Stephen Paddock shot and killed 59 people for (at this point) no apparent reason. People just lost their parents, friends, spouses, children. 59 innocent lives were just taken by a man filled with nothing but evil, and news sources are making their headlines about his interests.
What if Stephen Paddock was Muslim?
What if he was black?
What if he was anything other than a 64-year-old white man?
Do you think we'd be publishing what they liked? People of color are killed and still, the media publishes criminal records and mugshots, but a white man ends 58 lives gets a headline about what his hobbies were.
At some point, we have to admit that this IS a race thing.
That this type of media coverage would NOT have happened if the shooter wasn't an old white man. We want to sympathize. As a country, we perceive others as "the bad guys." We say that Muslims are the "terrorists" and black men are the "thugs" and these people are the causes of all negativity in our country. And then when a white man commits one of the largest shootings in American history, we are lost. We don't know what to do when someone we don't perceive as a "bad guy" does a bad thing. So we justify. And we humanize. And we write bullshit headlines that talk about a mass murderer's interest and hobbies instead of calling it what it is, because the word "terrorist" is already occupied by people who don't look like Stephen Paddock.
We need to call Stephen Paddock what he is. He is not just some gun-totin' country music lovin' 64-year-old white man who "has no motive" and "doesn't seem to fit the profile."
He's a terrorist.
He is a horrible man who took the lives of 59 innocent people and does not deserve to be humanized and justified in the mass media.