If you want to pull a rabbit out of a hat, get your children to eat their vegetables, or convince yourself that America doesn’t have a problem with White terrorism, all you need is a little misdirection.
Mom’s use mashed potatoes to hide the peas, magicians use sexy assistants to distract you while they reach under the table, and White people are using Marilou Danley’s Filipino heritage and the country’s turmoil with ISIS because it’s an easier pill to swallow than accept the reality that White men have always been this nation’s leading terrorists.
From the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel, Stephen Paddock, 64, had a bird’s eye view of the country music festival, and a bedside view of 23 firearms, 12 of them outfitted with a bump stock to enable rapid fire. When the gunshots stopped, Paddock took 58 lives and wounded over 500, making it one of the biggest mass shootings in modern history (250 less than the Indigenous lives taken during the massacre at Wounded Knee.)
The evidence against Stephen is irrefutable. Stephen’s lifeless body was found on the floor of his hotel room, rifles were scattered on the beds, couches, and bathtubs, and gun shells littered the floor like empty peanut shells at a baseball stadium. Police were quick to reveal the identity of the terrorist, but not before they threw Stephen’s former girlfriend, Marilou Danley, 62, into the conversation as a “person of interest.”
Word spread fast. Marilou Danley wasn’t treated like a person of interest (someone who hasn’t been arrested or accused of a crime) but as a probable suspect and accomplice to Stephen Paddock. Even after Marilou was cleared by the Las Vegas Police Department, people have been quick to etch-a-sketch a reality where Marilou Danley has ties with ISIS.
No, seriously. People believe this bullshit.
People assume that due to ISIS presence in the Mindinao region of the Philippines, Marilou Danley’s Filipino heritage, and ISIS claiming credit (unconfirmed) for the Las Vegas massacre, that Marilou is a member of ISIS.
Somewhere in America, probably in a homemade cardboard time machine with a tinfoil hat on his head, Alex Jones is creaming in his undies as he reads about Marilou Danley and the wonderful conspiracy theories he’s about to drop. I can already hear it now:
“Marilou is an ISIS spy who hypnotized Stephen Paddock with her voodoo Muslim love spell!”
The reality is that Marilou Danley isn’t a member of ISIS, and her recent trip to the Philippines and Dubai is nothing out of the ordinary because Marilou Danley is what we Filipinos call an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW.) According to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, 10.2 million OFWs work and live outside the Philippines. Given the lack of career opportunities and resources for impoverished Filipinos, people like Marilou often immigrate to Australia (390k OFWs) or the United States (3 million OFWs) for a better life.
Taking the life of the OFW into context, Marilou’s story of jet-setting to Dubai (820k OFWs in UAE) and the Philippines sounds less like a conspiracy theory and more like a natural process for Filipinos that live and work in different countries. Marilou, who was recently employed as a hostess at a Casino, is part of a large Filipino-American immigrant community in Las Vegas, many of them employed in blue collar jobs.
Hell, I know plenty of OFWs, including my mom, grandma, and uncle. This idea that Marilou’s OFW experience as evidence of ISIS activity is akin to me calling all White people who travel to Cabo for spring break associates of the Pablo Escobar drug cartel because Escobar had drug henchmen in Mexico.
It. Doesn’t. Make. Sense.
What does make sense, however, is White America’s habit of always pointing the finger at the closest available brown person whenever other White people commit acts of violence. White people have to protect Stephen Paddock, and all other White terrorists because they refuse to believe that homegrown White American terrorism is possible, if not, common.
For them, to simply entertain the existence of White American terrorism would be treason because whiteness is seen as inherently American and inherently good. White people would never do anything to hurt this country. White people would never rain bullets on hundreds of innocent people at a country music festival. White people aren’t capable of it. It was them. It ISIS. It was Marilou Danley.
The obsession with Marilou Danley’s involvement with ISIS, like the mashed potatoes that hide your peas, is White America’s way of distracting itself while the cancerous bedsores of White terrorism spread.