What if a white shooter had killed mostly black people out of a racially mixed group?
Imagine that a white man went on a shooting rampage at a location in which there gathered many people of various racial backgrounds. He shoots and kills, say, a dozen people. Most of his victims are black.
Though there is relatively little known about the shooter’s background, this much is known: by all accounts, he was an “angry, frustrated, vengeful” man who not infrequently complained that he was mistreated because of the color of his skin. He was also known to have in turn mistreated blacks who he believed had wronged him.
Had this imaginary scenario played out in reality, is there anyone reading this who could seriously doubt for a moment that all that we’d be hearing about is “white racism”? Can anyone doubt that we’d be hearing about this incessantly well into the future?
Now, picture another hypothetical set of circumstances: A (white) Christian man opens fire on several people, hitting and killing about 12 of them. Most of his victims are Muslims. While all of the details concerning his identity and “motivation” aren’t yet available, those who knew him describe him as “angry, frustrated,” and “vengeful.” We also know that he frequently expressed bitterness toward Islam, and blamed the Islamic world for his ills.
Do you think that the press would busy themselves digging more deeply for other facts concerning such a shooter if they knew this much? Does anyone seriously doubt that the media would bombard us with wall-to-wall coverage of this “angry, frustrated, vengeful” Christian killer?
Or suppose that a heterosexual opened fire in a crowed place, a place filled with both homosexuals and heterosexuals. Most of his victims are homosexuals. The killer turns out to have been an “angry, frustrated,” and “vengeful” man who often revealed to others his animus toward gays.
Do you think that the media would be spending much time talking about “mental health,” the “failure” of the system, or guns if this kind of shooting occurred? Isn’t it a foregone conclusion that all that we’d be hearing about from the talking heads are the evils of “homophobia”?
In the real world, as everyone knows, 12 people were indeed shot and murdered earlier this week by a gunman at the Washington, D.C. Naval Yard. His name was Aaron Alexis. And he was black.
Seventy-five percent of those who he slaughtered are white.
Alexis, we know, has been characterized by those who knew him as “angry, frustrated,” and “vengeful.” It’s also been reported that he often “complained” that “that he was the victim of racial discrimination.” He “felt a lot of discrimination and racism with white people especially.”
Alexis displayed “a growing sense of entitlement and disrespect,” a “tendency to feel like people owed him something all the time.”
In the final analysis, he appeared “like he was fed up with the United States.”
It is now something on the order of a truism that black criminals, particularly when their targets are white, are simply held to a grossly lower standard than that of their white counterparts. Still, given the national notoriety that Alexis, rightly, achieved within the span of hours, and given both his history of racial animus toward whites as well as the particularly brutal nature of the violence that he visited upon his mostly white victims, one would think—one would hope—that perhaps just this once, the media would suspend its self-imposed ban on judging black purveyors of evil according to the same standard by which it binds their white counterparts.
That even politicians and pundits are unsettled by the race, and racial preoccupations, of Aaron Alexis is clear from the fact that already, just a few short days following the massacre for which he’s responsible, they are talking remarkably little about it. Contrast this situation with that of the extensive coverage that the mass shootings—and white shooters—in Connecticut, Colorado, and Arizona persisted in eliciting for weeks.
The fear and hypocrisy on the part of the punditry and political classes when it comes to race relations truly knows no bounds. Such is their resistance to reality that it’s no stretch to think that had the 9/11 hijackers been, not men of Middle Eastern descent but, say, black American Muslims shouting “Black is beautiful” or, along with Barack Obama’s old pastor, “God damn America,” that even then, a sustained campaign would be underway to ensure that the racial component of that day of infamy was marginalized or denied entirely.
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