Walter Brasch: Mistrust and distrust, often fueled by the mass media with their own agendas, may lead some to irrationally believe that entire demographics of people — White, Black, Hispanic, gay, Jew, Muslim — may pose threats to their own safety, leading them to react as if the threats were real rather than imagined.
David A. Love: The terrorist-as-enemy-of-America is like the bogeyman of Red Scare fame, ubiquitous yet elusive, and you can’t quite put your finger on them because they’re tricky. The definition of terrorism itself can serve as a political weapon—a form of terrorism itself, dare I say. Call someone a terrorist, or a communist or socialist or supporter thereof, and you delegitimize everything that person has to say. You marginalize everything that person represents.