A Newsmax panel of five white people on Thursday suggested that it was wrong to criticize the "whiteness" of the Georgia shooter who targeted Asian spas in a murder spree this week.
The segment began by arguing that it is "too early" to designate the murders as a racially-motivated hate crime.
"Some in the media are demanding it to be classified as a hate crime," host Emma Rechenberg said.
"Yeah, not even after 24 hours of the investigation," co-host Shaun Kraisman complained. "But investigators said Wednesday -- that was yesterday -- that the suspected gunman, 21-year-old Robert Long, told them he was motivated by a sexual addiction and added that racism did not appear to be the motive."
Former Nevada GOP Chair Amy Tarkanian called the murders "a very sad situation" and attributed the attack to "some mental problems."
"I have seen a number of attacks that are taking place on the Asian community and these aren't just by white people," she continued. "These are people of every race and the fact that we are so quick to jump on this one, it is questionable."
"He claims that he had a sex addiction and the fact that he chose a massage parlor, I don't know," Tarkanian added. "Maybe he is just incredibly attracted to the Asian community and, you know, maybe the massage and the touch is what turned him off -- or turned him on -- and that's why he felt he needed to get rid of the situation. He's obviously not well."
Rechenberg was critical of a recent column by The Root that responded to the murders with the headline, "Whiteness Is a Pandemic."
"If the goal is to eliminate racism in our world, arguing that whiteness is a pandemic might not be the best place to start," she opined.
Newsmax contributor Mark Halperin agreed: "I wish people in the country would focus on unity and not division."
Kraisman noted that Long was likely not a racist because he did not attack "every Asian restaurant."
Conservative activist Nick Adams also defended "whiteness" in light of the attack.
"On the topic of that article about whiteness and everything else, I've got to tell you, in America -- I mean, the left likes to talk about white privilege -- in America, there's only one kind of privilege, and that's American privilege," he remarked. "Everyone that was born here, everyone that moves here wins the lottery of life."