The fatal shooting of Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammed, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammed Abu-Salha, 19 in a Suburban neighborhood in North Carolina was reported more than 12 hours after the fact on national television. Chapel Hill Police released the identity of the self-confessed killer, Craig Hicks, 46, approximately seven hours after a 911 call by a distressed neighbor. He reportedly shot all three of them, point blank, in the head.
Why did it take so long for national media to pick the story up? Their silence stood in stark contrast to prompt coverage of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris last month. Only after a social media outburst protesting their lack of coverage did we see CNN, FOX and MSNBC headline the shooting of 3 Muslims in Chapel Hill.
This initial radio-silence reinforced the other-ness of Muslim Americans as well as other minorities in the US. It spoke louder than any anti-Muslim messages online could have.