PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dr. Charles Gallagher, Chair of the Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice Department at La Salle University addressed the shooting at a community college in Oregon and media reports that race played a significant role in the motivations of the shooter.
Gallagher, talking with Jeff Bolton on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, said trying to insert race into this particular story is irresponsible.READ MORE: Philadelphia Police Investigating 2 Separate Fatal Hit-And-Runs: 'It Can Get Pretty Chaotic Around Here'
“There’s racial fatigue. People are tired, in some ways, because the fact is race still does matter in the United States. I think when there is a rush to put race in a situation, that in this case, I really don’t think is what’s going on. I think it’s a disservice to the conversation we should be having as a nation.”
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He believes it is too easy for the media and the culture to imprint details from the Charleston shooting onto this event.
“When we have something as tragic as this, we need to hang it on something. What happens is we go back to Dylan Roof. Clearly, race was this man’s motivation. He was wearing Rhodesia jackets, he aligned with white supremacists, he picked out a black church and executed people. This man hated black people and he acted on it. There is no indication that this man did this out of racial intent.”
Gallagher called out media outlets for jumping to conclusions to report on the shooters motivation.MORE NEWS: Teenage Boy Shot 7 Times In West Philadelphia, Police Say
“I think it’s media sensationalism. The fact is, what we know now from first hand accounts, he didn’t single out Christians. He did ask someone, but it was really cynical, you’re going to see God. He didn’t say, I’m going to kill Christians and leave atheists alone. This was just a cynical, and here is the word, sick, sick man. We insert race because then we can hang our hat on something where everybody can know something. It’s like all of the sudden you say the word and the backfill is there. I think that’s what’s going on here and I think it’s troubling.”