Police have arrested Jason Brian Dalton in connection with three shooting incidents that killed six people and injured two more in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, prosecutor Jeff Getting said Sunday.
The suspect [is] a 45-year-old white male from Kalamazoo.
Let’s imagine if the shooter’s name and skin color were different. Let’s imagine if he were Muslim. We’d be facing frenzied coverage, cries of “terrorism,” breathless punditry. Candidates would weigh in, headlines would blare.
Yes, terrorism has a specific definition. But is there really a qualitative difference between a white male gunning down 7 people and someone who claims allegiance to a terrorist organization doing exactly the same thing? Are the deaths less meaningful? Is the pain any less severe? Is the danger really greater because of the shooter’s ethnicity or political motives?
Or is it that if we start admitting we’re scared of white males, with each new shooting we’d be screaming “terror, terror, terror” every few days?
[NOTE: Updated to reflect the most recent count of victims. Our thoughts are with their families.]