Both are distancing tactics, stories white people tell themselves to assure themselves that ordinary people, people like them, don’t commit acts like that. So instead, they attribute them to objects of fear and hatred. To crazy people, to people of color, most particularly Muslims of color, and the public seems to think any person of color who commits a mass murder is a Muslim. This dichotomy emerges within minutes of the news of a horrific event like this, even when there’s almost no information available. Because without that rapid attribution, people have to admit that the capacity for violence lies in everyone.