Dr. Dawg

US school massacres and their perpetrators

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Newtown killer.JPG

Every American school or college massacre since the Bath bombing in 1927, except for Virginia Tech, was perpetrated by a white male.

Some comments on this score were passed on to me that I think are worth discussing:

Can you imagine what the discourse in this country would be right now if a Muslim, an African American or any other ethnic or religious minority group were solely responsible for 99% of all mass violent acts against American students?

FOX news would have exploded, racial theories for the violence would have been postulated, the inherent violence in the said group’s religious texts would have been explored for probable causality etc etc….

Perhaps in spite of ourselves, we tend to view these dreadful occurrences through a racial lens. White killers always act alone, and they’re crazy or “disturbed”; while (for example) Muslim killers are allegedly acting for the mass, driven by a murderous text. (Note in this connection that the far Right always identifies the perpetrator of the Montreal Massacre by his Muslim birth name, even though he was raised a Catholic.)

White men are doubly unmarked, by “race” and gender. We’re “neutral” in both respects.

But we mark everyone else. One of the first blogposts I ever wrote was on the subject of what I called “communitized minorities.” We invent them, locate them in one place in our minds, homogenize them, and ascribe characteristics to them. We do it literally without thinking.

Gang gun violence in Toronto by Jamaican-Canadian teens? Why aren’t Jamaican community leaders speaking out? An anti-Semitic oration by some half-mad Imam? Where are the moderate Muslim community leaders? Etc. Surely I needn’t provide more examples.

The first sentence of this post, on the other hand, will offend many readers, even though it is factually accurate, to the best of my knowledge. What am I getting at? Am I saying that white males are all potential mass murders?

Not at all. But here we have an unpleasant, incontrovertible fact. What do we do with it? What conclusions, if any, should we draw from it?

[H/t A.S.]

UPDATE: The feminist online journal Jezebel was on this before I posted. [H/t My Pet Gloat]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on December 18, 2012 11:22 AM.

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