Respecting Certain Selves as Worthy of Defending

“Self-defense” throughout American history has never been an equal-opportunity recourse. Instead, pious abstractions about a supposedly universal right to employ violence in defense of one’s person have, from the start, reflected chauvinistic calculi of which persons are deemed valuable or disposable in the first place. From the colonial era to the Civil War, to the frontier to modern suburbia, some lives have mattered more than others. And for all the lofty rhetoric to the contrary, our courts and norms have only really respected certain selves as worthy of defending.”

White Defenders | The New Inquiry

Revisiting the Issue of Mass Murder in USA | While Males and Crime Attribution to Drugs

[White males have no monopoly on mass killings; relative to population, African Americans are overrepresented among the perpetrators of crimes involving the death of four or more people, according to criminologist James Alan Fox. These crimes include robberies gone awry, gang-related slayings and family disputes. But white men carried out or were accused of many of the most notorious episodes of random public killings in recent decades, from Oklahoma City to Columbine to Tucson to Aurora to Newtown.

Of 62 mass shootings in public places during the past 30 years, 44 were done by white males, according to a tally by Mother Jones magazine. Only one assailant was a woman.

These factors rarely draw much comment or exploration in media accounts in the wake of these crimes. More often, the discussion focuses on mental health, family relations, gun control or such alleged cultural influences as violent video games, TV programs or movies….] Read the full article | THE WASHINGTON POST

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

[The narrative following Adam Lanza and Newtown might as well recycled the media coveragesurrounding James Holmes and the Aurora, Colorado shooting. Described as “smart” and quiet, as “nice,” and “easy-going,” the narrative sought to not only humanize James Holmes, but also imagine him as good at his core. It worked to tell a story of a normal kid, whose life turned toward evil for some yet-to-be-explained reason.

Because these are told as stories of individuals with specific reasons for killing others, there is no reason to talk about race, class, or gender; there is no reason to talk about society, nor is there any reason to think that Aurora, Newtown, or Columbine are becoming Chicago or Detroit.]  Read the full article | THE GAWKER

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

[Recent studies reveal that most school shooters are White males, with 97 percent being male and 79 percent White. Over the last three decades, 90 percent of high school or elementary school shootings were the result of White, often upper-middle class, perpetrators. These shootings are a direct reflection of White male privilege and the consequences that occur when groups like the NRA control influential conservative leaders.

Before his May 23rd premeditated killing spree, Elliot Rodger2 posted a YouTube video saying his intention was to “slaughter every single spoiled stuck up blonde slut I see” inside a sorority house, because they “all would have rejected [him] and looked down upon [him] as an inferior man if [he] ever made a sexual advance towards them.” These chilling comments cannot be simply regarded as nonsense from a “madman,” because they actually represent the deeply entrenched manifestation of our misogynistic society. Furthermore, the case of Elliot Rodger exposes the prevailing intersection between gender and race of gun violence.] Read the full article | POLITICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

[We don’t yet know what drove James Holmes to do the terrible things he did. We only partly understand what drove the likes of Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Charles Whitman, and the many other white men who have committed similar massacres. While each killer had a unique pathology that helped drive him to do the unthinkable, the fact that these white male mass murderers felt so confident choosing public spaces to commit their crimes reflects a powerful truth about the culture in which they were raised. Put simply, they did what they did because of an individual sickness—but they did it where they did it in part because of white privilege.

It’s not that white men are more violent. Rates of domestic violence, including homicide, are roughly the same across all ethnic groups. Statistically, murderers are more likely to kill family members and intimate partners than strangers. But while men from all backgrounds kill their spouses, affluent white men are disproportionately represented in the ranks of our most infamous mass murderers. In other words, the less privileged you are, the less likely you are to take your violence outside of your family and your community.] Read the full article | ROLE REBOOT

________________________________________________________________________________________________

HOLMES

James Eagan Holmes | Aurora Theater Shooting, Colorado