24 July 2012

Why Most Mass Murderers Are Privileged White Men

Why Most Mass Murderers Are Privileged White Men? By Hugo Schwyzer (Role/Reboot 23 July 2012)

Excerpt:
That “white boy mojo” can still open all sorts of doors: to boardrooms, to judge’s chambers, to country club memberships. It’s not that those institutions are still overtly racist (though a few come close). It’s not that white men are guaranteed preferential treatment in every setting. It’s that white men are raised to expect to be welcomed wherever they go. When they find that that automatic welcome isn’t forthcoming, they tend to be indignant. When angry middle-class whites gather together in political groups to “take back our country,” what they want to grab back are the privileges they sense they’ve lost.


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.
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