(Roqayah Chamseddine is a writer and activist based in Australia. This post was originally shared on For Those Who Wander.)
After the frightening attack on Planned Parenthood some of the best commentary social media had to offer was in the form of increasingly smug and hollow sarcasm—a cyclic outbreak of facetious questions in regards to the shooter’s religious history, his racial background, and who will condemn his actions. This reaction is repulsive as much as it is procedural. It is deeply formulaic, and after a few minutes on Twitter, for example, anyone with a keyboard and even a minutely popular account is able to reach thousands upon thousands with their own banal witicisms:
When are Christians going to go on television and denounce the Planned Parenthood shooter?
Why didn’t law enforcement kill him? Why is he alive?
Why aren’t they calling him a terrorist?
When is the white community/Christian community going to be surveilled?