In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, a black community organizer says he is “relieved” that the Las Vegas shooter is white.
“I was devastated about Las Vegas — but quietly relieved that the shooter was white,” the headline to Zack Linly’s piece reads.
In fact, Linly said “relief” was the first emotion he felt when he found out about the mass shooting, writing, “And before I could feel fear, grief or despair, I felt relief that the killer was white.”
Linly argues that minorities who commit shootings are unfairly stereotyped based on their race, while white men are never accused of having larger racial or cultural deficiencies. If the shooter were a minority, he claims, those racial groups would have to worry about being persecuted and blamed for the actions of the shooter.
“I doubt many people of color were celebrating and high-fiving each other because we didn’t look like the bad guy,” he says. “But I know that if the shooter had been black, the national conversation would somehow ‘straw-man’ its way into being about Black Lives Matter and black criminality. God help us if it had happened at a rap concert.”
Similarly, Linly asserts, if the shooter were Hispanic people would call for stricter immigration laws, and if the shooter were Middle Eastern people would blame radical Islam and tie him to terrorist organizations.
“But white people don’t need to fear their movements for justice being undermined or the whole of their demographic feeling the pressure to answer for the crimes of a few,” Linly continues. “What I know is that on Monday, I found out that innocent people died, and I felt relief…I felt free in the way the white majority — the default — gets to feel naturally.”