The “Lone Wolf” is and will always be a ridiculous concept. No man is an island no individual who chooses to shoot 59 people and maim more than 500 more did it all by himself with his own bare hands.
The “lone-ness” of the “Wolf” is an attempt to circumscribe him, to remove him from the rest of society; to claim he has nothing to do with anybody else and therefore the rest of white (and Christian) society has no duty to atone for him, to apologise for his actions, to explain why he did it or to take any responsibility in any way shape or form for his deeds.
The fact that he was male and white has no relevance whatsoever to the crimes he chose to commit. He was an anomaly. The best that can be said is that he was suffering from mental illness or in some way deranged, because white people don’t do this kind of thing. The default setting for white people is that they are good people.
They only commit mass murder when the balance of their minds is disturbed and therefore tons of ink will be spilt examining his mental state. Anyone who suggests that whiteness had anything to do with it is simply playing the race card. The fact that the deadliest mass murderers in the USA have been white males seems to slip our collective minds.
Contrast this if you will in the case where the shooter is black or brown. If black he is a thug and it an animal someone who is emblematic of his race. A race which needs to be caged, corralled, criminalised and randomly murdered by the authorities and even that is not enough.
Black people are required to apologise for him and promise white people that we are not all bad. And if we are daft enough to play that game we will always lose. Because no matter how much we promise we will not be believed. Violence, white people think, is in our DNA.
The number of unarmed and unthreatening black men and women killed by police officers attests to this fact. At the time of writing no police officer has been convicted of murder for any of these killings. Yet the president of the USA thinks it fit to call those who peacefully protest about the murders “sons of bitches”.
If the shooter is brown then obviously he is a radical Islamic Jihadi terrorist. All brown people and not just Muslims are now required to apologise for what he did, distance themselves from his actions, examine his friends family and acquaintances for signs that anyone knew or should have known what he might have done and they too can now be criminalised.
If he ever frequented a mosque it is now fair game to be petrol bombed. And even if he didn’t visit a mosque any mosque is now fair game to be petrol bombed. Muslim men and brown men in general can be assaulted and attacked in the street with impunity.
Brown women especially those who wear the hijab or the burqa can be assaulted and have their head coverings violently removed. And should they attempt to visit a beach (in France) they can be forced at gunpoint by the authorities to take off their clothes. How many guns did you think they were hiding under there?
There is talk in the UK of prosecuting family members of the Manchester bomber for failing to tell the authorities about what he was planning to do. The fact that family and friends did tell the authorities that they suspected him appears to be irrelevant. There appears to be no corresponding duty on the part of the authorities to actually act on the information they were given.
And don’t get me started on the fact that he was allowed to buy and stockpile a ridiculously vast arsenal, yet white men are falling over themselves to explain that guns are not the problem here. Because of course he could have easily killed 59 people and maimed another 500 by himself while wielding just a knife.
Marcia Hutchinson MBE is a former lawyer and publisher of culturally diverse educational resources.