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The Lone Wolf Narrative

Guy plans to kill multiple innocent people for an ideology. Guy pulls it off.

Guy is a terrorist, right?

In the US, it depends on if he’s white or not.

Terrorist douchebag. This is from Facebook, taken before the guy walked into a church and killed a bible study group because they were black.
Terrorist douchebag. This is from his Facebook, taken before he walked into a church and killed an entire bible study group because they were black. He even claimed to have black friends.

See, if he’s a white american, the media and politicians say he’s a lone wolf, a social outcast, and clearly suffering from mental health issues.

The system failed him somewhere, poor guy. His parents did all they can, why didn’t they know more?

He acted alone, he taught himself, and once he’s dead it’s all over.  What a senseless tragedy. Some people really are crazy!

Let’s talk about how evil this guy was then move on. There’s no larger social context here.


If he’s a black or latino american the narrative is very different. He’s called a thug, a gangster and he is acting out based on the inability of his people to control themselves.

His laziness left him a loser in life so of course, he struck out against those with more than him.

His education, his music, his parents, his community, his speech patterns, even his clothing are all identified as signs that we should be scared of this happening again from others sharing his skin tone and situation.

The media gets a lot of mileage out of this type of story.


If he’s muslim or his family originates from anywhere near the middle east, he is immediately labeled a terrorist and it is assumed his religious beliefs put him up to this act.

He’s not a thug, a gangster, or a lone crazy. He’s a terrorist working for massive forces against ‘merica. They could be everywhere. Trust no one like that.

This narrative is strong enough to launch entire wars.


Here’s a professor of religion and african studies putting this more eloquently:

Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs.’ Why are white people called ‘mentally ill’?

Turns out this guy that murdered the bible study group went to school with the niece of Republican leader Lyndsey Graham. When asked for comment, Graham went about pushing the lone wolf narrative.

No surprise.