Even before we learned his name, it was already obvious from the media’s refusal to call the attack in Las Vegas terrorism that the shooter was white and his political leanings were not immediately identifiable as liberal. It’s the worst kept secret in America that “terrorism” is only committed by Muslims and liberals and as a 64-year-old white man from Mesquite, Nevada, the odds were not great that Stephen Paddock fell into either of those categories.
So, “lone wolf” it is.
That’s insulting enough as it is because there’s no question that if we discover that Paddock is a huge Bernie Sanders fan he’ll magically transform into a radical left wing terrorist, but The Washington Post went a bit further. Somehow, they managed to conflate the slaughter in Las Vegas with, of all things, ISIS in what has to be one of the most hamfisted attempts to keep up the “white men aren’t terrorists” motif that pervades the entire America press.
On the front page of WaPo’s website is a mention of Paddock as, of course, a “lone wolf”, followed by a comparison to the body count from the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando a little over a year ago. But then, inexplicably, the blurb goes on to mention ISIS as the inspiration:
With no mention of Paddock’s motivation by way of comparison, throwing ISIS in there serves only to conflate the Las Vegas attack with Islamic terrorism, furthering the narrative that white people can’t be terrorists unless Islam is involved somehow. The article even neglects to mention the Pulse shooter’s self-loathing as a closeted homosexual, presumably because the ISIS narrative is more convenient.
People are angry and looking for someone to blame; preferably anyone other than older white men with easy access to guns. Conservatives are already blaming liberals, Jews, the media, Democrats, etc. for the violence. Waving Muslims in front of the nation because we don’t like to call white people “terrorists” is just irresponsible.
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I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.