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The following is based on the article “The Unbearable Invisibility of White Masculinity: Innocence in the Age of White Male Shootings” by David J. Leonard. 

The mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the recent mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and the numerous school shootings in high schools and universities were mostly caused by white men. In almost every incident the people who were traumatized were shocked that it happened in their neck of the woods. Statements like “How could this happen” and “This is a peaceful neighborhood, it wasn’t supposed to happen” are made mostly by white citizens when being interviewed. The news media conducts their own investigation as to how a white male from the suburbs who people – without fail- claim him to be introverted, intelligent and a nice guy all around could have killed several people and damaged so many lives.

Whiteness, which for centuries brazenly asserted their supremacy the world over, has redefined itself as a perpetual victim. Not only are the victims and the witnesses are victimized, but also the shooters responsible. Whiteness turns the shooters into innocent victims of certain forces and influences that have apparently corrupted an innocent white male youth into a cold-blooded killer. Thus, calling into question about white male violence is silenced before one word is mentioned.

Violence in white communities, particularly middle and upper class, is always seen as impossible to fathom. When such incidences as a mass murder – or any other kind of violent crime – happen, it shocks the neighbors and residences which is normal and to be expected. However, the incident itself is almost never pondered as an inevitability. Instead, the people – usually white – expect such violence to occur in black and brown neighborhoods, poor inner city communities and racially integrated schools.

Whenever a white male from a privileged background commits a violent crime, there is almost an instant quest for the media to search for explanations. They look for the young man’s personal and medical history. They look for any symptom of mental illness. They even look for any media product – movies and(or) video games – where violence is within the story. They will ask those who knew the young man and the answers almost always include words like “quiet” and “nice”.

Any questions about this complex is met by rebuttals, usually by whites, who accuse such people as injecting collective guilt into the ass of the white race. It is seen as a leftist ploy to make whites feel bad and is refuted immediately. Whiteness is once again seen as the victim.

Whiteness gives white men the privilege of being seen as innocent victims even if they commit the most violent of crimes. They are seen as Beaver Cleavers and Opie Taylors even after the fact. The problem is always the fault of anything and anyone else, but them. White people are always the default victim, never the perpetrator.

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