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That's the claim of one of James Holmes' neighbors.

Reed recalled putting a Lil’ Wayne song on the jukebox at the bar, and being chastised for it by Holmes.

“He was talking trash because he liked rock music and country and he made a slightly racial comment about people listening to rap music,” she said.

Her friend said they should leave before the situation escalated, and they did so.
This comes from one of Holmes' neighbors.

Her boyfriend met him at the same bar on Tuesday, talked with him about Peyton Manning, and didn't notice anything unusual.

Aurora resident Jackie Mitchell turned on the television this morning and saw a familiar face staring back at him.

It was a mugshot of a man Mitchell had beers with at the Zephyr Lounge on East Colfax Avenue on Tuesday night.

The article doesn't mention what the racial comment was, but evidently it bothered the neighbor and her friend enough that they left the bar soon after.

Here's more from the Chicago Tribune. Rachel Reed was a neighbor of his and would also see him sitting out on the stoop near his building:

When not in school, Holmes would sometimes hang out on the stoop of his building, located in an part of Aurora where drugs and gunshots were not uncommon, according to one neighbor.

Another neighbor, Rachel Reed, 25, saw him a number of times on the stoop, with his backpack. A couple of months ago she ran into him at the Zephyr, where she had put aLil Wayne rap song on the jukebox.

Holmes disapproved, she said, preferring rock'n'roll music. He came over and "made some racially charged comments about rap," she said.

2:32 PM PT: A sad commentary on American life and "normalcy": Rachel Reed: "He came over and "made some racially charged comments about rap," she said.

"He seemed like he was a normal dude," she said.

Racially charged remarks - normal dude. Guns. America.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is hearsay and speculation...please delete (15+ / 0-)

    There is enough speculation and hearsay on the news and this blog already.

    Not helpful...please delete.

    Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841

    by SallyCat on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:25:36 PM PDT

    •  It's a report in a newspaper (6+ / 0-)

      quoting a woman in Aurora.

    •  It is linked to a paper (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      icemilkcoffee, joynow, petesmom

      And these people are quoted.   Perhaps not a diary but it is a piece to the puzzle of this person because it was so recent.

      Canadian amazed by and addicted to US politics.

      by Mikecan1978 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:36:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd also mention (0+ / 0-)

        Over 550 articles contain this story

        Canadian amazed by and addicted to US politics.

        by Mikecan1978 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:37:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If people's theory is that (6+ / 0-)

        these two went to a paper and gave their names to be quoted in an article that would inevitably become big news... in order to lie about Holmes for some reason...

        That can be one theory.

        It's possible.

        But people being quoted in newspapers is news. I'm pretty sure it's the definition of news, actually.

        It's one thing to start a rumor online. It's another to get interviewed and agree to be quoted line by line on what happened in an actual newspaper and have it written up by a staff writer.

        Not saying there aren't people who are crazy enough to try something like that.

        But I'd tend to think the odds are against it.

        And let's not pretend these types of quotes aren't news.

        What I'm doing is far more responsible than what every major news organization in the world did by reporting Netanyahu's claims regarding the bus bombing so shortly after it happened. And nobody disputes that it was news.

    •  Not hearsay because the woman was a first hand (10+ / 0-)

      witness. If the woman quoted heard it from another person then it is hearsay.

      •  A blogger says that a news reporter said (0+ / 0-)

        that a lady said that the shooting suspect said ...

        That's the chain of information you're calling first hand, fyi.

        •  The Aurora Sentinel interviewed a woman named (0+ / 0-)

          Rachel Reed about her conversation with James Holmes.

          Which part of that is hearsay now?

          •  the part where the reporter said (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sharon Wraight, SallyCat

            that someone said something based on hearing it from third party, and not from the person who said it.

            Journalism classes typically stress that to report someone said something, it's best if you heard it yourseld- whether it's in an inteview, or if the person said it in a public speech that was reported, or some other verifiable means of that nature.

            When you start reporting based on a quote from a third party, it can be troublesome  -- and the reliability of the third party becomes an issue.

            So if I report in my own publication that, so-an-so said in an interview with the New York times, that he would oppose the bill - then, the reliability of the New York Times reporter makes or breaks the reliability of the statement.

            When the third party is an unknown third person, who met the second person in a bar (or anywhere), the reliability comes into greater question

            If the woman in your example was speaking to the reporter of what she herself said, then that would be better. But for her to report on what a third party said, that's different.

            That's the idea behind hearsay, and why it's best to avoid it.

            Hope that helps,


    •  so he did not like rap music (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I donot think race played a part in this tragedy.

      •  He didn't like rap music (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MKSinSA, petesmom

        AND made a racial remark about it.

        Is that 2nd part not important to you - such that you would purposefully omit it?

        Why did you do that?

        Nobody's saying racism had a part to play, but if true, it would be an important aspect to his character in general, especially given his violence.

        As for me, whenever someone goes on a killing spree AND is a racist, I tend to think the racism affected his character in some dehumanizing way, no matter who he ended up shooting.

        •  because no one said what the remark was (0+ / 0-)

          if he just said I cant stand rappers and their rap music I guess that could be "slightly" racist  or maybe not,but without more information we only know he did not like rap music and the rest is speculative.

    •  Holmes' political affiliation means little (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He's a sick, deranged individual.

      If it turned out he's a tea-party supporter, that doesn't mean all tea-ists are murderers, nor does it support (without further evidence) the 'stochastic violence' charge. It'd be really, really easy for us to jump on this, but consider the other side.

      If it turned out that he's always voted Democratic, was active in OWS, supports gay marriage, gave money to Howard Dean, etc. this wouldn't mean diddly squat about progressive values, beliefs, policies, etc.

      He's a sick man.

      Where policy and politics enters in is not this individual's political leanings, but the broader causes: why does the US seem to have a mass-killing of innocent people about once/year, on average, for the past 30 years, which (if I'm not mistaken) is much higher than in other countries.

  •  Not sure the Batman audience (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, Brainwrap

    is noted for it diversity - I doubt this is a motivation

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:55:48 PM PDT

    •  An African American man at the hospital (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      last night said the theater wasn't known as being all that safe, and often had two police officers in uniform near the ticket entry. They weren't there last night.

      I don't know what the racial makeup of this area is, or the racial makeup of the audience last night. There may have been more or fewer African Americans and other minorities than what would be called "statistically average" - I dunno. Unfortunately, I do have to recognize that where you find crime in America, you often find poverty, and where you find poverty, you often find African Americans, in slightly larger percentages. That's a sad and unfair aspect of American life, that African Americans are subjected to that.

      And while the racial comment may not have been the cause, it still may give insight into where he was coming from and what he believed. Racial beliefs are serious character issues, after all.

      •  In Light Of The Country-Destroying Crimes We Are (0+ / 0-)

        still uncovering on Wall Street and Fleet Street that have not been prosecuted, I'd say it's more accurate to say that where you have poverty you are sure to have "wars" on crime that are prosecuted with military ruthlessness.

    •  Do you think racism leads to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, chipoliwog

      the dehumanization of people in general?

      I do.

      If so, then yes, it would be connected - actually, it would be connected - at some level - no matter who he ended up shooting - IMO.

      You can call the racism a root cause in that respect. Maybe not THE root cause, but a root cause via the dehumanization implicit with it.

      •  I actually think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that all of the -isms are root causes in a lot of this stuff, and yes, I think they relate to dehumanization broadly. But I think drawing too many links so directly like this kind of misses the point. It's complex. Our culture is a hugely dehumanizing thing, and that plays out via all sorts of racism, sexism, class dynamics, so on. These are symptoms of a broad cultural dynamic, on top of being individual character flaws.

        Dehumanization is hugely important here, but it's also not this simple as a direct line.

        •  But racism is a STRONG factor (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MKSinSA, a2nite, chipoliwog

          It's not like video games or commercials.

          We're talking about a very strong character flaw.

          I agree this is a greyscale world.

          But many people who believe that use it as an excuse for total subjectivity, and that's irresponsible.

          Racism is a strong motivating factor for racists, and the dehumanization that results from it is also a strong part of someone's character.

          I often don't believe in "direct lines" even when people generally agree on one. I tend to think of it more like a network, where different lines have weight.

          Resentment of a spouse might be a strong weight.

          Racism might be a strong weight.

          Mental illness might be a strong weight.


    •  Not noted for it's diversity? Total speculation. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Do you know the make up of comic fans?

      Do you think it's all white teen nerd males?

      What a snide comment.

  •  Millions of people makes comments in bars (5+ / 0-)

    that can be interpreted as racist. Very few of them start murder sprees. I don't see a point here.

    •  Millions of white people also (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, wu ming, a2nite

      think racist comments are up for "interpretation."

    •  That is the reason the media does not report (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      millions of comments in bars that can be interpreted as racist. It is not a sign of impending murder sprees.

      However once someone goes on a murder spree  things reporters (or investigators) learn he has said and done are looked at as clues to his personality, his frame of mind.
      Investigators have been talking to all the people they can find that know him to learn many things that would make you say "I don't see a point here."

      Most humans, most males, most whites, most who studied graduate neurosciences, most post graduate drop outs, most loners and so on do not start murder sprees and yet these bits and more are all part of who he is.

      Most people that someone had a beer with and chatted to on Tuesday night and who seemed quite normal do not start murder sprees and yet I do see a point there.

      and so on

  •  You've got to be fucking kidding me. (5+ / 0-)

    He made a "slightly racial comment" about rap music??

    That's it?

    What in God's name does that have to do with...anything??

    It's not like he was shooting up an NAACP meeting or went on a rampage at the Holocaust Museum.

    It's not even like the movie his victims were seeing was Schindler's List or Do the Right Thing.

    It was fucking BATMAN, for heaven's sake.

    •  If he was a racist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, joynow

      Then it gives insight into his character.

      Or rather lack thereof.

      •  Well, not in a relevant way (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lina, Brainwrap

        I grew up in a redneck town, and if I had a dime for every time somebody made a "slightly racial" comment about rap, I'd be very, very wealthy. Shit, if you added similar shit about mariachi to that, I'd be Mitt Romney rich.

        It made me think somewhat poorly of the speakers, but none of them ever walked into any random place and started shooting. It's really not telling us anything spectacular, except that he held a sloppy and somewhat charged viewpoint that is unfortunately shared with a huge proportion of other white people.

        •  Racism dehumanizes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's relevant IMO.

          It's the same dehumanization that causes these rednecks to scream "kick their ass, take their gas" in an illegal war for revenge. It's the same dehumanization that causes them to cheer for taking public healthcare services away from black children.

          Just because some of them take that dehumanization and directly kill people rather than vote to let others do it for them - it's the same dehumanization, and if they're racist, it comes from the same place.

          It just depends on how it gets funneled.

          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wu ming

            We don't entirely disagree, but I see this as so interconnected with so many other things in our culture.

            And not just about rednecks, by the way -- who are being dehumanized in our conversation, by the way, othered into non-people. Some of the rednecks I mentioned above would also be the first to help anybody in all sorts of nasty situations, no matter what, because they were still fundamentally empathic people. Some have grown up and gotten over their crap and become genuinely lovely people.

            That doesn't negate the dehumanization in their comments, but it does complicate it. Nobody in this culture doesn't carry some of this baggage, and in sometimes less than ideal ways. That is part of the drive toward dehumanization in our culture, but it doesn't play out in real people, who are all as complex as you or I, in the linear way it feels like you're drawing here.

            •  when people are gunning down (0+ / 0-)

              rednecks for being rednecks then the word redneck and the dehumanization inherent in it could be said to be a problem. if that's what happened here, we can discuss it at that time.

              i don't see the dehumanization in using the term redneck as an equivalent thing with racism against minorities though, given real world events, and those that would imply that it is are making a big mistake in judgment - imo.

              as you say, there are racists who can't or won't do their own dirty work - for whatever reason.

              •  Ah (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wu ming

                I think we have to address dehumanization way before anybody guns down anybody. Because I see it causing all kinds of really nasty shit in all kinds of ways that aren't exactly this same scenario. We have built a dehumanizing culture, and then we're surprised that people dehumanize each other.

                Othering builds this, among many other things. If you think I'm drawing an equivalency across groups in the direct threat or the consequences, please rest assured that I'm not.

  •  This certainly muddles the picture. (0+ / 0-)

    We've gone from the "loner" who had no contact at all with anyone in his building to a barfly who regularly had beers with his neighbors at a local watering hole.

    "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

    by cadejo4 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 02:51:17 PM PDT

  •  Problem is, these are all thought crimes (0+ / 0-)

    What do we do, start locking everyone up who says something politically incorrect?  And who decides what words are worthy of incarceration and which ones aren't?

    And if thoughtcrime laws were passed, care to bet $10,000 on which skin color most of those charged with thought crimes would be?

    You could easily find yourself in a world where those who praise multi-national corporations are judged sane, while those who support the Occupy movement are charged with hate speech against the 1%, and thrown into a labor camp somewhere.

    These kinds of matters are best left to the psychologists, and not the politicians.

  •  Oh for crying out loud! (0+ / 0-)

    "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."

    by Glinda on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 02:55:47 PM PDT

  •  It is my opinion, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, deePA

    (take it with a spoonful of salt, as I only took one class) that this guy is schizophrenic. Schizophrenia shows up in the late teens/early 20's. In order to be able to work on a PhD in neuro-science, this guy has to be very intelligent. Especially at his age. He was admitted into that program at only 23. Something happened to set him off, and cause him to act irrationally. Upon getting the call from the PD, his mother indicated that they had the right person. So she was aware that he was capable of such actions. Her immediate admission would indicate that she knew he needed help. If he's a racist, it's probably the least of his problems.

    Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

    by HappyinNM on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 02:59:26 PM PDT

    •  Let's skip that stereotype...this thread did that (0+ / 0-)

      Schizophrenics are NOT violent by nature. They are withdrawn and depressed...

      Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841

      by SallyCat on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 03:04:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suggested that a spoonful of salt might be (0+ / 0-)

        required. I was a member of NAMI for two or three years, and I took their class on the brain. I also met with other family members of persons with mental illnesses. One woman's daughter, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, lived alone and preferred being alone. However, she heard voices. Sometimes those voices frightened her enough to cause her to become violent. I know, this is one case.

        In the case of Jim Holmes, it seems that he was high functioning and then he became violent. My little brain was trying to come up with a reason for that, and I remembered what I learned at NAMI. It was conjecture. I certainly don't have the education to do more than that.

        Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

        by HappyinNM on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 03:53:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Respectfully, (0+ / 0-)

    What is your point?  (Or, I guess, what is the point of the report you are citing).

    That he was possibly a racist?  I say possibly, because from what we are being told above, his comment could have been that the only good rap group was the Beastie Boys, which the listener took to be racist.  In the end though, who gives a crap, he is a mass murderer, trying to see if we can also tag him as a racist is akin to find out if he stole paper clips from the supply closer at work.

    When contemplating whether this story is even slightly relevant to the larger one, ask yourself, what if turns out he was active in the 2008 Obama campaign?  Or that he attended OWS protests?  Or gave money to Planned Parenthood?  Would any of those things really matter here?  Of course not.

    I'm not condemning you, or the intital report, I don't think this falls into the category of trying to politicize a tragedy.  

    I do think it is trying to explain the inexplicable.

    The best pizza comes from New York.

    by JakeC on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 03:22:16 PM PDT

    •  Racism dehumanizes (0+ / 0-)

      When white people go on killing sprees and turn out to be racists, there will always be people who argue it's not relevant or will use the old canard that since an underlying cause might be racism, then it's an "unknowable" or "inexplicable" tragedy.

      This is an argument made by many racists, not that you are one.

      Others, like me, will disagree.

      •  Only when white people? (0+ / 0-)

        If a non-white person kills, does it matter if they are racist?

        In this case, based on what little we know, how can you even suggest that racisim is or may be an underlying cause?

        Have I missed something?  (I mean this genuinely)  Are the victims predominantly minorities?  If so, then I withdraw my initial post, because then it is fair to examine the role of race.

        But if he is just a guy who went into a theater and started randomly killing people, then who really cares?

        The best pizza comes from New York.

        by JakeC on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 03:50:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, it may matter to whatever extent (0+ / 0-)

          But your eagerness to draw these strange equivalencies is typical of many white people. Despite the fact that they're offensive to the real victims of racism.

          As per your 2nd part, I do think racism can be a VERY STRONG factor in the dehumanization that leads to this kind of violence, yes.

  •  after all the screaming and yelling in this diary (0+ / 0-)

    all i have to say is i didn't even know black people lived in aurora, colorado. i was very surprised by the pictures of survivors.

  •  Please (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I hate rap music but I am not about to go on a killing spree.  I like a few video games and I am not about to go on a killing spree.  

    Just because I hate rap music does not make me a racist.  I don't like Lawrence Welk either.  Does that make me an anti-polka-dite?  

    This guy, like so many before him was a sick fuck and his mental make-up defies simple explanation.  I bet it didn't have anything to do with sugar consumption either.

    •  Did you go up to a woman at a bar (0+ / 0-)

      in the recent past and make racist comments to her about rap?

      Yes or no?

      •  No but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This entire conversation is based on pointless hearsay anyway.  But there are millions of racists and thankfully very few mass murderers.  Racism does not equal or predict mass murder.  At least in the type we see in this country.  

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