Authorities are saying Jason Dalton, the alleged perpetrator who open fired randomly on groups of people across three locations in Kalamazoo, Michigan, may not have a motive for the deadly massacre — and therefore, is not labeled as a terrorist.
The deadly shooting took place Saturday night and killed six people and gravely injured two. The police believe the victims were targeted indiscriminately and there was no apparent reason for the attack.
"There's this sense of loss, there's this anger, there's fear, there's all these emotions," said Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeffrey Getting. "You put on top of that: How do you go and tell the families of these victims that they weren't targeted for any reason than they were there to be a target?"
While the shooting has set off the (usual, but fruitless) debate over gun laws, others are arguing whether the shooting should be deemed a terrorist attack.
#KalamazooShooting— Timothy Buntley (@TimBuntley) February 21, 2016
If you can find a way to arrest armed white men, you can find a way to arrest unarmed black men.
No article I've read describes #KalamazooShooting suspect as a terrorist. Can we agree that's not the case if his name was more like mine?— Ali Chahbar (@AliChahbar) February 21, 2016
Considering several previous cases, apparently, the authorities only consider an attack to be an act of terrorism if the attacker is non-white, especially Muslim.
The fact that Dalton is white is the only thing that saves him from being labeled as a terrorist, a fact that once again highlights the double standards of U.S. authorities. It's a familiar refrain: if a minority, immediately start looking for a terror connection. If it's a white person, immediately start looking for psychiatric causes.
This isn’t a single incident of a white man committing mass killings, either. There have been numerous cases of people who have entered schools and killed innocents indiscriminately, the most infamous case being the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter. Only those people were deemed “mentally unstable” and those who lived are relegated to psychiatric wards rather than torture prisons because of their white privilege.
Why is it then when a mass slaughter is carried out by a white person, the first concern is gun control laws, not terrorism?
Police claim they are still questioning the accused Kalamazoo shooter about his victims. The question is why wasn’t the same opportunity given to non-whites during similar incidents?