It didn’t take long for many on social media to speculate about the shooter’s ethnic origins, with many quick to declare that he was likely an “angry white man.”
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Millions of Americans were left horrified by last week’s tragic mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.
Ten people, including one police officer, were killed in the rampage, which was committed by a lone man with an assault rifle.
It didn’t take long for social media to speculate about the shooter’s ethnic origins, with many quick to declare that he was likely an “angry white man.”
Julie DiCaro, a journalist at Deadspin, tweeted, “Extremely tired of people’s lives depending on whether a white man with an AR-15 is having a good day or not.”
Commenting on the fact that the shooter was arrested and not shot and killed on the spot by police, anti-Trump activist Amy Siskind tweeted, “It was almost certainly a white man, because if he were black or brown, he would be dead.”
However, Boulder police detectives quickly revealed that the suspected shooter’s name is Ahmed Al Issa. Born in Syria, he immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of three and is a practicing Muslim.
DiCaro and Siskind deleted their tweets that referred to the shooter being white.
But despite the new information on the suspect’s origin, his alleged “whiteness” remained a major focus in conversation around the event.
Social media commentator Tariq Nasheed doubled down on the idea that the shooting was committed by a white man.
The suspected shooter’s status as a Syrian-born Muslim of Arab ethnicity should not take away from his whiteness, Nasheed argued.
“White supremacists are trying their hardest to deflect from the fact the Boulder suspect is WHITE,” he tweeted.
“Syrians in America are legally, politically & socially WHITE. Their white status is well documented in court cases. Terms like ‘muslim’, ‘Arab’, ‘islamic’ doesn’t change whiteness.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted that people should reserve judgment about the shooter’s background, suggesting that the media was focusing too much on Al Issa’s Muslim faith.
“The shooter’s race or ethnicity seems front and center when they aren’t white,” Omar tweeted. “Otherwise, it’s just a mentally ill young man having a bad day.
“Narratives drive our responses to awful crimes committed against innocent people, pay attention to these responses and who is targeted,” Omar said.
Washington Free Beacon editor Brent Scher responded to Omar, noting that there was no issue about discussing the shooter’s background when it was thought he was a white man.
“This shooter’s race and ethnicity was front and center yesterday when we didn’t even know what it was and just assumed it was white,” he wrote.
Al Issa, who displayed aggressive and paranoid behavior prior to the shooting, was suspected of being mentally ill by his brother. It is unknown if Islamist motives also played a role.