved community is so important because it involves everyone of all cultures to oppose hatred, the beloved community looks out for everyone, especially those affected by hatred and they fight against the hatred. The beloved community is important because their goal of creating a safe environment for people of all races, ethnicities, religions, sex, age, etc. is essential to ending the domestic terrorism problem.
Q: Who do you think are the main instigators of domestic terrorism?
A: White supremacists, which I would define as a people who see their culture as superior and their way of life and tradition as above everyone else and will advocate and enforce that way of life upon others violently.
Q: When did you first start seeing domestic terrorism?
A: Probably the Charlottesville rally in 2017, when they had a white supremist march and I guess that was the first time I saw that those types of bad people were openly walking around and advocating their opinions.
Q: What is the main issue tied with domestic terrorism and what is the best thing we can do?
A: The main issue is probably intolerance towards others culture and the need to suppress it. The best thing to do is educate others about cultures worldwide because I believed a basic education into other’s ways of life will bring a lot more understanding to the subject.
Q: Where do you see domestic terrorism mainly happening?
A: Definitely in major cities where there is more influx of different cultures, and those cultures clash. A place specifically geographically is actually the North West and West Coast.
Q: How as normal citizens can we help end the issue of domestic terrorism?
A: I would say the first thing anyone can do is to vocally support those affected by the violence so, if you know someone firsthand who belongs to any one of these groups, is to let them know that you stand with them. Secondly, you can support local initiatives that fight hatred in a multitude of ways.
Q: How do you feel about the issue as a whole?
A: I would first say I feel bad about the extent of hatred and white supremacy in the country, but I am hopeful because I have seen many “grass roots” initiatives spring up in response to these attacks.