September 28, 2016

In a press conference just held concerning today's shooting at an elementary school in South Carolina, Anderson County Sheriff's Department spokesman Garland Major reassured the community that terrorism was not a factor because the victims and the shooter were all white.

Before the teenage gunman arrived at the school, police say he killed a 47-year old man at another location who was apparently his father, Jeffrey Osborne, according to Garland. He then went on to discuss the victims and the shooter.

"The students were both white males. The teacher was a white female. The shooter is a white male," Garland said. "There is no racial undertone, no terrorism involved."

Until this moment, the authorities in South Carolina had appeared to me to be professional and really on their game with regard to the shooting. They have apparently coordinated training efforts with the school district there, teachers were trained, and police were on the scene within seven minutes of the 911 call.

But you can see right there the implicit bias which is fought every single day. Because the shooter and all the victims were white, there was no terrorism.

I think the teachers and students in that school would beg to differ. Clearly they were terrified, as anyone would have been. It doesn't have to be a black or brown person shooting the gun for terror to be involved.

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