Semantics is that part of linguistics that has to do with the meaning of words. Etymology is another part of the same science but has to do with the “origin” of words, and how the meaning of these same words may have evolved over time.

“Terrorist” is a powerful word these days. From a scientific, linguistic point of view it should be cut and dry, as they say. But in America things have a way of getting twisted depending on who is saying them, and for what purpose.

It turns out that a couple of days ago over 100 thousand signatures were gathered and sent to the White House asking President Obama and the Department of Defense to classify the Black Lives Matter movement as a terrorist organization. Really?

Let’s be clear. I’m trying to understand. A guy named Dylan Roof enters a black church (uninvited) where parishioners are conducting Bible study. Nonetheless he is welcomed with open arms. But all of a sudden he pulls out a gun, and declares to these people his intention to kill them all, not because they are committing a crime, but because they were all black (which in his mind is a crime in itself). He kills nine, and wounds several others. Question: Is this guy a terrorist? Of course not. Why?

Because in order to be considered a terrorist in America you must first meet certain criteria. And one of them is race. If you are white, chances are you are not a terrorist. You may be insensitive, unconscious, mentally imbalanced, psychologically unfit, environmentally unfriendly, bipolar, etc., etc., etc. But you are by no means a terrorist.

That category – terrorist – is reserved primarily for Arabs (brown people), and African-Americans (black people). Whites get – as usual – a pass.

And since the Black Lives Matter movement was created, and since it is organized by blacks who go against the status quo (meaning: white establishment), of course they do meet the statute of a terrorist organization.

It is just another example of scare tactics, just like they did with the Black Panther movement of the 1960s. They did eventually succeed in destroying it. But unless Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of this nation, the Black Panther movement scenario of the 60s is not likely to repeat itself.

History teaches those who are ready to learn. And one thing we black and Latino people have learned is that you cannot be scared into retreat. For retreating will only destroy you.

The very survival of minority people on this country depends on standing up to the All White, Only White Establishment, and demolishing it, or at least changing it so they won’t exterminate you.

As Malcom X once said, “… by any means necessary.”

Romano A. Lopez is an Afro-Cuban-American residing in South Florida, and a member of The African Diaspora Think Tank.