The MSM is busily spinning what a wonderful guy the Las Vegas mass murderer, Stephen Paddock was.
Having led a saintly life before somehow, inexplicably brilliantly planning and executing mass murder on a scale unseen in the US.
As if it isn’t bad enough to have a white, racist, low-IQ, narcissist POS as President, our new national hero is a white mass murderer.
Less than 12 hours after Paddock shot and killed dozens of people, a headline from The Washington Post focused on the fact that he “liked to gamble, listened to country music, lived quiet retired life.”
Isn’t it amazing how, even when an innocent, unarmed black man is shot dead by overactive cops…the story focuses on how the black man somehow deserved it because of some real or imagined negative aspects of their lives? Oh yeah! His history shows a disrespect for the law because he got 4 Parking Tickets over the last 20 years.
By contrast, some media coverage of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in police custody in 2015, focused on her “prior run-ins with the law.”
And after Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was shot by police in 2014, the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown spread on social media as people of color wondered how the media would depict them if they were killed.
What’s more, after Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, at least one headline stated that Paddock “doesn’t fit [the] mass shooter profile,” noting his lack of a known criminal record.
Actually, Paddock precisely fits that profile. Most mass shooters and domestic terrorists in this country have been white, multiplestudies show.
America’s white man problem: After Las Vegas, a familiar script unfolds
Now that we know the Vegas shooter was white, a reassuring narrative: He was a “lone wolf,” not a “terrorist”
As I watched the news unfold about the horrible mass shooting in Las Vegas during the late-night hours of Sunday and Monday, I said to myself, “Please God, don’t let these killers be black.” I doubt I was alone in such sentiments. In a country stuck in the grip of a white backlash and resurgent white supremacy, black and brown folks don’t need any further troubles.
As the initial news reports twisted and turned, I remembered how many initial reports about mass shootings are rife with inaccuracies, born of panic and chaos and the human desire to make sense of mayhem and murder. I then said to myself, “Please God, don’t let this killer be a Muslim.” I doubt I was alone in those sentiments. Muslim Americans are overwhelmingly a peaceful and law-abiding people. The challenges they face in America are already too great.
I had another fear as well. If the mass shooting in Las Vegas had been committed by a Muslim or a person of color, it might have presented an irresistible opportunity for Donald Trump — who is a racial authoritarian and (as I believe) a fascist — to expand his power. As historian Timothy Snyder has warned, Trump is waiting for his own “Reichstag Fire moment.” A terrorist attack on a major city could well provide that opportunity.
I breathed a sigh of relief when it was revealed by Las Vegas police that it was a white man who rained down death and pain into a crowd of concertgoers. I doubt I was alone in such a sentiment. His barbaric actions killed at least 58 people and wounded hundreds more.
Stephen Paddock is being humanized as a man who “liked to gamble,” “listened to country music” and “lived a quiet, retired life.” When white folks commit horrible crimes their actions are often placed in a context where they are described as “good people” and “all American.” This is all so “surprising” and “unimaginable,” we are told, because this person was so “ordinary.” By comparison, when black or brown folks or Muslims commit horrible crimes they are usually depicted as one-dimensional monsters.
There will be no “national conversation” about the connection between toxic (white) masculinity and American gun culture. In the mainstream news media and broader public discourse there certainly will be no discussion of the fact that white men are 31 percent of the population but commit 63 percent of mass shootings. Such a fact is forbidden or explosive, because it connects race, gender, guns and death.
The mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night is the 273rd such event in America so far this year. It will not be the last. When the next mass shooting occurs I might just as well take this article and update it. The facts will likely not be much different. America is addicted to guns. The sickness will not be cured until, like an alcoholic or an opioid addict, the country admits it has hit rock bottom.
Whenever a white man commits an act of mass gun violence in America — politically motivated or otherwise — there is a cultural script that is closely followed by the mainstream news media, politicians and too many members of the public. This narrative is obvious and predictable. Alas, it provides some small measure of comfort to many, even if that familiarity is rooted in gross hypocrisy and flagrant contradictions.
Unlike the impulsiveness he has shown when Muslims are accused of committing a terrorist act, either in the United States or abroad, Donald Trump will be reserved and careful in his statements. The American news media will respond by observing that Trump has now magically become “presidential,” as if his sins could be washed away by a chattering class desperate to make the abnormal into something palatable and routine.
The National Rifle Association and the Republican politicians whom they own will default to irrational talking points: “Now is not the time to politicize a tragedy” or “It’s too early to talk about gun laws.” Gun manufacturers will see their stocks rise in value. America’s addiction to guns will continue unabated even as it kills tens of thousands of people a year. Somehow the gun fetishists like Bill O’Reilly will mouth such absurdities as “guns are the price of freedom” without soiling themselves from uncontrollable laughter.
The alleged shooter is a man named Stephen Paddock. He has been described as a “lone wolf.” The Las Vegas police have now offered up two new entries for America’s mass shooting lexicon: Paddock is a “sole perpetrator” and a “local individual.” He is not a “terrorist,” since that term is almost exclusively reserved for nebulous brown people.