A newly-released video shows a professor at the University of California, Merced (UC-Merced) teaching his students that 90 percent of terrorist attacks in America are conducted by white men who are “religiously motivated and politically conservative.”
The video, recorded in October, was released by The College Fix. It shows professor Ross Avila lecturing his “Introduction to Psychology” class on the topic of heuristics, mental shortcuts people use when trying to assess information or solve problems.
To illustrate his point, Avila said that most Americans assume Muslims are the country’s largest terror threat because they haven’t thought about the matter systematically.
“Ninety percent [of terrorist attacks in the U.S.] are from these white Caucasian men,” Avila tells the class. “I am not saying white men are evil – but that is what we should be thinking about. Usually they are people who are religiously motivated and politically conservative.”
Avila then describes a supposed right-wing terrorist action that he said was ignored by the media. He said that just a few months before (meaning in the summer of 2015) a white Christian walked into the Texas statehouse and fired off 60 rounds from an AK-47, which he said was also terrorism even if nobody was hurt in the process.
That supposed Texas shooting is entirely fictional.
Later on, in response to a student’s question, Avila says the Sept. 11 attacks were “basically the only act of foreign-born terrorism that’s ever happened in the United States.” Much like with the invented Texas shooting, Avila’s statement is totally untrue. Just in the past few years, terrorist actions committed by foreign-born individuals in the U.S. include the Boston Marathon bombing, the Chattanooga military recruitment office shooting, and the attempted car bombing of Time Square.
Ironically, just a few weeks after Avila’s lecture, UC-Merced student Faisal Mohammad (an American-born Muslim) went on a stabbing spree at the school, apparently in an act of solidarity with Islamic State. That was followed in early December by the shooting in San Bernardino, where one of the two shooters was foreign-born and both appear to have been motivated by Islamic extremism.
“A common heuristic about terrorists is that they are most often Muslim. I wanted to show the class that this was not the case,” he says.
Avila admits he completely mangled his facts in describing the non-existent Texas attack. He said he was actually thinking of an incident in Georgia in 2014, when a man attempted to storm the courthouse of Forsyth County with an AR-15 before being gunned down by a patrolling sheriff’s deputy. Avila says he first saw video of the incident in the summer of 2015, leading to his confusion.
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