As in a number of cases involving minority criminals, mass media initially appeared reluctant to identify the perpetrators in the San Bernadino shootings that left fourteen people dead, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. The Los Angeles Times seemed to play down the agency of the shooters, with a by-now familiar description of gunfire “erupting,” like a volcano or some other natural phenomenon. Though Farook was described as a “devout Moslem,” and the shootings followed the November Paris terrorist attacks, the Times and other media were also reluctant to bring up a possible religious motive for the shootings.
Nevertheless, the attacks seemed to be well-planned and there were suspicious goings on at a Redlands, California home that reportedly belongs to Farook’s sister and mother prior to the “eruption” of gunfire:
A man who has been working in the area said he noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks, but decided not to report anything since he did not wish to racially profile those people.
“We sat around lunch thinking, ‘What were they doing around the neighborhood?’” he said. “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.”
(Another report claimed that the ownership of the house had not yet been determined and that there were several houses investigators thought were “connected” to Farook.)
A neighbor of Farook’s and Malik’s reportedly noticed that “3-4 Middle Easterners” had moved into their apartment and that the apartment’s residents had received a number of package deliveries. That neighbor had also feared being accused of “profiling.”
Given the recent history of Moslem terrorism, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the “religion of peace” may have been at least a contributing factor to the “workplace shootings” in San Bernadino (by Thursday morning, a federal law enforcement source told the Los Angeles Times that investigators were “leaning toward” a possible combination of terrorism and “workplace” motivations. But in 21st century America, noticing things can get you into trouble. “Racism” is the greatest crime of all.
Wayne Allensworth is a corresponding editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel Field of Blood. He writes at American Remnant.