Trends in shootings cause outrage

By: Kwynn Townsend-Riley – Columnist, Junior

Similar to the black lives matter hashtag, another one has been circulating recently: #MuslimLivesMatter. On Tuesday, three University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students were shot. On a Tuesday night, a husband, a wife and a sister were shot in the head. On a Tuesday, a white man shot three Muslim students to death. This is no different than the death of Michael Brown. These murders are no different than Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, John Crawford or Renisha McBride.

All of these innocent people were shot by white males.

All of these innocent people were victims of an unjust system in an unjust society.

It hurts my heart to hear of such a sad story, but it hurts my heart more to know that students on this campus do not know about it.

According to a CNN article that covered the murder, all three of the victims, Deah Barakat, 23; Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and Razan Abu-Salha, 19, were Muslim.

Craig Stephen Hicks claims he killed the three students over a parking spot dispute. His attorney, Rob Maitland, claims that Hicks committed this act due to a mental illness and said the shooting “highlights the importance of access to mental health care services.”

He declined to provide any details about the suspect’s mental health history but said, “Obviously it’s not within the range of normal behavior for someone to shoot three people over parking issues.” This is all according to a CNN article that included an interview with Maitland’s  ex-wife and attorney at a press conference.

I agree. It is not normal for someone to shoot three people over parking issues.

I agree. No one in his/her right mind would shoot somebody for such a petty reason as that.

However, common sense is a flower that does not bloom in everyone’s garden. As my grandma says, some people are crazy.

Moreover, stereotyping and racial desensitization plays the leading actor in this situation.

If the roles were switched, if a Muslim man shot three unarmed white students, I could predict the headlines pretty accurately. Headlines would talk about a terrorist attack, 9/11 part two, maybe Disney would even stop making copies of the “Aladdin” movie.

If it was a black man killing three white students, it would be just the same. There would be some reference to gangsters, how malicious black people are and some Zimmerman supporters may even claim that, somehow, it was all Obama’s fault.

I hope you understand my point: The trend of murderers escaping their punishment due to claiming self-defense or mental illness is ludicrous.

Muslim lives matter. Black lives matter. Please do not forget.