Via Newsbusters, okay, but … I do remember some chatter after that degenerate in South Carolina murdered nine black congregants during a Bible study session three years ago. I suspect that if the Parkland shooter walked into a mostly black or Hispanic high school and began blowing people’s heads off willy nilly, that might draw some coverage too. What captures people’s imaginations about mass murder isn’t the race of the victims, it’s the sheer carnage and the difficulty of understanding the motive. (Major difficulty in the case of the Vegas massacre.) We recoil at murders committed for love, money, or revenge but we understand why they happen. The mind with an itch that can only be scratched by killing as many people as possible — especially kids — is a place of unfathomable darkness, be it race-hatred of the depths felt by Dylann Roof or the incoherent rage that seems to have driven Nikolas Cruz and Adam Lanza. That’s why we talk about it.
There are other types of homicide in which white victims do draw far more media interest than black victims do. The example universally cited is when little girls go missing. If a five-year-old black girl disappears, it’s tragic but life is always tragic for the “underclass,” people conclude. If a five-year-old blonde white girl disappears, now you’re cookin’. One of the panelists here wonders why a mass shooting in which 17 kids die in one afternoon should be so much more newsworthy than kids dying one day a time in Chicago. There is a racial component to why that violence is ignored — again, the wider public makes ghastly assumptions about how life must be for the underclass — but the comparison misses the special macabre allure of the mass shooting. And all of this would be obvious to Wallace, if not for the fact that she’s on MSNBC and is compelled to compete in the Woke Olympics by saying stupid things like this.
Note John Heilemann at the start of the clip kicking in some wokeness of his own about “toxic masculinity.” He’s not wrong about that in the abstract. All sorts of mass shooters have attempted to avenge their rejection by women by asserting their power over whether unsuspecting, defenseless people live or die. The most obvious example among recent spree killers was Elliot Rodger, the UC-Santa Barbara spree killer in 2014. The Parkland shooter was a twisted “fan” of Rodger’s and has been accused of stalking a girl while he attended Stoneman High School. But his behavior was so strange for so long to so many people that any magic-bullet explanation for why he went off seems pat and premature. Maybe it’s your pet issue. Probably it’s much more complicated. You’ll never earn a medal at the Woke Olympics dealing in complexity.
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