White Privilege In Charleston Shooting Aftermath

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I'm struggling to figure out where to even start with this post. There's so much terribly wrong with this race-driven terrorist attack that took place this week in Charleston South Carolina, but for now I'm going to focus on one thing — white privilege.

White kid walks into a black church, opens fire and kills 9 people. Somehow a debate ensues about if this as an act of terrorism. Let's say the white kid was muslim, do we really think there would be a debate? I've also heard news outlets, and those covered by them, trying to ignore the long history of attacks on black churches and instead try to paint this as the ongoing war on Christianity. Did they miss the fact that this kid was wearing the flags of two brutal governments known for their terrible attrocities against their black brothers and sisters?

Even worse than all of that was the instant jump we made to mental illness. People like to talk like he's just one random wacko who snapped. We've even found out that he had been telling his closest friends that he was going to do something like this AND NO ONE DID ANYTHING!

But yet the debate rages about was this racism, was this terrorism, was this just some crazy person? All of this questioning is steeped in white privilege. My plan was to try and put some coherent thoughts together to explain myself, but then I realized I already did, 8 and a half years ago. So instead of trying to focus my currently jumbled mind enough to be coherent, here's what I wrote back then. It's obviously dated, but I think it unfortunately holds just as true today as it did back then. Also, you should go read all of the articles that Vox.com has published about the Charleston shooting.

White Privilege

Feb 15, 2007

The following was written as a response to a post by a Xanga friend, Reverend Jeremy who rocks the internet handle APuritainMindset. It might help to read it [it's from Xanaga, it doesn't exist anymore]. I'll post the quote he started off with which lead to my thoughts, for his thoughts on the whole thing (which might give a greater context to my words) you'll have to read his post.

Were five people killed in Salt Lake City this week because of Islamofascism? Don’t count on Big Media to answer that question. Here is what we know as of now. According to witnesses, an 18-year-old gunman calmly walked into a Utah shopping mall and started randomly killing customers. Thankfully, an off-duty police officer was able to slow him down, and the assailant was eventually killed in a shoot-out with Salt Lake City police. Early press reports only gave his age, but no name. ABC reported the story last night, but repeatedly said little was known about the shooter. Today, several Utah papers are reporting that the killer’s name was Sulejmen Talovic, and he was a Bosnian Muslim refugee.

Don’t expect to hear much more. Big Media has no interest in pursuing these sorts of cases. When a Muslim man intentionally mows people down in San Francisco with his SUV, the headline is: “SUV Driver Kills Pedestrians.” When a Muslim assailant bursts into a Jewish community center in Seattle and brutally murdered a Jewish woman and wounded five more, he is described as “sick,” and the story vanishes. When an Iranian college student tried to turn a rented SUV into a weapon of mass destruction, the media reported, “9 Injured by SUV at UNC-Chapel Hill.” We deserve to know whether Sulejmen Talovic was another example of “Sudden Jihad Syndrome,” but don’t hold your breath waiting for the facts.

The quoted text from Mr.Bauer wreaks of white privilege. I wonder if Mr.Bauer would be asking the same questions if it had been a white conservative that had gone on a killing spree. Or how about asking the same questions every time a crime is committed by any white man. After all, Timothy McVeigh was white and how many people did he kill in his terror attack? Or how about Gale Nettles, another white man who believed he was working with Al Qaeda (ended up being undercover feds) to blow up a federal building in Chicago last year [2006]. Although I've found many people outside of chicago don't even know who Gale Nettles is. Or what about Eric Rudolph, who is best known for his bombing of the Olympic Games in Atlanta who also bombed abortion clinics and gay and lesbian night clubs. He also professes to be a christian. So why aren't we worrying about white christians being terrorists? Or how about the "trench coat mafia", why not assume and worry about any white teenage male being a terrorist?

Its because those whites and christians are us. We know that not all white people are terrorist because we're not a terrorist. But as soon as someone outside of our group does some hideous evil we start thinking that persons a terrorist. Hello white privilege. Especially in the case of Gale Nettles. That case quickly disappeared from the public eye, he was given a fair trail and got the sentence he deserved. If Gale Nettles had been anything but white, he'd be spending God knows how long at Gitmo Bay as an Enemy Combatant without any due process. The system seems to work, as long as you look like the majority.

A Few Resources

Eric Rudolph

  • Atlanta Olympic bombing suspect arrested — one of the literally hundreds of CNN stories about him
  • Eric and the Islamists — an interesting excerpt from the book "Hunting Eric Rudolph" comparing the similarities between the "Christian Identity" (the group Rudolph belonged to) and "Islamic Fundamentalist". Can't say I agree with everything, I'm not educated on the "Christian Identity" movement enough to say one way or another. Just an interesting read.

Gale Nettles

Tim Wise a speaker/author on White Privilege

  • http://timwise.org/ - I've been reading his book called White Like Me, and excellent read, pick up a copy like right now.

I'm assuming nothing is needed for Timothy McVeigh or the "Trench Coat Mafia". If you don't know just Google it.

Emanuel AME header image from EmanuelAMEChruch.org

Aron Duby

Web Developer Bacon Specialist, Introvert, Zombie Maven, Professional Photo-Bomber, Like Neo from 'The Matrix', but less terrible.