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...none of the news outlets specify his race in the headline.  They just say "man", or "shooter", or use the person's name.  Whereas headlines and ledes traditionally make the race of perpetrators of color very clear, I usually have to strain to identify the racial makeup of white criminals in news stories.  This strikes me as an interesting contradiction:

The typical mass murderer is a socially isolated white man in his 30s or 40s. He has no criminal record, but his life has been marked by failure and frustration, and he decides that his family, boss or co-workers must pay with their lives.
So yea, I'm making this about race.  Either don't mention it at all, or mention it uniformly.  By way of bonus, I'll say that, save for three aberrations in the Beltway Snipers, and Wayne Williams in the 70s, and the Grand Rapids shooter, socially isolated black men don't go on rampages or shooting sprees; they don't blow up buildings or slaughter teens in high school cafeterias; they don't terrorize movie theaters or kill small children en masse.

Inspired by brooklynbadboy's simple diary, "Whenever a black kid gets shot ..."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Follow me on Twitter: @THTBAW. I crush trolls with truth, boredom with snark, and ignorance with links.

    by therehastobeaway on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:46:55 AM PST

  •  I Guess I Haven't Read All Headlines Ever (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    filthyLiberalDOTcom, Wee Mama

    But I have not actually experienced this.  I think when the killer is known, you don't get a description (with or without race)... if the killers identity is unknown, you do.

    You should also include the Roderick Dantzler killing spree in Grand Rapids in 2011 as an aberration... though you added the qualifier of "socially isolated" so I'm not sure if you meant to imply that NON socially isolated black men DO go on killing sprees.  I don't know if Dantzler was socially isolated either.

    As a resident of Grand Rapids (and a progressive obviously) I wondered how Dantzler's race would play in the coverage of the story, and it basically never came up.  Of course, photographs of him were avaialble very early and his race was not a secret.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:55:21 AM PST

    •  It's a fair point. I'll add him. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama

      Though I think we'd be hard-pressed to find 5 black mass murderers.

      The qualifier wasn't mine; it was the blockquoted quote's.  

      I am happy to know you've not experienced racially selective headlines because I certainly have noticed plenty of them and it sucks.

      Also, I didn't say headlines ALWAYS highlight the perp's race, just that they SELDOM do whites'.

      Sorry for your loss in GR.  That can't be easy for any community.

      Follow me on Twitter: @THTBAW. I crush trolls with truth, boredom with snark, and ignorance with links.

      by therehastobeaway on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:02:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think you're shooting from the hip here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    filthyLiberalDOTcom, Bill W

    Is there a compilation of data on this?

    Preparing for the Mayan doomsday prophecy by hastily trying to get in the good graces of snake-bird god Q’uq’umatz

    by dov12348 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:00:37 AM PST

    •  I think you inverted your sentences, inadvertently (0+ / 0-)

      No compilation of data that I know of.  Just my obvervational experience.

      There's no compilation of data on the dating habits of white women either, but you need only look around.

      Follow me on Twitter: @THTBAW. I crush trolls with truth, boredom with snark, and ignorance with links.

      by therehastobeaway on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:06:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  2nd Largest Terrorist Attack on US Soil... (3+ / 0-)

    was done by a white man (Timothy McVeigh) but we don't ever blame white men for that.  We try to get rid of all Muslims and Arabs but i never once heard of a clamp down on White Men.

    •  A huge part of the right wing message is that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      myboo, peteri2

      white men are being oppressed by minorities. They're told their jobs are gone because Mexicans or women took them. They're told the economy collapsed because banks were forced to lend money to unqualified minority homeowners. They're told that the government is holding them down with taxes and rules. They're told every day by Rush, Beck, O'Reilly and the like that their failures are caused by everyone else. So while there is no actual clamp down on whites, especially white men, a scary percentage of them are angry that it's happening and are willing to kill to stop it. Notice that the real thing harming them (and us), is never talked about in the right -- the 1% is never called out as the problem. In fact it's praised as the solution. They've got their heads crammed so far up their asses they think they see daylight.

      To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

      by ontheleftcoast on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:22:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nor do they (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    therehastobeaway, janmtairy

    fly small planes into IRS offices and get sympathy from the Congressional representative for being frustrated by high taxes.  Excellent post.

    •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama

      I also get the sense that black murderers are monster-fied in a way that isn't the case for white murderers.

      The inverse of this (Travyon Martin was a HUGE exception) is that Missing White Children are given an extraordinary amount of heart-wrenching news coverage, their cute pictures plastered everywhere.

      I thought all missing children deserved that.

      Follow me on Twitter: @THTBAW. I crush trolls with truth, boredom with snark, and ignorance with links.

      by therehastobeaway on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:29:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Last time they banned assault rifles (0+ / 0-)

    It was because white people were scared of black and brown gangs doing the drive-by-shooting thing.

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:51:40 AM PST

  •  hmm, there are more (0+ / 0-)

    like John Felton Parish, and none of the headlines mention he's african-american.


    The murders that sparked stricter gun controls in Hawaii Byran Uyesugi.

    I think the thing that they really all have in common, is that they all use firearms.  In the continental US, there are more white mass murderers, but white is still a large portion of the population.

    Apparently, my office now does "active shooter" training. After sandy hook, I have a feeling many folks will be there.

    •  He never said it was an (0+ / 0-)

      exhaustive list... and we haven't even brought other random acts of indiscriminate violence into the equation... like lynchings, for example.

      The few exceptions notwithstanding the face of spree killers, mass murderers, serial killers and the like tends to be white in the US far more frequently than not...

      Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

      by awesumtenor on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:41:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep, way to go (0+ / 0-)

        take my comment out of context.

        My point, clearly you missed it, is that there is a crazy long history of mass killings, and they use firearms, going back to the 1800s. And not just in the US. We just seem to have an inconceivably high percentage of them, which is even more disturbing. Probably not as disturbing as hacking off limbs in Sierra Leone. It's not an equal connection. But neither is that the US still has 70% white (oh, yeah, but that includes Latinos, who are also not all drug dealers and undocumented immigrants), and, well...does it really matter? There are pretty much exceptions to every rule.

    •  Your black guy is from the 1980s lol. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm certainly not talking about headlines from the 80s.

      Follow me on Twitter: @THTBAW. I crush trolls with truth, boredom with snark, and ignorance with links.

      by therehastobeaway on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:11:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was gonna use one from (0+ / 0-)

        the 20s. But I was also looking at workplace violence.

        I was looking for data on homicide in workplaces using guns when I ran across lists of workplace shootings all over the world. I was absolutely shocked. Honestly, I thought it only happened here.

        I think the trend among these incidents of mass killing over say the last 20 years, it's predominantly young men.  When I looked at the ages, the ones that have happened more recently here, in the states, they're young white men, under 30. The larger the carnage, it also seemed like the younger the age. It's not a perfect correlation, nothing is. But it was disturbing to even recognize it as a trend.

  •  It's certainly about privilege (0+ / 0-)

    And in this country, white male is at the top of the privilege heap.

    He's EXPECTED to be a winner.  It seems that the psychology of a mass shooter requires his actual failures to be compared against an expectation of success, before he feels entitled to blame anyone around him other than himself, and "get back" at them by shooting.

    I don't find it surprising at all that in this country it is almost always a white male if you don't have a political, religious or economic reason for shooting a bunch of people.   The "reason" is they can't blame themselves for their failures in life.

    People who are ACTUALLY oppressed are usually more realistic about what is their fault, what is bad luck and what is the fault of their environment.  Or so it seems.  They tend to just suicide when things become intolerable, without finding the need to kill a bunch of people (although killing close family seems depressingly common in most cultures if the person in despair is the patriarch....but again....privilege)

    I feel the shooter demographics are similar to why most of the big revolutionaries or terrorists (Lenin, Bin Ladin, Mao to pick 3 off the top of my head) were educated and came from some money, minimum upper middle class.   You have to have a really high opinion of yourself to feel you have the right to tear down the existing society, rather than just find a way to live in it....but also have some reason why you don't just wallow in the advantages you have and work the existing system (see Trump, Romney, etc).

  •  Middle to upper middle class white males do seem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to be well represented in this suicidal mass murder group.

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