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Elliot Rodger was/is a white man.

For some people, this fact is very controversial and upsetting.

As I wrote in 'The True Alpha Male': The Santa Barbara Mass Shooting, Elliot Rodger, and Aggrieved White Male Entitlement Syndrome, when the bad behavior of white people is publicly called to account, said person’s relationship to “Whiteness” is rarely discussed.  

To be forced to include white mass murderers, madmen, and Right-wing domestic terrorists as part of the tribe is very uncomfortable and disconcerting.

This is understandable: what reasonable person would not want to excommunicate them from their community and affinity group?

Only white folks have such a luxury in the United States: a black rapist, thief, or murderer is de facto a representative of “the black race” with its “bad culture” and “pathologies”. There is no parallel for whites. The white murderer, thief, rapist, or mass shooter is an outlier, “mentally ill”, or some type of deviant whose behavior reveals nothing about white people en masse.

The boundaries of Whiteness and white privilege are heavily policed: bad people are “them”; good people are “us”.

Part of the appeal of “race” as a heuristic device and decision-rule is how it offers simple answers to complex social questions.

Despite what white supremacists and their allies would like to believe, race is a social construct with little to no biological basis. There is one race: the human race. Human beings have not existed long enough to be divided up into distinct breeds like dogs.

In the West, a person’s “blood quantum”, phenotype, or skin color has been, and continues to be used to calculate their location within a society’s racial hierarchy.

Stereotypes and assumptions related to behavior can also be neatly triangulated relative to race as well.

The question “what are you?” is often less an existential matter about consciousness and agency, than an effort to locate a given person within a society’s racial order.

The phrase “he or she ‘looks’ ‘Asian’, ‘Black’, ‘Hispanic’…” is a quick shortcut and decision-rule for slotting people into an arbitrary racial group—with the incumbent benefits and liabilities that come with that group membership.

Thus, the frustration/fascination when a person’s perceived racial identity does not match up with the stereotypes and expectations that dominant society projects onto them.

Race is complicated. Race and racism have a history. Both are inventions. They are not natural arrangements of power between groups of human beings. Consequently, race is a combination of law, day-to-day practices, “common sense”, arbitrary distinctions, habits, culture, “science”, and norms which have power over life chances.

As such, conceptions of race and racial identity reflect the political and social questions of a given era: they are a type of social witchcraft and mysticism.

For example, because of the “one drop rule”, a black American can get on a plane, fly to Brazil, and then magically be transformed into a “white” person because that country’s racial norms dictate that “one drop” of white blood makes you anything but “black”.

Likewise, during the American slave regime and then Jim and Jane Crow, a “black person” could move between races (literally crossing over from black to white and back to black again) by crossing state lines.

South Asians are darker in complexion than many if not most Black Americans. Yet, they are considered “white”, i.e. “Aryan” in terms of racial classification.

Over several generations “non-white” European immigrants such as the Irish, Italians, Slavs, Poles, Jews, became fully “white”. In the present, new research is calling attention to how Hispanic-Americans are increasingly choosing to identity themselves as “white”.

How do we locate Elliot Rodger within this complex story of race and identity?

Like gender, race is a type of performance.

It is a performance which can be sincere, authentic, stereotypical, deviant, natural, subversive, grotesque, beautiful, or ugly.

For example, there are about 40 million different ways to be black. This includes the young person who has internalized the ugly lie that he or she is “acting white” by being a serious and responsible student. By comparison, “acting black” also includes the studied grace, dignity, and black respectability of Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America.

There are likely as many ways to perform race (and ethnicity) as there are people in the United States.

The immigrant who is going to assimilate by being even more “American” than his native born fellow citizens, the “white negro” who acts “black” in order to upset his parents or to be “cool”, the Sikh who dresses up like Captain America in order to challenge narrow conceptions of who counts as an American, the Red State rural white voter who drives a pickup truck, watches NASCAR, and displays the Confederate flag, as well as the white suburbanite who is desperate to earn their WASP bonafides by joining a country club and going to the “right” schools, are all, in their own ways, performing race.

Race, gender, class, and sexuality are the dominant socio-organizational categories in American and Western society. They are the social and political air we breathe; to ignore how those categories influence our lives and personal identities is to deny empirical reality.

Elliot Rodger constructed an identity for himself as “Eurasian” and proceeded to internalize American society’s cues and lessons about power, privilege, race, and gender. He then lived out his own particular understanding of what it means to be white and male in the United States.

Elliot Rodger demanded and expected power and control over others. He saw respect from others not as something earned but rather as a birthright. Elliot Rodger’s life is the very definition of unearned privilege and advantage. In his desperate search for validation and affection from his white father, he projected and acted on a particular type of elite, dominative, aggressive, white masculinity and sense of entitlement.

While some would like to focus on the fact that he has an “Asian” mother as leverage for discounting his Whiteness—one of the intellectual weak spots of the White Right and the race science crowd is an obsession with “pure races”, which are non-existent, yet remain an intellectual fixation for white racists—Elliot Rodger was performing white masculinity as he understood it.

Whiteness is an identity based upon maintaining a superior power relationship over people of color.

Whiteness is not just a reflection of “biological race” or assumed racial group membership by virtue of parental or family lineage. Whiteness is a political project with its own set of values and normative assumptions about how society should be organized.

Elliot Rodger’s diaries contain numerous examples of white racial animus and hatred towards people of color. He wrote that black people were a lower type of human being:

“How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more.”
He was disgusted that his “racial inferiors” had access to white women. People of color were basically “kaffirs” to him--inferiors to someone of his racial stock.

Elliot Rodger wrote online how:

"Today I drove through the area near my college and saw some things that were extremely rage-inducing. I passed by this restaurant and I saw this black guy chilling with 4 hot white girls. He didn’t even look good. Then later on in the day I was shopping at Trader Joe’s and saw an Indian guy with 2 above average White Girls!!! What rage-inducing sights did you guys see today? Don’t you just hate seeing these things when you go out? It just makes you want to quit life."
Elliot Rodger also felt no sense of linked fate or affinity with Asian-Americans: his identity as a “white” man, with “white blood” pulsing in his veins, elevated him above those he considered “lowly” Asians.

He also disparaged an Asian man who posted pictures of himself with a white woman:

"Full Asian men are disgustingly ugly and white girls would never go for you. You’re just butthurt that you were born as an asian piece of shit, so you lash out by linking these fake pictures. You even admit that you wish you were half white. You’ll never be half-white and you’ll never fulfill your dream of marrying a white woman. I suggest you jump off a bridge."
Elliot Rodger’s particular version of white male identity dictated that he was superior to people of color in all ways—and the greatest offense was their not respecting his control over and access to white women’s bodies. Dominance and power over people of color was one of the central ways that Elliot Rodger understood his identity as a man.

Elliot Rodger both idealized and idolized Whiteness and White Masculinity.

Rodger wrote in fawning and obsessive language about his desire to be accepted among the “superior” white men who had sexual access to the white women he coveted. Elliot Rodger dyed his hair blonde in order to look more like a white person.

In describing that experience, he wrote how:

"This revelation about the world, and about myself, really decreased my self-esteem. On top of this was the feeling that I was different because I am of mixed race. I am half White, half Asian, and this made me different from the normal fully-white kids that I was trying to fit in with. I envied the cool kids, and I wanted to be one of them. I was a bit frustrated at my parents for not shaping me into one of these kids in the past. They never made an effort to dress me in stylish clothing or get me a good-looking haircut. I had to make every effort to rectify this. I had to adapt.

My first act was to ask my parents to allow me to bleach my hair blonde. I always envied and admired blonde-haired people, they always seemed so much more beautiful. My parents agreed to let me do it, and father took me to a hair salon on Mulholland Drive in Woodland Hills.

Choosing that hair salon was a bad decision, for they only bleached the top of my head blonde. When I indignantly questioned why they didn't make all of my hair blonde, they said that I was too young for a full bleaching. I was furious. I thought I looked so silly with blonde hair at the top of my head and black hair at the sides and back. I dreaded going to school the next day with this weird new hair.

When I arrived at school the next day, I was intensely nervous. Before class started, I stood in a corner franticly trying to figure out how I would go about revealing this to everyone. Trevor was the first one to notice it, and he came up to me and patted my head, saying that it was very "cool." Well, that was exactly what I wanted. My new hair turned out to be quite a spectacle, and for a few days I got a hint of the attention and admiration I so craved."

He was happy that his hair and features were not like that of those other racially marked, and to his eyes, inferior “full blooded” Asians. The first victims in his murder spree were his Asian roommates, men whom he considered weak and vulnerable. In many ways, Elliot Rodger’s manifesto is a love letter to Whiteness and white people. Like a spurned lover or obsessive fan, Elliot Rodger turned on them because he did not feel fully accepted by his racially idealized and idolized community as a “real” white man.

The cultural economy of sex and race played an important role in Elliot Rodger’s obsession with white blonde women.

White women are among the most protected classes of people in the United States. White women are also represented as the most desirable and attractive type of woman by the mass media. Elliot Rodger’s fixation on “blondes”—as an idealized female form—reflected the lessons about race, sex, and desirability that he learned as a young man in American society.

It is important to highlight how Elliot Rodger was not obsessed with women in general. He did not fixate on black women, Asians, or Latinas. Rodger’s fetish for white blonde women reflects broader (white) American (and global) cultural norms: colorism remains a powerful force in black and brown communities around the world.

Elliot Rodger’s sexual obsession exists within a broader social context. Recent research at UCLA-Berkeley has revealed how black women are considered the least desirable potential partners on online dating sites such as OK Cupid. And although black women are more likely to be victims of kidnapping and assault, crimes against them (and other women of color) are grossly under-reported by the mainstream news media. By comparison, what has come to be known as “missing white woman syndrome” is a trope that dominates news coverage.

Elliot Rodger’s obsession with white blonde women was an extension of a type of white masculinity that views white women and white femininity as prizes to be desired, protected, objectified, and controlled.

Wait a minute! Elliot Rodger’s mother was Asian! How can he be white!

These predictable (and tired) objections reflect a desire for simplicity in how race is conceptualized and discussed.

Whiteness is malleable.

Elliot Rodger is a white man with an “Asian” mother. Allowing for how race is constructed in a very different way for African-Americans, Barack Obama is a black man with a white mother. Moreover, Rodger’s Asian ancestry would be of no concern if he did not commit mass murder: there would be no reason for those who police the boundaries of Whiteness and white privilege to jettison him from the clan.

However, Elliot Rodger’s “Asian” identity could be central to solving the puzzle that is his violent and murderous masculinity.

Asian men are routinely depicted in a feminized and asexual manner by American popular media. In the American racial imagination, Asian men have variously been the source of moral panics about “white slavery”, stereotyped as alien Others and traitors, or as sexual deviants (see the recent Hangover movies and the "Leslie Chow" character). Historically, American masculinity has been inexorably tied to a particular type of “rugged”, “independent”, and “robust” type of white male identity.

Elliot Rodger, as detailed by his manifesto, was enraged that he could not reach the epitome of white masculinity that American society has constructed as unattainable for someone racially marked (and stigmatized) as Asian.

Roger’s search for “alpha male” status left him in a state of racial limbo.

He embraced Whiteness as a set of values, habits, and beliefs; Elliot Roger thought of himself as a type of white man.

African-American literature has a stock character called the “tragic mulatto”. In some ways, Elliot Roger is a parallel type of figure: he lacked a properly integrated sense of racial self and identity. He was/is a tragic “mixed race” white Asian who worshiped Whiteness, yet could not attain it in the manner, and to the degree, he desperately desired.

Most important, Elliot Rodger embodies the worst aspects of American society.

He was easily able to purchase a gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition which he then used to kill six people. Once more, the fetish for the gun, and a perverse gun culture that links gun ownership to masculinity, led to murder.

Elliot Rodger was a misogynist and a sexist.

Elliot Rodger’s hatred of women drove him to kill because he felt denied his “natural” right to control women and men’s access to their bodies.

Elliot Rodger was a racist. He felt that he was superior, by virtue of his parentage and over-identification with Whiteness, to African Americans and other people of color. Elliot Rodger’s embrace of Whiteness—as de facto white supremacy—fueled and legitimated, in his mind, a murder spree because his racially privileged rights of birth were denied him.

Elliot Rodger was empowered by classism and a profound sense of entitlement and power over those he deemed “beneath” him. Just as some members of the American 1 percent believe that they are imperiled, and thus facing some type of “Holocaust” and “oppression” at the hands of the “takers”, Elliot Rodger was the ideal-typical spoiled brat, born on the 3rd base of life, yet angry at the world because he thought that he in fact had hit a home run.

Elliot Rodger was rageful because he was denied, at least in his mind, his natural place in the American social order as a rich white man. Aggrieved white male entitlement syndrome led him to commit murder.

As an astute commenter wisely noted on the social media site Twitter, there are many landmines in America who are similarly primed and ready to explode.

Are the American people ready and prepared for more Elliot Rodgers? And how will too many of its citizens explain away the ugly synergy that is racism, classism, guns, and sexism when it kills again?

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Comment Preferences

  •  in the manfesto (10+ / 0-)

    he's clearly conflicted about his ethnicity with his mother and step-mother as well as his anti-Asian statements relative to his roommates. His POV is the complex one of identifying as the child of a White, British father with a Chinese wife, raising all rhe complex postcolonial issues and more defined by the superficiality of his relationship with white women as well as his class position

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:15:38 AM PDT

    •  if you read what I wrote above in detail (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, La Gitane, Cassandra Waites, Ahianne

      you will see I touch on that issue. Yes, he is a white Asian acting out the worst aspects of white masculinity.

        •  this is that (5+ / 0-)

          teaching moment where we stop legitimating the Supremacist discourse by referring to such folks even 'white Americans' as European in terms of primary origins as they were in 19th & early 20th Century modernist Asian.

          Race and Ethnicity Category Definitions (2009)
          Race/ethnicity: Categories developed in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that are used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. The designations are used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens.

          -----------------------------------------
          First, individuals are asked to designate ethnicity as either:

          • Hispanic or Latino: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race;
          • Not Hispanic or Latino
          Second, individuals are asked to indicate one or more races that apply among the following:
          • American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment
          • Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam
          • Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
          • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands
          White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa

          Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

          by annieli on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:26:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Whiteness is malleable. (9+ / 0-)

          In his case, he identified as white.   I thought Chauncey explained that well.  

          Chauncy never said "asians are white," although that is theoretically possible.   It's a construct.  "Whiteness" can be granted or taken away.  

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:27:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  hence the usefulness of college courses in White (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Lyon, TomP

            Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

            by annieli on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:36:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And it's been that way for a long time. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NinetyWt, Ahianne, moviemeister76

            No closely guarded secret that there's Native American blood in a huge portion of the descendants of the Virginian First Families. Everyone hears in high school history that Pocahontas married John Rolfe, and the fact the great-grandkids married into the First Families during an era when they were mostly intermarrying with other First Families isn't exactly undocumented.

            But there's no way those families got treated as anything but pure lily-white when the 'just one drop' concepts started coming through, even as less economically advantaged families just a generation or two less distant from a native ancestor had to scrub their family histories, fast.

            My ancestors intermarried at a couple of different points in American history. Pocahontas, no secret. There's at least one possible undocumented marriage - because no one in that time would have been willing to record it for the census, and legal bastardy would have been safer for any kids she could have had with a Cherokee man than the truth. And then there are the piles and piles of women with no maiden last names recorded anywhere who very easily could have been hiding where they came from in a time when going through married life without ever mentioning a maiden name would have raised no eyebrows.

            And that's just the question of what it takes to remain legally 'white' if your family already has that legal status.

            A bunch of my European immigrant ancestors would have considered it a grave insult to be referred to as the same race as some of the rest of my European ancestors. And in more than one case, that feeling would have been entirely mutual.

      •  Rather than being a "white Asian acting out ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jon Says

        the worst aspects of white masculinity", perhaps he was merely a (mentally-challenged) person acting out the worst aspects of masculinity ... or even the worst aspects of humanity ... in being competitive and trying to assert his superiority as many do using one argument or another?

        "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

        by Neuroptimalian on Tue May 27, 2014 at 05:56:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's what I don't get (6+ / 0-)

    His words sound like someone who was actively indoctrinated.

    I say this as a white male who was not even aware that his ideas had currency in white male circles.

    What I don't get is how he came to hold these beliefs. Was it his parents, or were they simply too estranged to perceive what was happening to their son?

    Is there really a movement of primitive white males waiting to murder women who won't fuck them?

    None of this makes sense to me.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:17:23 AM PDT

  •  Actually Elliot Rodger is biracial. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Shipper, jlb1972, Be Skeptical

    His father is European and his mother is Asian. Since the family has considerable financial advantage, there is certainly aspects of privilege in his background. However, his Asian ancestry doesn't fit neatly into your thesis.  

    •  race is malleable; "hapa" white asians (9+ / 0-)

      are poised to cross over to whiteness. my claim has quite a bit of nuance to it. do read in detail and reflect.

      race is not a simple matter. he overly identified with whiteness, ideologically and politically, and saw himself as a type of elevated white Asian.

      •  No it certainly isn't simple (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jlb1972, Be Skeptical

        but you are using labels in a binary manner that doesn't serve the purpose of conveying nuance very well.

        •  read the links, reread the piece and work through (8+ / 0-)

          it. what you are struggling w. is how the american racial order is one of binaries but other groups triangulate within it and how racial formation is dead in the center of the narrative. this is a story of race, politics, change, ideology, etc.

          •  Excellent comment. (5+ / 0-)

            I commented above similarly, but not as well as you do.  

            Race is a construct:

            Chauncy never said "asians are white," although that is theoretically possible.   It's a construct.  "Whiteness" can be granted or taken away.  

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by TomP on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:29:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I read it and I think it lacks nuance. n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jlb1972
            •  these internets are a big place, lots of nuance (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomP, Old Sailor

              here and I was very careful for those who want to take the time to read carefully, challenge some of their priors, and do some additional reading. write your own post.

            •  But you ignoring Rodger's own words (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NinetyWt, Ahianne, awesumtenor, kfunk937

              in order to support your dismissal of ChaunceyDeVega's diary.  What about the extended quotations from Rodger's manifesto expressing his disdain for "pure" Asians and other people of color?  What about his expressed desire for blondes?  Why would you ignore all of that in the interest of making the categorical judgment that Rodger's is biracial?  

              I urge you to go back and do a more careful reading, paying special attention to Rodger's own words.

              •  this requires close reading and reflection I (5+ / 0-)

                remembering hearing Brother James Cone speak and he said that talking about race in a serious way w. Americans is so hard because they/we all believe that we are experts...even without having done the research and hard work.

              •  Your are interpreting through a lens (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenbell, Richard Lyon

                Your lens is the sane and rational, and you are trying to interpret the words of someone who was not sane and rational through that lens.

                “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                by Catte Nappe on Tue May 27, 2014 at 01:33:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Does this mean that our interpretation (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NinetyWt, Ahianne, kfunk937

                  should also be insane and irrational because the perp is insane and irrational?  If that's what you're saying, I don't agree with your argument.   I think that insanity is not immune to social influences.  For example, when I lived in Philadelphia long ago, there was a clearly schizophrenic White man (he wore lots of coats at the height of the hot weather season) who walked along Broad Street screaming the N word at the top of his voice.  Black people largely ignored him because they knew he was mentally ill.  But his choice of the N word was socially determined.  That may not be something he would scream if he were a schizophrenic who had been raised in another country.  Likewise, Rodger's manifesto is not just the random musing of a mentally ill person, it is  located in a specific social formation, namely the racial and gender formation of this society, and it is worthwhile exploring how that formation, among other factors, shaped his behavior.  That, at least, is one of the major points I take from this diary.

                  •  Perfect illustration! (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ahianne, kfunk937

                    You are right. Had that guy walking the streets in Philadelphia been born, raised, and living in Laos; he wouldn't have even known that word. That he did, and in some recess of his disturbed mind knew it was a disturbing word, says something significant about our society and culture. However, it is not something that lends itself to a sane and rational discussion of his individual personal views on race - or anything else.

                    Rodger's rantings (manifesto, YouTube, on-line forums) say some important things about racism and misogyny in our culture. Those views are out there, and held by people circulating among us who have no signs of any other mental aberration. Obviously, those  views are also easily picked up and channeled by someone who is mentally disturbed. But I contend there is no purpose in relying on those rantings to analyze Rodger's specific individual and personal thoughts on race and sex because his "understandings" are so warped by his mental disorder that as sane and rational people we can't hope to enter into his insane and irrational world view.

                    Many diaries and comments about the tragedy unfortunately don't limit themselves to the larger implications to our society because such views on race and sex are out there. They commence expounding on perceptions of Elliot Rodger's own personal world view and attitudes.

                    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                    by Catte Nappe on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:39:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  This comment reads like you only read the title (4+ / 0-)

      The diary actually goes into great detail about Elliot Rodger and race, including the discussion of mulattos and the way some people who are biracial overidentify with whiteness.

      Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

      by moviemeister76 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:38:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It does, though (0+ / 0-)

      In his manifesto he refers to his (British) father finding a new girlfriend soon after the divorce. He claims that, even then (he was 7), he had newfound respect for his father as a man of status as a result.

      As he hit adolescence and became obsessed with sexual success as the only possible form of validation, he saw mostly white frat-boy type guys having the social success he wanted. He spewed hatred toward Asians and bragged about being superior because he was "half-white" or "Eurasian." It's clear he was rejecting his Asian ancestry and hoping to identify with the white half of his ancestry, which he saw as studly and elite (he referred to his father's family as British aristocrats who lost their fortune in the Depression).

      “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 11:47:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting post. I can see the whiteness aspect. (7+ / 0-)

    There was a lot of sick stuff running around in his mind.  He saw woman as an object for his sexual gratification and ego.  There are many men who do that, but not to the degree he did.  He seems to have found really sick reinforcers of his alienation.  Some kind of pick up movement.  Amanda Marcotte has a really good article on it.  

    How 'Pick-Up Artist' Philosophy and Its More Misogynist Backlash Shaped Mind of Alleged Killer Elliot Rodger

    It's very sad.  I note that he drove a $40,000 BMW.  There are class and race aspects, but the weird psycho-sexual stuff seems to have been a driver of his actions.  Sexual access to the most beautiful women (by his standards) was necessary for his identity.  There are cultural factors that played into this.  

    It's all very sad.

    Another good post by you.  
     

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:25:18 AM PDT

    •  privilege is relative (12+ / 0-)

      There are studies that suggest that rich people judge their wealth relative to other rich people, not in absolute terms that encompass the poorest of the poor.  It's not hard to imagine that white male privilege follows the same pattern.  There are plenty of guys who were "born on third base" as it were who are spitting mad that there are guys who were born on a home run.

      Add that to the belief that for whatever reason - race, looks, money, intelligence, etc. - you can never have what they have, do what they do, and be what they are, and you have the recipe for a venomous nihilism that not only burns with self-hatred (and hatred of anything that reminds one of oneself) but is also twisted into wanting to pull down the idol rather than worship it.

      White male "culture" celebrates a rigidly and nitpickingly hierarchical and ruthlessly competitive view of the world but also denies any merit to the struggle itself, only to the victory.  You only have value relative to those whom you're "better" than.  You're a loser unless and until you win.  A man has no worth - indeed, no existence at all - outside of his accomplishments and his trophies that "prove" his accomplishments and thereby his worth.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:00:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  About Latinas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    I commented on a previous diary of yours stating that my Latina ex-girlfriend would never consider herself white.  I confirmed this theory by sharing the essence of your theory of conferred whiteness with her.  She replied, "Too spicy and hot to be white, I am."  Three minutes later I texted her that I was still laughing.

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:26:41 AM PDT

  •  I appreciate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, terrypinder, joe pittsburgh

    your often giving me food for thought and opening up conversations I feel are extremely important/valuable (it's all too easy for me to "box things up into simple explanations/labels).  Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

  •  He Had a Mental Disability Affecting Social (11+ / 0-)

    perceptions and judgements. That doesn't mean that it's typical of such people to commit violence; however

    Elliot Rodger also felt no sense of linked fate or affinity with
    PEOPLE. He had basic social deficits.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:37:36 AM PDT

  •  Is there a difference (0+ / 0-)

    Between actually being "white" and trying to be white but failing?

  •  Are you a psychologist? (5+ / 0-)

    Have you met with his therapists and discussed case notes? While you are entitled to your opinions and theories, I really wish people would leave the task of discerning motives and underlying psychoses in these cases to the professionals.

  •  he was a racist too. (4+ / 0-)

    i'm not sorry your last diary made so many liberals here uncomforable.

    thanks for writing.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:17:35 PM PDT

    •  Didn't make me uncomfrotable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Lyon

      Deeply disappointed me. In large part because the diarist so often provides valuable insights. But in that diary he badly missed the mark as far as I'm concerned.
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      This article covers the issue well This complex and tragic event supports my own view  

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Tue May 27, 2014 at 01:53:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  how. please do explain? (0+ / 0-)

        where and how is my analysis or understanding of the role of race and gender incorrect, misspecified, under-theorized, etc.

        Please share.

        •  My commment here gets closest to my point (3+ / 0-)

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          As you will see if you bother to read it (and the comment that led to it), my issue is not with addressing race and gender roles, it is with attempting to analyze Rodger's specific individual views and perceptions as though he were a sane and rational person.  His statements bring to light and illustrate some issues we should be addressing as generally applicable to our society and culture. Lord knows there are plenty of "normal" people out there who have those views and ideas, and talk about them quite openly. Your diaries have unfortunately slid to trying to "explain" him as an idividual in those terms.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:52:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  lots of "crazy" people can tell us a great (0+ / 0-)

            deal about society and its norms. The obsession w. his mental health issues as a distraction from what his behavior, in a raw, honest, and direct way uncensored, tell us about society is a type of cowardice, an easy deflection, and out. Mental illness is a social construction--once you/we understand its relationship to power and bio politics--so much becomes clear. Foucault and others have written extensively on the issue.

            I appreciate the comment but as I tell folks these Internets are a big place go and put out your own shingle and have it.

      •  I thought he was right on. (0+ / 0-)

        an entitled and wealthy racist goes on and shoots a bunch of women he thinks he should be entitled to. I'm not seeing how chauncy coopted anything.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

        by terrypinder on Wed May 28, 2014 at 05:19:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From what I can tell (0+ / 0-)

          The split in views on that lines up between those who have experience with mentally ill people, and those who don't. You are trying to ascribe sane and rational - albeit repugnant - thoughts and motives to someone who was not sane or rational. No doubt he picked up on the repugnant thoughts about sex and race from others who are sane and rational; and they are well worth talking about.

          People in his mental state look for answers and explanations for their mental dis-ease; and find it in various places such as politics, religion, superstition, etc. This guy happened to find his in a corner of the internet comprised of misogynists and racists. That he expressed those views doesn't necessarily make him misogynist or racist any more than the deluded woman who believes the CIA is giving her instructions via her TV set is actually a CIA agent.

          Absent the mental illness he might have ended up an obnoxious, entitled, racist jerk anyway. Or he might have ended up a sensitive, caring, insightful fellow. It was the mental illness talking and writing. It continues to amaze me why people are so busy analyzing HIM as an individual, and not focusing on the larger community of misogynists and racists that he inadvertently shone a light on.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:15:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  but Hispanics can be white because (5+ / 0-)

    Hispanic is a language descriptor not a race descriptor.   There the name Obregon which was change from O'Brian. Latin America had many other immigrants beside Hispanic ones who came to the new world settled and go married.  
    My Spanish professor from Spain has blue eyes and clearly fell into the white description.  Are Spaniards Hispanic or Spanish?

    That is why a race category for doesn't really work with Hispanics.  There are some Dominican Hispanics that are also clearly Black and there are some well heeled Mexican upper class floks that are clearly in the "white" category. Then the rest of us are some mixture on a continum.

    There is was much discussion about this in the past.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    La Raza Cosmica.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    •  Which is why the census separates them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amyzex

      And reports on hispanics as potentially being of any of the possible races. In 2000 less than half of hispanics identified themselves as white.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Tue May 27, 2014 at 01:40:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was a census taker in 2000 and 2010 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, Cassandra Waites

        The Hispanic people I enumerated in both censuses generally didn't take kindly to being lumped in with anyone else, even whites.

        The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

        by amyzex on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:13:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are working to fine tune it some more (0+ / 0-)
          To address concerns about a rising share of “some other race” selections, a combined race and ethnicity question is under consideration for 2020, in which people would be offered all the race and Hispanic options in one place. They could check a box to identify as white, black, Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander or some other race or origin. They would be offered a line under each category to supply more detail about their origin, tribe or race. Examples of this include: German, African American, Mexican, Navajo, Asian Indian and Samoan.
          http://www.pewresearch.org/...

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:43:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is a really great diary (8+ / 0-)

    Especially the way you detail how whiteness is so fluid. I've come to the conclusion that Elliot lived a life of loneliness and internally kept coming up with reasons for why he couldn't have a girlfriend. And he so internalized those reasons that they took over his life. This idea that he had that he couldn't get girls because he just wasn't white enough is so terribly sad. It ties directly in to how so many men and women of color around the world feel about the color of their skin, the vast number of people who are bleaching their skin to look more white. And, of course, the idea Elliot felt that if he had a blond girlfriend, that would make him more white.

    The sickness of white supremacy really seeped into his life.

    Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

    by moviemeister76 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:48:03 PM PDT

  •  This diary, in addition to your previous diary, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe pittsburgh, moviemeister76

    were both well written, thoughtful, and insightful. Again I was amazed at how many people seemed to want to comment, yet seemed not to have actually read the diary carefully, or bothered to delve into Elliot's on-line postings, his selfies or seen the websites where he spent his days hanging out as you  obviously have, yet still feel qualified to denigrate what you have to say.

    Sure are a lot of touchy white folks around here.

    Uncle Sal

    "I certainly feel much more like I do right now than I did when I first came in..."

    by Sal Bovoso on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:41:06 PM PDT

  •  I picked up on his longing to be "fully white" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites

    and considered it another example of self-hate.  Also, it puts his plans to kill his little brother (because he would surpass him socially) in another light - his brother the son of a French actress IS "fully white".

    As always the diarist is timely, on point and masterfully informative.

  •  Maybe he was just batshit crazy? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Neuroptimalian

    No, that'd be too easy of an explanation.

  •  Everyone do yourselves a favor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical

    and unplug your routers immediately.

    If the sun is out open your front door or side door or whatever door  you have, walk outside and stand there until you realize you wasted some of your life reading this diary and talking about this kid.

    If the sun is not out, wait until it is and follow the directions above.  

    I don't want anyone to be offended with my presumptuous suggestion that you live in a place that has a door that you are physically or mentally capable of opening or walking out of.  For those of you that have disabilities or are not able to see the sun or walk outside take those words as a metaphor.  For those of you with mental illness that prevents following the directions I gave go to your happy place (away from your computer) and continue on from there.  

    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

    by mim5677 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:44:27 PM PDT

    •  liberal racism and the white racial frame are one (0+ / 0-)

      hell of a drug.

      •  And by your account I must be hooked... (0+ / 0-)

        and that is just fine Chaunce.

        Your ability to describe the nature of this person is unparalleled especially with so many adoring white fans who lap up every word as if it is gospel.

        You thrive in this type of environment as you should and although I doubt anyone notices but eloquent writing style "pales" in comparison to the responses you give to those who don't agree with you.  Gotta go get my fix.

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:46:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It seems as the one drop rule (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mim5677

    is in play at Daily Kos as well. The killer was of MIXED race. What people are doing is "racial rounding." If someone of mixed race does something good, they're valiantly advancing minorities. But if someone of mixed race does something bad, the left automatically considers them white and calls it a "white people problem." George Zimmerman was an asshole that probably deserved to go to jail but he WAS partially Hispanic, a fact that was glossed over in an attempt to demonize white gun owners.

  •  I guess Mixed is the new White. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical
    •  whiteness is an arbitrary social construct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937

      given this fact, why are so many so invested in protecting it by 'otherizing' those who claim it and do something heinous?

      This guy's angst started with han acknowledgement of his 'whiteness' and his frustration over not being 'fully white'. He felt that not being 'fully white' was a damaging deficiency; he wanted to be fully white, like his brother, and that his being eurasian tainted him...and he wanted white people to accept him as one of them, as he defined 'acceptance'. His self identity was with whiteness. It angered him that no white women paid him any mind, especially those white women he saw with people who were clearly not white. He expressed racist sentiments towards blacks, hispanics and 'full asians' and it angered him when he saw them in social settings with white women.

      He saw himself as white and it angered him that, in his mind, he wasn't white enough.

      Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

      by awesumtenor on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:31:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can't ID as white (0+ / 0-)

        and not see yourself as white at the same time.  He ID's as mixed race with a desire to be white, that's a pretty clear distinction.  

         

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 09:14:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He saw himself as white (0+ / 0-)

          just not white enough to get the attention of blonde sorority girls.

          He admittted his asian ancestry but he never identified as asian or embraced asian culture an inherent part of his being. He believed that it tainted his whiteness.

          Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

          by awesumtenor on Wed May 28, 2014 at 09:51:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can't see it both ways (0+ / 0-)

            If you don't see yourself as white enough, that pretty much settles it.

            He saw himself as mixed raced with a desire to be white, I don't see how this is a debate.

            Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

            by mim5677 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 10:31:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Clearly (0+ / 0-)

              you did not read the diary...

              Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

              by awesumtenor on Wed May 28, 2014 at 03:42:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The diary (0+ / 0-)

                has nothing to do with how the kid saw himself.  Two unrelated things and on top of that just because I diary is written doesn't make it gospel, make sense?

                I'm a mixed race person you can't just put someone in to categories based on what you feel about their attitude about life.  

                Chauncey doesn't get to determine this kids race, the kid does and if the kid doesn't see himself as white enough then that ends the debate, he is recognizing his mixed race as his identity and whiteness is a desire.  

                That's just reality diary or no diary.

                Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

                by mim5677 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 05:11:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You cant project your own self image (0+ / 0-)

                  thinking on this guy. He wasn't you. He was not well adjusted with  his not being "fully white"...and he blamed white people in general and white women in particular for his not being recognized as the white, true alpha male he believed himself to be.

                  If that adds up to his recognizing and accepting his multiethnic ancestry to you then you do you...but anyone who reads the diary, rather than reading into the diary one's own preconceived notion will see that what you are trying to make him out to be is a figment of your imagination.

                  Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

                  by awesumtenor on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:26:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  And honestly I've been insulted enough (0+ / 0-)

                by him enough to know that disagreement means I'm a liberal racist who only views life through a white racial frame.

                Do you really think I need to waste my time reading this bullshit, I know it's crap.

                I'm just saying if every time you disagreed with someone they called you a racist you'd think they were "off" as well.

                Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

                by mim5677 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 05:14:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Clearly you do need to (0+ / 0-)

                  otherwise you wouldn't be here. No one brought you into this diary bound and gagged and no one held a gun to your head and made you read and comment.

                  If it is, in fact, crap... what does your inablility to resist the urge to wallow in it mean?

                  Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

                  by awesumtenor on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:29:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Oh for fuck's sake (0+ / 0-)

    Get a life

  •  Interesting, but I take issue with this: (0+ / 0-)
    White women are among the most protected classes of people in the United States.
    There are lots of white women who are abused and killed by men that claim to love them. Too many want to "own" them, because of the thinking that they are more desirable.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Thu May 29, 2014 at 07:31:19 AM PDT

  •  What I base my self-identification on (0+ / 0-)
    Whiteness is an identity based upon maintaining a superior power relationship over people of color.
    is for me to decide.
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