As far as the media were concerned, the murder of Jewish schoolchildren in Toulouse and a black teenager in Florida were the same story — literally: Angry white male opens fire on “the other,” his deeply ingrained racism inflamed by the tide of toxic right-wing hate infecting our public discourse. Alas, in Florida, the angry white male turned out to be a registered Democrat and half Hispanic — or, as the New York Times put it, a “white Hispanic,” a descriptor never applied by its editors to, say, Sonia Sotomayor or Gloria Estefan or indeed any other person living or dead. And in Toulouse the angry white male turned out to be yet another Muhammad.
Oh, well. Better luck next time, although the pickings seem likely to get thinner: Pitch the Western world a decade or two down the road, riven by an ever-more-fractious tribalism between blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims, and the one surviving nonagenarian neo-Nazi white supremacist will be at the retirement home. But it’ll still all be his fault.