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There was a poster circulating on the net ranting that if the Colorado wacko was an Arab, he'd be labeled a terrorist, and if he was Black he'd be called a thug. But since he's white, he's being referred to as "mentally ill". <_<

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I definitely concur, Boitomelo. Plus, if he were muslim, we would even seeing house committee meetings and hearings on the "radicalization of islam" (yup and they might even deem it necessary to get pap smears before entering movie cinemas or airplanes, all in the interest of national security, of course).

If he were a black man? Oh my gosh. Let me tell you, his public lynching would already be in the media, not show after show of "What went wrong? Let's get inside the mind of this organized, well mannered student turned killer". Especially because he was wearing black, the media would really take the opportunity to highlight the 'evils' associated with blackness.

However, because he is white, the media is highlighting the fact that he "was" a quiet, intelligent, mannerable student BEFORE. They seem to be setting the stage for people to assume that something happened to make him snap or that at some point, some "negative influences" got to him. lol How comical and predictable, however, it would be for them to "find" a qur'an (right next to the bible that they don't seem to find equally suspicious. Woop, here comes the "radicalizatin of islam" committee)! lol

Now he's in the courts tryna look crazy for the camera. lol Kind of like an out of towner would be trying to look if walking through the alley at night. Bout mentally ill. The prisons are FILLED with people who are mentally ill forreal, so if they have to go in spite of that, why should he not? He sure knew how to plan. Had al types of traps in his place. He wasn't too out of his mind to make elaborate plans.

If the Colorado Killer were black, he would be a lot of things in the media, but human would not be one of them. The media is being careful to help this guy maintain his humanity in the minds of the public. If he were black, he would be a monster, a methodical monstrous murderer....and let him even THINK about pleading "not guilty by reason of insanity". America would be like, "Boiiiiiii stopppppp."

However, those of us who tend to think such things are "racializing" the issue. Just the same way that those of us who think that the situation would be totally different if the races were switched in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin situation are "racializing" the issue.

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Ethan Casey: The Colorado Killer Is Not a Muslim

As I write this on Friday morning, safe (or am I?) at home in Seattle, we don't know much about the mass shooting incident overnight at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. No doubt by the time you read this, we'll know more. I don't need to know more, though, in order to say what I have to say, because I know one essential fact: the killer is not a Muslim.

Because he's not a Muslim, over the coming days excuses and caveats will be incorporated into our national "narrative" about the incident, etcetera, etcetera. We've seen this movie before. The President of the United States has already said something suitably solemn. No doubt he'll fly into Denver, as he flew into Tucson last year, and speak eloquently at a memorial service. But we need more and better than that - not only or primarily from the president, but from ourselves and each other.

Some readers surely will object to my pointing out what the alleged killer is not. But the fact that James Holmes is not a Muslim - indeed that, as a former San Diego neighbor put it, he "seemed to be a normal kid" - is all too relevant. Not that Muslims aren't normal; they're no less normal than you or me or James Holmes. What the Aurora rampage should bring home to normal Americans is that the clear and present danger to American society is not only among us, it is us. Not to put too fine a point on it, but in Michael Moore's film Bowling for Columbine one of the makers of the show South Park (I forget which one) describes the Denver suburb of Littleton, site of the infamous Columbine massacre and not far from Aurora, as "painfully normal". I've been to both towns, and I concur.

After Jared Loughner killed six people and almost killed Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson on January 8, 2011, I wrote an article asking "Is America Any Different from Pakistan?" The article drew parallels between the Giffords shooting and the then-recent assassination of the liberal Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer. It also drew predictable rhetorical fire, such as this:

Yawn yet another typical leftie more than willing to jump on the bandwagon of blaming the right, America, and any other group he/she opposes for the actions of a mentally insane person. Jared Loughner appears to have been a psychotic, I suspect a schizophrenic.

I might be accused again now of politicizing a tragedy. So be it. The insistence that something is not political is itself a political gambit, in fact a bullying tactic. And, as a free American, I'm sick and tired of being bullied and told to live in fear.

If I'm sick and tired of it, I can only imagine how my Muslim friends must feel, after more than a decade of being made to feel less than American. This is very relevant at a time when prominent right-wing politicians are getting away with making McCarthyist insinuations about who gets to count as American and who doesn't. Jared Loughner was dismissed (as above) as a lone nut; no doubt James Holmes will be too. When a troubled young U.S. citizen named Faisal Shahzad tried to blow up Times Square, TV coverage ran provocative taglines like MADE IN PAKISTAN. (I felt compelled at the time to write an article titled "Some of My Best Friends Are Pakistanis".) It's not fair. And it's past time we acknowledged that troubled young men like Loughner and Holmes are made in America.

This particular incident may not be directly political, but it certainly is symptomatic. In terms of the news cycle, it will have its day, then America will, as we say, move on. Americans are good at moving on, the way Mr. Magoo used to move on through mayhem of his own making. Before we do, we might want to reflect on what the phenomenon of lines around the block for midnight screenings of a film like The Dark Knight Rises says about our society. Much was made in the pre-release hype of the film's 9/11-esque scenario. And then the real-life gunman who kills at least twelve and terrorizes an entire movie audience and a nation beyond turns out to be a normal American. Hmm.

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(from wearerespectablenegroes blogspot)

What James Holmes and the Colorado Movie Massacre Tell Us About White (Male) Privilege

The Colorado "Batman Movie" Shooting Massacre will generate many narratives among the public and media. This tragedy will be one more opportunity to reflect on the United States' gun laws. The relationship between popular culture and violence will be a hot topic as well. Others will focus on questions surrounding access to mental healthcare, and what if anything could have been done to prevent James Holmes from committing his murder rampage during the debut of The Dark Knight Rises.

However, there are several conversations that will likely not occur. It is unlikely that the aftermath of the Colorado shooting rampage will be a moment when we as a country reflect upon the relationship between masculinity and violence. There most certainly will not be a "beer summit" about how accused shooter James Holmes is one more entry in a long list of mass killers who are white, male, and young.

When viewed through the white racial frame, there is nothing in his deeds on last Friday night that reflects upon the behavior of white people, generally, or white men in particular. From this perspective, his dressing up as The Joker, and killing more than a dozen people, and wounding many more, are the actions of one sick person.

As folks have worked through many times before in the common "what if?" game of race in America, if James Holmes were black or brown this would be one more signal to the existence of a "pathological culture" among said group. If James Holmes were Muslim American the Colorado shooting would be a clear act of "terrorism," and an example of the Islamic bogeyman next door who has occupied the dreams and nightmares of the "heartland" since September 11th.

These narratives would be accepted as common sense; few qualifiers or critical interventions would be offered by the mass media, the pundit classes, or the general public.

Consider the following list for a moment: with a few exceptions, most of those men who have committed mass shootings in the United States have been white.

  • July 12, 1976: Edward Charles Allaway, a custodian in the library of California State University, Fullerton, fatally shot seven fellow employees and wounded two others.
  • Aug. 20, 1986: Pat Sherrill, 44, a postal worker who was about to be fired, shoots 14 people at a post office in Edmond, Okla. He then kills himself.
  • July 18, 1984: James Oliver Huberty, an out-of-work security guard, kills 21 people in a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif. A police sharpshooter kills Huberty.
  • Aug. 1, 1966: Charles Whitman opened fire from the clock tower at the University of Texas at Austin, killing 16 people and wounding 31.
  • Oct. 16, 1991: A deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as George Hennard opened fire at a Luby's Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life. 20 others were wounded in the attack.
  • April 20, 1999: Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school's library.
  • March 10, 2009: Michael McLendon, 28, killed 10 people – including his mother, four other relatives, and the wife and child of a local sheriff's deputy – across two rural Alabama counties. He then killed himself.

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.

That is a mighty comfort to have--all of one's deficiencies are ignored as those of an individual; all of one's abilities and gifts are taken as positive attributes and credits to one's race.

As comedian

it sure as hell is good to be white and male in America! If given a choice to re-up every year, who the hell wouldn't sign up to be white again?

In America, folks often ask, "what the hell is wrong with black people?" In the aftermath of the Colorado Movie Massacre, Columbine, and many other incidents, we need to ask, "what the hell is wrong with young white men?

Sadly, that question will not be asked on a national stage. White privilege is blinding. In the case of James Holmes, it also mutes a much needed national conversation about the ties between (white) masculinity and violence.

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