The Privilege of White Violence

The following is based upon the New Black Man’s post “The Privilege To Murder?”

It’s been days since the calamitous Denver massacre that shook the nation. Since then, numerous blogs, including this one, examined the racial implications behind the event within the media narrative. We’ve all drawn the conclusions that if the massacre was caused by a people of color, including those who practice Islam, the news would go insane with “terrorism” mongering.

But looky here. The shooting that took out 12 and injured more than 50 was caused by a YOUNG WHITE MALE. So, what happens? The media personnel go to great lengths to explain why someone who reportedly is a nice, quiet, easy-going young man who went to college would loose his damn mind and shoot up a packed movie theater. To many people, especially those within the white community, violence such as this is unheard of. Why is that?

“The freedom to kill, maim, commit wanton acts of violence, and to be anti-social (as well as pathological) without having your actions reflect on your own racial group, is one of the ultimate, if not in fact most potent, examples of White Privilege in post civil rights era America. “Instead of a national conversation where we reflect on what has gone wrong with young white men in our society–a group which apparently possesses a high propensity for committing acts of mass violence – James  Holmes will be framed as an outlier.”

Chauncey DeVega, author of “We Are Respectable Negroes

To be white, male and violent in this nation is not to be seen as “the usual problem” with this nation’s issue of violence. Violence is always seen as a problem that is connected with young black and brown males. As such the need for more cops and bigger prisons is ALWAYS the answer to solve the issue of crime and violence.

History has shown that the acts of one or a few people of color is enough for those with the white racist mindset to punish entire communities. However, history also shows that the same is applied to Muslims or to people from another land who immigrated to America – also people of color.

“The international Muslim terrorist and the domestic black criminal stand as alibis for revanchism.  Race free criminals (read white) are free from extra detection or from pious fulminations of the political class” (Prashad 2003, p. 75).  These entrenched stereotypes and the power of white racial framing leads to a desperate media and public trying to “make sense” of this tragedy in absence of an accepted narrative; it is through these narratives that Holmes and white male violence gets reimagine as aberration rather than indicative of a cultural or cultural failure.”

-Vijay Prashad, author of  “Keeping Up With the Dow Joneses”

“What if the shooter was not white? The Virginia Tech shooter was not white, and we all know thanks to the news that he was an immigrant from South Korea. They chose only the best pictures with a smiling face to let Americans know what that killer looked like.”

Three Sonorans

But again, this act was caused by a white male, and no matter how many mass murderers, serial killers or violent rapists who are white male there have been in the past, and there have been plenty, white men as a group are NEVER questioned or marginalized for their chaotic pathologies.

Instead, people ask ‘why’ particularly if the suspect came from a supposedly nice upbringing and is polite, shy, intelligent, and educated. They wonder why and how could this white man stoop to such a level as to cause massive pain and misery.

Meanwhile, violence against people of color by whites and other people of color continue. Chicago has been having a violent and bloody Summer prior to the Denver massacre with more bodies dropping like flies in the Windy City. More black and brown people are victims to the festering rage of other blacks and browns or by trigger happy police. The lives of blacks and browns in this nation are being taken away at such an alarming rate. Yet, this shooting is high priority in this country’s newsrooms and local, state and federal political offices. Maybe because some of the victims were white.

I guess that is another privilege for white violence. If the victims are white, the safety of white lives are placed first above all others.


13 thoughts on “The Privilege of White Violence

  1. Excellent as always.

    something to consider. The reason why white AmeriKlan does not speak of this pathology that lurks within them is the havoc it would cause to their moral “goodness.”

    Whites walk a fine line. We all know it. Especially the ones who deny it.

  2. Look. black people kill each other every day. The violence in Chicago why is’nt that a big deal? Here in Dallas yesterday on thev south side of town police shot a black guy, 200 squad cars police in riot gear were called out. Is that a big deal? hell no. Nobody cares when black kill each other. But it is about white priveledge with white males. Talking heads on every televison channel all over the internet news trying to profile this guy. Trying to figure out what happened. Nobody cares about the African American community. We have to do something about black on black crime ourselves. Yes it is a priveledge even when you are white and crazy.

  3. There’s not enough *smh* in the world for this ish.

    The fact that he’s still being called a “suspect” and folks are using words like “allegedly” is so despicable it’s hilarious.

    They FINALLY get one of these mass shooting fucks alive and they, what…coddle him? Seriously? Really? You finally get a hold of a mass shooter who didn’t kill himself and you handle him with kiddie gloves? For real?

  4. Did you hear that this degenerate actually has an internet fan club/group of supporters? Took longer than I expected, when I think back to all the other famous white killers who are idolized/romanticized.

    1. I heard, and I’m not surprised at all. If they idolize Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone and the Barefoot Bandit, they have no place telling us that only black people idolize gangsters and thugs.

      1. When has black violence of any kind been called terrorism in the past two decades?

        Oddly enough, the man who shot up the Sikh temple in Milwaukee today was called a terrorist and he is a white man.

        I’m just not certain why the media coverage matters. Why is it worth being upset about?

      2. Black violence doesn’t have to be called terrorism. The media does a nice job focusing more on that than anything else outside their narrative of the violent black criminal. If it was cause by more than black person, they would coin it as gang or flash mob violence.

        The reason people are “upset” is because the media is trying to make this act of violence an individual and rare case since it was caused by a young white male who seemed to have came from a good upbringing. People don’t understand why a white male would do such a thing because they don’t believe white males are capable of something this heinous no matter how many other similar incidents – just as bad or worse – by other white males have occurred within the past 20 or so years alone.

        In fact I heard there is a fan page dedicated to this nut – a FAN PAGE! White people never admit that they worship violent and deviant behavior but they point the finger at us and say that we protect and support gangstas and thugs. For some reason, their idolization of Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone, Charles Manson, and the Barefoot Bandit is “different” than black people who idolize 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross and black revolutionaries like Fred Hampton, Huey Newton, Malcolm X and other black men. For some reason, “ours” is worse than “theirs”.

  5. I hear you, and agree completely; however, I would add that it’s really insignificant.

    You are acknowledging something that’s been true for at least the past four centuries. At Ralph Ellison said,

    “Too many books by Negro writers are addressed to a white audience. By doing this the authors run the risk of limiting themselves to the audience’s presumptions of what a Negro is or should be; the tendency is to become involved in polemics, to plead the Negro’s humanity. You know, many white people question that humanity but I don’t think that Negroes can afford to indulge in such a false issue. For us the question should be, What are the specific forms of that humanity, and what in our background is worth preserving or abandoning.”

    Ellison was talking about literature but the same is true of contemporary culture and images of identity in general.

    Over 50 people are wounded and over 10 dead while just trying to watch a movie, but serious debate is being raised about a white guy not being discussed in a negative light. If CNN, MSNBC, Fox, and whatever other media affiliate each acknowledge they are being “unfair”, then what? Makes sense to mention for Trayvon Martin. Makes no sense for this particular instance with innocent people (of all creeds and ages) being gunned down…

    Again, I want to acknowledge that I genuinely understand your point and do not disagree that the media perpetuates and manipulates images of Black Americans, but this is the wrong event to make that sort of point. Steps can be taken to alleviate unfair depictions, but this is just an inappropriate moment to beat a dead horse.

    The focus, as Ellison pointed out, should be a focus on how black people see themselves as individuals. Today, the question is more along the lines of which black is actually black – a complicated discussion, but one that is far more important than what mainstream media thinks of black people.

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