The mass slaughter of American citizens in Las Vegas is the latest account of White domestic terrorism in a country that has struggled with it for decades, especially with violence being used as a vehicle to suppress African Americans.

It was Freedom Summer in the Deep South. The year was 1964, when hundreds of young adults mobilized to help disenfranchised Black folks register to vote when they were denied that basic right.

Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival killing dozens and wounding hundreds. The question has been raised as critics suggested that the conversation around our nation’s tragedies is often framed in divisive, racial code words. If Whites are blamed, they say, it is as individuals; for minorities, it is suggested that their crimes are part of a larger narrative. (Courtesy of Eric Paddock via AP)

James Chaney, a native of Mississippi, was a 21-year-old civil rights activist. On June 21, 1964, Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, along with two White college students from New York, were kidnapped by the Ku Klux Klan, who shot them before burying their bodies in an earthen dam.

Black folk from the South who were active in the Civil Rights Movement during that era had a front-row seat to White domestic terrorism.

During the East St. Louis Massacre of 1917 hundreds of African Americans were shot and killed. Going further back, more than 100 African Americans were murdered by White Southern Democrats in 1873 in Colfax, La.

White domestic terrorism has occurred again, this time on Oct. 1 when Stephen Paddock, a White 64-year-old retiree, perched himself on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas and proceeded to shoot down upon 22,000 people attending an outdoors country music concert, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others; the majority of whom were White.

Although many news outlets declined to indentify Paddock as a terrorist, his actions, much like the actions of terrorists during the Civil Rights Movement, shed light on the fact that not all terrorism in the United States is from foreign countries.

“A great question . . . obviously there’s a huge White backlash now, just as there was during the Civil Rights Movement with the KKK’s killings of the four little girls and then the three civil rights workers,” Jerry Mitchell, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter at the Jackson Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Mississippi, told the {AFRO}. “What we don’t know yet is where this backlash might lead in terms of politics and national leadership. Are we headed for a fractured nation?”

Domestic White terrorism from the past — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 and from the present — nine Black parishioners and ministers were killed by Dylann Roof, a then-21-year-old Confederacy lover/admitted White supremacist, on June 17, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. continue to not be labeled terrorism by law enforcement agencies.

Other acts of White domestic terrorism also include the murder of NAACP leader Medgar Evers, who was assassinated June 12, 1963 in Mississippi. He was shot in the back in his driveway by a Ku Klux Klan sniper.

There was also the Sept. 15, 1963, at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., four black girls were killed during a firebombing by the Ku Klux Klan. The girls were: Addie Mae Collins (14 years old), Denise McNair (11), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14).

And before that on Aug. 28, 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago, was kidnapped, tortured, beaten to death, wrapped in barbed wire, tied to a cotton gin and thrown into a river after he supposedly whistled at a White woman in a Mississippi store. The woman’s husband and her brother were charged with Till’s death but were acquitted.

Till’s casket lies in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Other acts of White terrorism that received less attention include:

—the 1873 mass shooting in Colfax, La., where up to 150 people, mostly Black, were killed following a controversial election in what has been called the Colfax Massacre.

—The 1917, in East St. Louis race riot that killed as many as 100 Black people.

—The 1919 lynching in Elaine, Ark., where about 237 Black people died after a White law-enforcement officer was killed during a confrontation.

—The  May 31, 1921, race riots in Tulsa, Oka. erupted following newspaper accounts stating that a young Black man assaulted a White female elevator operator.

In 2015, a manuscript written by Buck Colbert Franklin, a Black Oklahoma attorney and father of renowned historian John Hope Franklin, was discovered. In the manuscript, Colbert Franklin wrote about the aftermath of the newspaper report, “Then whites were deputized and handed weapons, the shooting starts and then it gets out of hand. It went on for two days until the entire Black community is burned down.”

That community was called “Black Wall Street.”

According to the Tulsa Race Riots Commission, at least 300 people died. Most were Black.

Like Till’s casket, Franklin’s manuscript is on display at the NMAAHC.