Yesterday, America suffered one of the deadliest shootings in history, with 59 dead in Las Vegas. The problem of terrorism is a plague that Pakistan knows all too well and with that shared grief, Pakistanis offer Americans condolences for the invaluable lives lost in this senseless tragedy.

It is unfortunate that the American establishment does not view this violence in the same way. American authorities have shied away from calling the violence an act of terrorism, stating that it is too soon to gauge the culprit’s motives. This incident of white violence is a series of many attacks by non-Muslims and white supremacists where the forces-that-be have distanced from using the word terrorist and have refused to call a spade a spade.

What is unsettling about this is that attacks by Muslim or immigrant population do not enjoy the same benefit of a doubt and an attack by a lone Muslim causes the establishment to levy guilt on the entire Muslim population. White men who resort to mass violence are consistently characterized primarily as isolated “lone wolves” — in no way connected to one another. For people of colour, and especially for Muslims, the treatment is often different. Muslims often get labelled as “terrorists” before all the facts have come out.

With ISIS claiming the attack, it seems that this case will also be conveniently attributed to Islamic radicalism. Muslims will be the inevitable scapegoats and the fact that ISIS has a history of claiming random attacks that have no connection to them will be overlooked.

The difference in responses of the establishment to white and Muslim attacks is following the narrative of otherizing Muslim populations to propagate Trump’s anti-immigration policy and travel ban. By adding North Korea in its travel ban, Trump may have conveniently avoided the racist label but his distinct reactions to Muslim and white violence is a clear indication that perhaps his contention during an attack is not the loss of lives- it is the colour of the perpetuator’s skin.