Race, Terror and Mass Shootings

White males do the majority of mass shootings, yet people tend to associate violence and crime with people of color and minority groups. When the Stoneman Douglass school shooting happened it was rare to see media outlets talk about the shooters history of violence against minorities and it took days to find out that the shooter was apart of a white supremacist group. If this were a person of color someone associated with the Muslim religion it would automatically be labeled as a terrorist act or be centered on the race of the person. Instead of calling this act of terror, his mental health state and troubled past was brought up a lot. If this was a person of color there would be labels attached, such as criminal and monster but with white male shooters there is a focus on mental health problems. How is this a valid excuse?

According to CNN, between the years of 2001 and 2014 440,095 deaths occurred on US soil from firearms while deaths by terrorism were 3, 412. If people of color mostly carried these mass shooting then this would most like be reframed as an immigration issue and would be an excuse for police brutality. White supremacist groups are more dangerous and have killed more people than domestic Islamic extremist group but we don’t usually label white supremacy as a terror. Even whites who commit crimes have more privilege than minorities who commit crime. A majority of how we view issues ands events in this country is through the media and everything is framed in a certain way. The public discussion has been focused extremists groups such as ISIS instead of focusing on the right winged violence. What might be the next step to move away from stereotypes that exist for mass shootings? Why do continue to stay away from calling white supremits and white shooters, what they really are terrorists.

3 thoughts on “Race, Terror and Mass Shootings”

  1. I am surprised to hear that white males do the majority of mass shootings, because according to medias what I learn is those events are mostly related to terroism and Muslim. From recent studies I think the reason why meidas report terrorist event done by whites or people of other race differently is because whites want to feel good about themselves and keep their racial arrogance and sense of belonging. To please white audiances medias bias report these events so that they won’t be disappointed or annoyed.

  2. Sarah- This was a phenomena that I become intrigued with as well. While the statistics are correct in your statement, it is fascinating how people of color are still given this untrue stereotype. Could it be that people are color are exposed more by the media and others that has developed an untrue stereotype and bias? The media is a big problem ,especially with how they perceive events in racial terms. They have always been looking for the top news story to improve their rating of course, but I feel as if they portrays many situations as a result of bias.

  3. I think the very conversation on gun violence (as important as it is) is very revealing about the different associations of guns and violence based on who is holding the gun. The rhetoric of this debate goes back to the general dehumanization of Black men and association between skin color and violence and danger. What happens when gun violence is linked to a person of color, media and rhetoric portrays this event as confirmation of these associations whereas when a White person is tied to gun violence (even if it statistically is more frequent) it is portrayed as an exception. This is clarifying of the white supremacist system because of the undoing that would have to occur in the logic of implicit (and explicit) racists in order to view White gun violence as anything other than an exception. Associations of a White person with a gun speak for patriotism and bravery and exercising constitutional right. This contrasts media portrayal of a Black man with a gun as the antithesis of this. Viewing the White man as the enemy or inherently violent goes against all of these implicit socialized associations.

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