Two Mass Shootings, Only One Narrative

There was a mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, this last weekend at a Tops Friendly Market. Ten people were killed by the shooter and three were injured. The shooter was arrested by local authorities. He is described as an 18-year-old Caucasian male, who had made threats against his high school and online. All the victims were African American, and authorities are treating it as a hate crime due to the defendant’s prior statements and a lengthy manifesto he published before the attack.

There was also a mass shooting this last weekend in Orange County, CA. One person was killed, and five people were injured in a church before churchgoers heroically subdued the attacker. The suspect, in that case, is described as a man of Chinese descent who was targeting the Taiwanese community. Authorities are also treating that case as a hate crime as well.

Both shootings are horrific crimes that involve acts of bravery but only one is getting national attention. The Buffalo shooting is getting consistent coverage with President Biden visiting the impacted community this week. The Orange County shooting is mostly local coverage, and no presidential visit is scheduled. Why the difference between the two?

An argument can be made that the Buffalo shooting deserves more attention because more people were killed. This is a plausible argument but incomplete. There is another factor in play. The Orange County shooting is sure to get memory-holed by the national media because it does not fit the Biden administration’s preferred ‘white supremacy’ narrative. Just like the Waukesha, WI, car attack, the perpetrator of the Orange County attack does not add to the conversation the administration wants to keep having.

The Buffalo shooting allows the President to continue to portray America as a deeply flawed and racist country. All these attacks are horrific. The fact that all of them can also be characterized as hate crimes is equally horrific. They should all be treated the same by the media and the Biden administration. Failure to do so is disrespectful to the victims who deserve better than to have their memories used, or discarded, for national political gains.