Skip to main content

View Diary: White privilege and Sandy Hook (490 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  But that's the problem (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, mwm341, politicalceci, AoT, Aquarius40

    We extremely unlike to see that event happen. So since it won't reach some self-imposed threshold we're blind to it happening. That's a big problem with white privilege -- we look at absolutes and don't see the problem in other communities so it doesn't get the same reaction. It's not "our" problem and that's wrong.

    To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:50:41 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Let's all hope that (4+ / 0-)

      "we're extremely unlikely to see that event happen." I'm glad you live in a world where it seems less likely that a black school gets shot up.

      •  Mathematically it's the world we do live in though (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mwm341, AoT

        And that sucks because it means we're largely blind to the problems of minorities in respect to gun violence as well as many other issues. They don't have the voice to be heard. That they'd have to wait for the rare moments they have a tragedy on the mystical scale of outrage required for us to see the problem is a shame.

        To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

        by ontheleftcoast on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 08:01:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess I get what you're saying, but I don't... (3+ / 0-)

          think that you can just boil it all down to proportional mathematics. Given the hatred that many people hold and display towards blacks, I'd think someone going in and slaughtering black children would be a more likely scenario than a Sandy Hook.

          Also, you're absolutely right that there is a significant racial component to gun violence in this country. But in the case of Sandy Hook, gun violence is sort of secondary to the mass murder aspect of it all. The gun stuff is the only part that's rectifiable. While we wouldn't get Wayne LaPierre, I assure you the news would have been just as focused and hyperbolic had it been a mass poisoning. I can also guarantee you, as much as I can speak on behalf of white people, that the attention would have been just as focused on a black elementary school that had 20 kids taken out. The media doesn't care about an individual black child, but it sure as hell would care about 20.

          Now, I will grant you that if it happened in Compton or the Bronx, the media would blame black people and AA culture, but if it happened in, say, North Carolina, I truly believe there would be no difference in coverage. I know you don't believe that, and I doubt you want to hear that, but I think its absolutely true.

    •  Well here: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac

      These are the victims of  the Virginia Tech massacre:

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/...

      http://image.guardian.co.uk/...

      http://www.crossfitinception.com/...

      Was there less sympathy, concern or outrage because of the number of persons of color  who were victims? I count around  half, based on appearance and where foreign students were from.

      I just recall Americans being horrified that yet again students were killed in a place where they should have been safe by someone that should have been protected from.  

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 10:55:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think there was the same reaction at all (0+ / 0-)

        Yes,  people were sad, but people are all outraged now. Maybe it's just the age, but I noticed the girl whose picture they use the most from Sandy Hook is the little blonde girl. Coincidence? I don't think so.

        My dog is a member of Dogs Against Romney: He rides inside.

        by adigal on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:31:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  age/all the littlest of children who go to school (0+ / 0-)

          we have not had a shooting of all little kids before

        •  several 'little blong girls" were killed (0+ / 0-)

          if it's who I'm thinking of, that would be because her particular parents got out there and talked to the press about their daughter within a day or two of the shooting...the Dad is the only parent who did a press conference. People grieve differently ...many other parents didn't even give photos of their kid out right away.

      •  Virginia Tech (0+ / 0-)

        is disproportionately white and male ... and when I say disproportionate, I mean off the charts.

        Seventy percent of the student body is white and less than one-half of one percent self-identifies as black or African-American.  And, fifty-eight percent of total enrollment is male.

        Virgina Tech Student Overview

        I would argue, based on these data, that the VT massacre is equally illustrative of the phenomenon of selective national outrage primarily when bastions of white privilege is involved and not the universality of outrage irrespective of race, class or economic disadvantage.

        The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

        by ancblu on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:45:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree, I think (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, jplanner

          I think there would have been just as much outrage if those shootings had taken place at...oh, The University of Michigan or UCLA, or (as happened here), Northern Illinois...or, heaven forbid, Harvard or MIT.

          Those stats that you cite have more to do with the fact that Va. tech is a Tech school. And that Va Tech was the largest mass shooting on a campus in the history of the country.

          •  Pulled from the NIU website (0+ / 0-)

            Here's the profile

            Ethnic/Racial Categories–Undergraduate

            •White: 61.3%
            •Black: 16.3%
            •Hispanic/Latino: 11.7%
            •Asian: 4.9%
            •Race Unknown: 2%
            •2 or more races: 2.4%
            •Non-res. Alien: 1.2%
            •Native American: less than 1%
            •Native Hawaiian: less than 1%      
            Male/Female Categories

            •Undergraduate: 49.8% male; 50.2% female
            •Graduate: 42.0% male; 58.0% female
            Average High School Class Rank and ACT Score

            •High School Class Rank (percentile) for NIU freshmen: 61.9
            •High School Grade Point Average for NIU freshmen: 3.11
            •ACT Score for NIU freshmen: 22
            •ACT Score for high school

            •  Your data supports (0+ / 0-)

              my point.  NIU is only marginally more representative of the national black population, which is about 14% as of the 2010 Census.

              2010 Census

              The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

              by ancblu on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:43:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  UH (0+ / 0-)

                POC does not necessarily equal black, for one.

                And actually, that's a few percentage points above the percentage of people that live in Illinois that are black.

                •  There is absolutely no marginal differential .... (0+ / 0-)

                  14% of the Illinois population is black, per the 2010 Census that is the most accurate and current demographic data available.

                  And Dekalb ... really?

                  You want to argue this point?

                  Unbelievable.

                  The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                  by ancblu on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:52:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  and what about the female population (0+ / 0-)

                which is kind of a low percentage for a school in Illinois, actually.

                •  And what about the female population? (0+ / 0-)

                  All you keep doing is refuting your own objection that these academic populations do not represent anything but the dominant cultural paradigm.

                  Please ... is under-representation so difficult to comprehend -- let alone conceptualize its implications?

                  The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                  by ancblu on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:56:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm going to be a little more mature here (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ancblu

                    But what is you point?

                    That an HBCU is safer than a predominately white school?

                    I might allow that you might be safer from a mass shooting at an HBCU than at a predominately white college.

                    But what about other types of crimes?

                    Your deception here is the suggestion that mass shootings have become SOP at predominately white colleges, The truth is you're about as likely to be involved in one of those shootings at a white college as it is that you would be involved in a plane crash.

                    •  Ok ... thanks for that effort (0+ / 0-)

                      and I will reciprocate in the same spirit.

                      This diary addresses the issues of gun control and white privilege stemming from the Newtown tragedy.

                      More than one commenter has disagreed that the reaction to this slaughter of babies -- all white babies -- reflects any form of disparate national treatment between black firearm related homicides and these more typical white on white violence of rampage killings.  These latter events more often occur at public institutions, whether grade schools, universities, public malls or workplaces.  These are bastions of white privilege, where the concept of safety and security is most threatened and it has engendered a public policy reaction that seemingly ignores the vastly larger problem in disadvantaged minority communities that correlates to race, class and economic under-privilege.

                      I have nowhere suggested mass shootings have become SOP at predominantly white colleges and your suggestion that I am deceived on that point is entirely misplaced and you have actually missed the point, repeatedly.  Virginia Tech was supposedly offered as an example that refuted the notion that white privilege is implicated in these rampage killings -- also more often inflicted by those with mental health issues rather than crime associated with disadvantaged communities.  VT, however, is nothing if not an institution reflecting the dominant white male hierarchy -- as are all other universities you mentioned.

                      HBCUs are NOT bastions of white privilege in the same manner that black churches and minority communities are not. These institutions may have their own problems unique to their own cultural concerns and characteristics -- for example anti-gay bias and even violence, which you in fact identified.  

                      Anti-gay attitudes and discrimination may be related to this larger problem of gun violence and white privilege.  I don't know, but it is a subject well worth discussing -- in a mature and civil manner.

                      The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                      by ancblu on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 01:36:28 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Well ... (0+ / 0-)

            you haven't provided any data to support your belief, whereas the facts demonstrate that the VT student body is extremely over-representative of the white male hierarchy.

            And no institution you mentioned, including NIU, is identifiable as an HBCU and therefore they are all subject to the same essential characteristic as VT.  Until you can address that point, what is shown by the evidence and what you believe seems to be at distinct variance -- the entire point of this Diary and the poor cognitive appreciation of the public of the positive correlation of racial and economic disadvantage with gun violence.

            NIU: 61% White/16% Black
            UoM: 62% White/4.4% Black
            UCLA: 32% White/3% Black
            Harvard: na White/10% Black
            MIT: 39% White/10% Black

            NIU
            UoM
            UCLA
            Harvard
            MIT

            The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

            by ancblu on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 03:39:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Honey please (0+ / 0-)

              quit the feminist black nationalist bullshit and talk English.

              NIU is nothing like those other schools and as a gay ma (as well as a black man) it would be dangerous for me to set my feet on an HBCU campus.

              Need we bring up incidents at HBCU's? How about the bigotry?

              And you're talking to someone that attended an HBCU and preferred to hang out at "the white campus" in town.

              And the outlier there is MIT, actually.

              I love it when black folks come here to spout this type of shit, as if an HBCU is paradise, I damn near got killed on an HBCU campus for being gay

              •  Oh honey bun ... (0+ / 0-)

                You're obviously an insecure and judgmental wanna-be pedant without a clue.  I bring up HBCU's as a counter-point to your own transparent infatuation with the white and privileged and that is your analytical response?  What a simpleton pissoir ... you don't deserve the degree you received.

                But by all means, keep trying to classify me ... whether queer, straight, man, woman, black, white or fucking polka dot ... it simply reveals that your ignorance is subordinated only to your own racist and mysoginyst bullshit.  I now have utterly no respect for your pathetic racial and masculine insecurity.  

                If you have one iota of fact or wit,  please do try to keep up with the real world beyond your own personal myopia.  And I certainly have no doubt that you would prefer to"hang" with those who don't directly threaten your own massive self-loathing.  The world is full of self-projecting assholes and I have the sincere displeasure of meeting one -- Chitown Kev, what a predictable and boring parody.

                So go learn basic academic literacy and then get over your grotesque self-absorption.

                The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                by ancblu on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:33:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  When I ask someone not to respond to me (0+ / 0-)

                  that's exactly what I mean.

                  •  Are you clever enough (0+ / 0-)

                    to see the double irony there of no self-awareness coupled with self-absorption in a response to me asking for no response to you?

                    You can post, I can post ... it's a community forum.  Get over yourself, sweetie.

                    The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                    by ancblu on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:52:40 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  And by the way, (0+ / 0-)

                since you brought them up let me know if you want any real information about UCLA or the University of Michigan. I'd be happy to share what I can about Ann Arbor and Westwood to a wide-eyed boy with silly little dreams.

                Dekalb, though ... you're on your own.  

                But do keep swimming upstream ... eyes on the prize, girlfriend.

                The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                by ancblu on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:16:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  "boom bye bye" was a party starter at my college (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Chitown Kev

                sad to say.

                This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

                by mallyroyal on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:45:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm trying to approach this person (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mallyroyal

                  in a more mature way.

                  It's still highly highly highly unlikely that you will be shot and killed in a mass shooting at a "white college."

                  •  Delusional Self-Absorption ... (0+ / 0-)

                    "Honey please, quit the feminist black nationalist bullshit and talk English."

                    Racist, mysoginist and demonstrated illiteracy is not "approaching in a mature way" ... unless you are Chitown Kev, a silly little self-parody.

                    And Honey Bun ... don't call me out and then expect me not to respond. Put on your man-pants and nut up, sweetie.

                    The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                    by ancblu on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:42:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  and I said that I was going to be more mature (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ancblu

                      about things post-coffee drip...

                      and you still haven't answered my substansive question or...let me put it like this...since I'm in Chicago.

                      Where would I stand the best chance, statistically speaking, of avoiding a mass shooting of the Va. Tech/NIU type, Chicago State University (which s/b an HBCU, if it's not) or...let's say the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois?

                      Chicago State would probably be safer as it regards mass shootings (if we're operating strictly on a "white school" v. "black school" thing.

                      But the difference there would be so marginal as to be non-existent; so your beef really doesn't say all that much; mass shootings at colleges and universities in the United States are very very very rare.

                      and, of course, you choose to completely ignore gender...or even private/public status of universities, really...

                      oh, and any college campus (black or white, public or private) would be safer than quite a few black neighborhoods...for different reasons.

                      •  and please (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ancblu

                        explain this shooting here and how it fits into alll of your theories.

                        •  and if you read everything that I've written (0+ / 0-)

                          in this thread, I've never said that whiteness has nothing to do with any of these shootings (much less the media reactions).

                        •  I did not see that news (0+ / 0-)

                          when it occurred ... is that a function of my missing something that was well reported or rather another example of minority violence (in this case, principally Korean) that does not sufficiently threaten our dominant cultural paradigm of white privilege?

                          I read your link and did just a brief bit of further research on that incident as you requested.

                          As for fitting with "all my theories," it appears that this is another example of a rampage killing by someone with a history of serious mental illness.  His criminal case hearing on his mental capacity to stand trial has been postponed until this coming January.  This incident is clearly characteristic of this much rarer form of gun violence ... which does not suggest that various forms of rampage killings cannot be committed by minorities against any racial group including other minorities -- think of the John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo sniper shootings as another example.

                          Whether relevant our not to our exchange here, my policy preference in dealing with rampage killings involves both better access to health care, including mental health, to provide early screening and treatment.  In addition, we should develop an appropriate gun purchase registry that would limit access to firearms for those who evidence a higher propensity to violence as one finds in major psychiatric disorders.

                          The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                          by ancblu on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:28:20 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm not sure what you think (0+ / 0-)

                        my "beef" is.  What you believe I ignore is simply not correct.

                        Mass rampage killings, whether on a public or private campus or any other institutional setting of our predominantly white male hierarchical society are rare -- the multi-national data suggests about 1 event per year for every 100 to 200 million in population.  

                        And yet, these events are what principally motivate much of our current public discourse on "controlling" gun violence -- at the same time the acute national crisis of gun violence in disadvantaged and racial minority communities is effectively ignored.  

                        Based on the statistical frequency of different types of gun violence, I do argue that white privilege is a central feature of our misplaced national response.  So my real "beef," to use your term, is actually that we are not properly addressing the underlying factors that positively correlate to the frequency and intensity of metropolitan gun violence -- age, gender, income, education, etc.  

                        The progressive agenda would do well to emphasize the root causes rather than the chimerical "banning" if we want to seriously address this significant public crisis -- even including more accessible and affordable mental health care for those more typically associated with rampage killings.

                        The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                        by ancblu on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 03:47:41 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  I just thought about something (0+ / 0-)

              The syntax and the subject matter of your posts are a little too familiar to me from another website.

              Please DO NOT respond to any of my post and I will not respond to yours, please.

              •  Looking for a bogeyman (0+ / 0-)

                under every bush.  No surprise there.

                In truth, we have no familiarity whatsoever, thankfully, and it is only your insecure fantasies that lead you to that little tingle that you "know me" from somewhere.

                Syntax, subject matter?  My ... you are a silly little parody, aren't you.

                Please?  You have no idea, child.

                The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

                by ancblu on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:45:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  example below of my logic (0+ / 0-)

      that aspect of "blindness" is about the impact of the shear number being killed at once and that part of it is NOT about White privilidge. Seems like you are confouding these things.
      Three kids slaughtered at once just does not have the impact on anyone like twenty.
      I am not denying racial bias in the coverage nor in the reactions to the Sandy Hook tragedy but have been pushing to show that it can't be  compared to your scenario.

      A way to show what I am saying is this. Say there are 20 women a year murdered by their abusive husbands and boyfriends that they had a restraining order against, within a certain geographical area. These inividual incidences do not cause an uproar. But if 20 women (say in a meeting) were killed at once by some man who had a restraining order against him, it would be on the news round the clock. Everone would be talking about it.

      If you looked at the first instance (individual murders), you could conclude that people didn't care about women. But you would not conclude that in the aftermath of the second group killing. Anyone looking at comparing the situations (analogous to comparing the individual killings of Black kids with group killing in Sandy Hook) would think that people cared more about the women in the group than they cared about the individual women for some reason. If the women in the group had a characteristic (racial, or age, or other demographic) characteristic different from the individuals an observer might ERRONEOUSLY think that it was do to that characteristic (analogous to white priviledge you percieve in the Sandy Hook case as reason why people care about this group dying over individual Black kids) not the group being slayed togeather.

      I can't continue if you do not try to follow this logic.There are in fact so many examples of White privilge in the coverage of Sandy Hook...things even grated on me as a white woman from  a working class background and modest means. "things like this don't happen here" "we are a nice town, a safe town"...upper middle class privledge as well. As someone pointed out...people looked at those kids and were reminde of their own, true.

      Again, the split attention group of mostly White kids vis Indiviual Black kids...it just cannot be compared. It is erroneous to draw any conclussions from that because of the number difference.

      But it would be interesting to point out obvious incidences of excessive White (I also saw very much Class privlege myself...I think the reporters many NYC based many with friends who lived IN that part of CT upper midle class themselves...I think they felt it happened to people like them and NOT just because the were White).

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site