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View Diary: White privilege and Sandy Hook (490 comments)

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  •  I think it's part missing-white-woman-effect, (13+ / 0-)

    partly the fact that the victims were mostly children, and partly the effect that all died at once.  I think it'd be hard to make an argument that any of those three effects weren't at play here, and I likewise don't think it's fair to pin it all on just one.

    •  Cory Booker nailed this one. Newark has (18+ / 0-)

      murders largely because Newark's criminals get their hands on guns that are bought at 'secondary markets" in other states.

      Those "secondary markets" sell used guns with little to no regulation.

      And I'm not sure that America would have reacted all that differently if 20 small Black kids had been killed at a "PS 666" in Harlem.

      Kids are kids.

      Separating guns from criminals and from adult-onset paranoid schizophrenics are the twin problems we need to reduce our gun-murder problem. And there are so many criminals because of the War on Drugs madness.

      Australians did this in 1996. See here: MP Kelvin Thomson blog.

      If we can get behind copying Australia, item for item, then we can define the NRA-suckers for the BABY KILLERS they are.

      White House petition: Adopt Australia's gun laws which have eliminated 100% of gun massacres since adoption in 1996 with no effect on hunting

      "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

      by bontemps2012 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:18:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Say it the Other Way (8+ / 0-)

        If 20 first graders were killed at any school in the country the reaction would have been about the same.  Doesn't matter if it was rich, poor, black, white, public school, private school.

        It's not that "I'm not sure" if the reaction would be any different.  I am sure that the reaction would have been about the same.  They were so young, and so many, that this particular tragedy was in a class of its own.

        •  it's kids (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bontemps2012, Texknight, MrJersey

          it's the innocents.  In this case it isn't their skin color.

          But the point is the same, hardly anyone pays much attention to poor on poor crime, even when the victims are young.  

          Bob Herbert is one who writes on these forgotten victims, and he is whistling in the wind.  

          One idea would be to give Bob Herbert air time.

          "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

          by anna shane on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:20:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Different Point (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bontemps2012, lynn47

            I'm not saying the "missing white woman" phenomenon isn't real.  Of course it is.  The tragedies that are "routine" get ignored when they shouldn't.

            It is fair to say that this particular case isn't the time to make that point.  If you jump up at the funeral for little kids and say "but what about the whales", or global warming, or the war, or any other pet cause, you aren't helping your cause.  You're just coming off as a jackass trying to use dead little kids for your benefit.  Your pet cause may be really important, and you may have a really good point, but you're not helping your cause this way.

            •  Then my question is: (0+ / 0-)

              When would be a good time? All the other times these causes are ignored, or drowned out... No time is convenient, so why not now? Since we are talking about gun violence and the murder of innocents then if not now, when?

              "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

              by mikejay611 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:06:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not the time, but the connection. (0+ / 0-)

                You can say "a black kid was shot in Detroit, that's terrible, it shouldn't happen" today, yesterday, or tomorrow.  It's a serious issue and you can talk about it any time.

                What I thought would backfire is to try and connect that tragedy to the tragedy in Newtown in a way that diminishes the tragedy in Newtown as exaggerated, illegitimate, or otherwise wrong.  Telling people "you're only this upset because they were rich and white" is factually not true and just guaranteed to backfire.

                It's one thing to say "people should grieve more than they do for the one black kid shot in Detroit".  It is completely different to say "people are grieving too much for the 20 dead kids in Newtown".  

                •  And I don't think (0+ / 0-)

                  anyone who is indeed concerned about the disparity in attention from the media, etc.  feels this way at all. I certainly don't. A tragedy is a tragedy no matter if one black child or 20 white children are senselessly slaughtered. The point I think is most central, is that they are equally tragic. Now for the sake of argument, would you presume to say the horrible deaths of those 20 beautiful children is more important or significant than the murder of one equally beautiful child from the inner city?

                  "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

                  by mikejay611 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:53:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  No, kids are not kids. (0+ / 0-)

        When it comes to little brown kids, America couldn't care less.

        The United States officially murdered about 200 children between 2004 and 2012 in Pakistan and Yemen alone, in the course of its drone based assassination program.

        And apparently, there is no serious mainstream opposition to the drone program (serious meaning substantial numbers of Congress members).

        I think we can safely conclude from that that Americans don't give a shit about killing brown kids.

        "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

        by cris0000 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:39:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Americans don't see a single frame (0+ / 0-)

          of war coverage that shows these kids getting killed.

          We had Al Jazeera in New York City for a year or so. On broadcast television. Up around Channel 47, line 3. That and the BBC feeds are now long gone.

          It's ignorance. Astonishing ignorance.

          "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

          by bontemps2012 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 09:33:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Redemptive violence strikes again. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, Roadbed Guy, cris0000

      It's the Pearl Harbor effect.  We slept in our sinful slumber when the alien Other slaughtered innocent people. (When our side does it, it's called a successful raid.)

      To expiate our guilt, we get to kill every Other in sight.  When they are dead, look for another 'Other' so we can slaughter them to atone for our sins...

      Makes god happy.   s  

      The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers. - The Communist Manifesto

      by nolagrl on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:14:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Complications. (11+ / 0-)

      I'm not here to dispute the major point of this diary, I think it's makes an important point.  But I do note that in this diary's eagerness to embrace the black/white American paradigm, it forsook the best example supporting its case --- the small amount attention the Sikh temple shooting received relative to Aurora and Newton shootings.  It didn't capture the public's imagination at all, because the victims were not white or Christian, and were new Americans.

      When we start to talk about race in the United States, there's a tendency to oversimplify matters.  We speak as though gender has no significance, and as if America consists of blacks and whites whose forbears had been in this country since before the founding.  It's simpler to talk this way, and rhetorically satisfying because it speaks elegantly to how we've all be taught the history of race in America.  All whites are women and all blacks are men.  East Asians are white and Latin@s are black.  South Asians and Middle Easterners are white when we are talking about education and wealth, and black when we are talking about societal discrimination.  We just forget about Native Americans all together.  There's no such thing as a black or white person with a culturally significant ethnicity or nationality.  Rich people are white.  Children are white.  Republicans are white.  And so on.  

      It's all very elegant, but it's also not accurate at all.  If we really want to take on racial issues in America, we've got to be accurate about them, not just rhetorically satisfying.  We can't talk about violence without talking about gender.  The rate of homicide is three times as high among white men as white women. The rate of homicide is nearly six times as high among black men as black women.  We can't talk about violence's perception in America without talking about race -- but it's not a complete conversation unless we bring in gender.  

      Men are more dangerous than women. The stats reflect that, and so does public sentiment.  That is why women are more compelling victims than men, regardless of race -- black women are often lost in the shuffle of the male-focused narrative of the civil rights movement, but they made compelling victims that captured public imagination at key times -- from the Birmingham church girls, to Rosa Parks and Mildred Loving, to that iconic Norman Rockwell image of the little black girl going to an integrated school. (But yes, of course, white women are still more appealing victims than black women, I'm introducing gender as a second factor in public perception, not eliminating race.)

      The solution for this problem, and the killing of people of all races, is likely to be found in dealing with the problem from gendered perspective.  Perhaps because of our country's fraught history with race, and our issues speaking about it frankly and accurately, we've got a much better track record dealing with things from leveling the playing field between genders as between races.  Even if we get the white male homicide rate to match the white female rate, and the black male homicide rate to match the black female rate, that would be immense progress, even if a gap between the races persisted.

      •  You're right... (4+ / 0-)

        I said as much right here

        I think the cultural contexts of black male and white male violence are a little different (as a rule, black men don't do mass shootings of  the Newtown/Aurora, CO type just as white men don't do things like drive-bys).

        But as far as the overall pattern is concerned, you're right...I don't see much of a difference between black men and white men (or Latino men, for that matter).

        •  I'm also wondering (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          whether the emphasis on Aurora and Sandy Hook stemmed from the number of people who were killed, in comparison to how many people died in the Sikh temple shooting. The body counts were much higher, so I think that may have been part of it. Also, all of the Sikh victims were over 30 (and the majority of them were middle-aged) rather than children and teenagers, in comparison to what happened at Aurora and Sandy Hook—age may have also been a factor. I do agree, though, that the racially motivated tragedy in the Sikh temple may have been emphasised less because of the ethnicity and religion of the people that died.

      •  "amount attention" as measured by media coverage? (0+ / 0-)
        "...amount attention the Sikh temple shooting received..."
        It's a measure, but of what really? Does is represent you? Me? Our culture or degree of public concern? I'm not sure, but I don't think so. I think you might be attributing too much (or the wrong kind?) value on media coverage. 24x7 cable news coverage of the missing white woman is not equal to public opinion or values. That's strikes me like saying popular porn equals public sexual values.
        •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

          The mainstream media both shapes public consciousness and is reflective of popular values.  I think it's important to think about popular opinion as measured by the mainstream media. However, my views are certainly not represented by the mainstream media, which is part of why I and most other folks around here come to Daily Kos (which is, in my case at least, a bit closer to how I view the world, although obviously imperfect).

          Thanks for highlighting that typo, by the way.  I really should copy and paste longer posts like this one into word before posting...

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