#044–Why don’t they call white male mass shooters “terrorists”?

(Photo Credit: nbcnews.com)

I am so sick of this crap.

I’m sick of these killings.

I’m sick of these “woe is me” stories of a guy who can’t hack it and says “screw the world, I’m taking you all down with me.”

I’m tired of white men (NOT BOYS, DAMMIT!) who haven’t figured out that sitting on your ass and being a white male isn’t going to get you very far anymore, be it job related or dating related.

And I’m really sick of the media and government not calling it like it is. I’m tired of them not calling these white male shooters “terrorists.”

I think its a simple formula: if your object is to maim or kill complete strangers that mean nothing to you and have never personally wronged you, because of some supposed belief you hold (whether nurtured, cultural, religious, etc.) and you find a way to kill as many people as possible and do it, you’re a freaking terrorist.

I don’t give a damn if you are white, black, brown, yellow, whatever. If you intend to scare the hell out of people and create chaos or grief for your own satisfaction, you’re a freaking terrorist.

Yes, the church shootings near San Antonio have hit me hard, namely in how they’re not hitting me as hard as they used to. I fear most of us are heading toward empathy burnout (here’s a great blog post talking about it). The first thing I know I checked out was if the terrorist was white.

I’m fucking calling him that from now on, and I don’t care if the media doesn’t agree, dammit.

I was waiting for them to refer to this man as a terrorist.

If my admittedly-very-rushed research is right, the last mass-killing that led to a white male being called a terrorist in the US was in April 1995, and his name was Timothy McVeigh. He parked a truck outside a federal building and blew the hell out of it killing over a hundred people.

Yes, that’s definitely terrorism.

Is it the body count that leads one to be called a terrorist? Or a foreign ideology?

Methinks the government wants strictly door #2.

I’ve read several articles asking why we don’t call these white “lone gunmen” terrorists. They’ve been asking this question for years, but there is no good answer.

I want that answer. I want some asshole from the government and the mainstream media to up and admit the truth.

They don’t call them terrorists because they are white.

Zenobia Jeffries wrote a spectacular short article about the Vegas killer and how we depict mass killers in the media. I think she’s spot on.

Anthea Butler wrote another great one after Roof executed (I don’t think that’s too strong a word) those people at the AME Church. Butler asked why white males who commit these atrocities are described as “mentally ill” or “kids” (even if they’re in their 20s). Yet if the perpetrators were Black, Muslim, Hispanic, etc., they’d be considered “thugs” or “gang members” or “terrrorists.”

Go ahead and read ’em–I’ll wait.

This double standard has got to stop.

One way I agree with my family is the belief that the gangsters, gang members and all are terrorists. The rationale is they make the streets unsafe, intimidate, steal, kill, and innocents get caught in their little wars. They push their agendas to hurt others regardless of the cost.

That’s a form of terrorism. My theory is the only reason the media doesn’t call it that is it’s most often “minority-on-minority” violence and considered acceptable (to a degree) in our racist society.

A person brandishing a weapon/bomb screaming about dying a martyr and killing to ensure his/her own heroic end before blowing a bus or building to kingdom come with innocents inside.

Yes, that’s a terrorist.

Image result for angry white men mass shooting

Too simple? Dunno–they sure dropped the ball with Dylann Roof, didn’t they?

An angry white man with weapons who methodically picks out the location, time, and date where he’s going to find lots of people to kill, and the he proceeds to open fire until he’s killed or out of ammo.

Yes, that’s a freaking terrorist.

A white man who fills himself with hate every day, can’t get along with anyone, and blames the world for his problems, then goes to kill random strangers that represent who he blames for his misfortune?

Yes, that’s a freaking terrorist.

Okay, some people might waffle at the idea of calling some of these white men terrorists because of the lack of political reasons. A basic dictionary definition of a terrorist is:

“a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims”

Okay, that works. Now, let’s backtrack and get a couple basic definitions of “political“:

“relating to the government or the public affairs of a country; relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politics; interested in or active in politics.”

Hmm…that’s a pretty extensive field of info to work from.

Most of these lone white terrorists may have a hackneyed reason for doing what they’re doing. It’s not that they are insane, it’s that they have some sick worldview (or political viewpoint they ascribe to) and take it to a concluding action most people wouldn’t.

They have some ideology they’re working from. They have something that makes sense–even if only to them.

The distance between ideology and political thought is minuscule. How often are “terrorists” called out as terrorists because of their ideology?

Every damned time.

Let’s face it–politics permeates everything these days, which is what’s made this year a fantastic nightmare most thinking, empathetic people can’t wake up from. People form their own ideology and live according to it (or try to live according to it).

What’s the ideology of a white lone shooter terrorist? There isn’t one they all ascribe to, it’s on a case by case basis.

How many of them seem to have little place in the wider world? Can’t relate to other people? Lack empathy? Read and view information that reinforces their already-narrow worldview? Blame their own failures on groups of people they barely associate with, whether racial, sexual, ethnic, etc.? Blame all society’s ills on “those people” (whoever the hell they are)?

How different is that mindset from that of what the media calls terrorists?

How many of those terrorists are closed off? Can’t related to those around them? Lack empathy or desire to understand others? Reading and viewing information that only validates and reinforces their prejudices?…

You get the idea.

So, other than the color of their skin, why aren’t we calling angry white male shooters who mow down a bunch of people they don’t even know “terrorists”?

I’d love to know that answer.

The Aurora, CO shooter. Fuck his name, I don’t care.

41 thoughts on “#044–Why don’t they call white male mass shooters “terrorists”?

  1. bobcabkings says:

    I got here by way of Lucky Otter’s reblog. Here’s a further thought. If these White shooters (or ramers of cars into crowds, or whatever) were called “terrorists”, then the system would have to deal with other terrorists – the “alt-Right, the KKK, Cliven Bundy and his sons, Twitter Trolls threatening death and rape, the Border Patrol agents who take a 10 year old disabled child into custody after surgery, Harvey Weinstein sending hired spies to intimidate women he has abused, cops who shoot unarmed minority men, all domestic abusers – the list is long – those who use fear to gain their ends, to intimidate, silence, or keep others “in their place.”

    Liked by 6 people

  2. nowve666 says:

    I’m sick of it too. I’m gonna reblog this because everyone should read it. And whatever happened to “hate crime?” Many of these instances clearly qualify as hate crime but you never hear the word. Here’s a thought. I haven’t heard Trump belly-aching about “fake news” for a while. Could that be because the lame stream media is falling into line? Disgusting. I’ll bet this is how it felt to live in Germany during the Third Reich. Richard Wagner’s granddaughter, Friedelind, described it as everyone getting worse. That sure describes the USA today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      I think the hypocrisy is what gets me the most. The more it comes about, the more I wonder if I’ve been sleepwalking through these years and dreamed up the mythology of America and what we stand for, and the idea that everyone’s equal and racism is dead…

      I’m loathe to give Dump props for anything, but in this case I can and will: he taught this naive white woman that we’re NOT a “post-racial society.” Racism is not only still alive, but it’s open, naked, and thriving. I feel foolish that I was taken in, but enough is enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Modern Theologian says:

    That is because it doesn’t play to the media’s view of the world. White men aren’t terrorists, a black man who shots a white cop isn’t a racist, a woman who forces herself on a man isn’t a rapist. Dog bites man isn’t news, man bites dog is. For years the media went after priests abusing children, but stayed away from teachers doing the same. If a kid in a school picks up a gun and shoots classmates then he must be arrested and imprisioned, it makes news; why doesn’t the media go after the teachers and administration who allowed that kid to be abused for years by the students he shot? They are seen as victims and given counseling. The media has their playlist and these things just don’t fit into it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Robert Matthew Goldstein says:

    Excellent post. We can’t afford ’empathy burnout’ on this. The last time we went numb was the ‘compassion burnout’ of the 1980’s which caused almost half a century of normalizing the slow deaths of the mentally ill on the streets of most American cities.

    I will not be governed by barbarians.

    The voters must say no. This isn’t about guns. I think people should have the right to own guns.
    This is about common sense, compromise and simple human decency.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mandy says:

    I agree with you. I’m sick of it, too. White shooters get to be mentally ill. Of course, they are. But so are the ones we label “terrorists.” They are all mentally ill, and they are all terrorists.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. nowve666 says:

    WOW! Your blog post has gone viral, Chatty Introvert! It’s fucking awesome! It would be interesting to tally up the number of reblogs so far. I’m really curious how many bloggers related to your post and reblogged it. What a great way to network. So many people brought together. HI-FIVE!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      Thanks for the Hi-Five! I admit I wasn’t expecting that, but it goes to show, I think more and more of us are asking this question. Even people I know who don’t usually toe the “racial discussion” line have been wondering about this labeling disconnect.


  7. bethanyk says:

    I spoke to my husband about this last night. Apparetnly to be called a terrorist one must be associated with a terrorist organization. I think that was the conclusion which I think is absurd because if one causes terror wouldn’t that one be considered a terrorist?!!!!! I don’t know. I don’t get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rick Cooley says:

    Reblogged this on Rcooley123's Blog and commented:
    The author of this essay is absolutely correct. The sophistry that allows people like our current President to only call an act “terrorism” if it is not perpetrated by a white male US citizen is nothing but hogwash. Mass shootings of strangers are acts of terrorism, plain and simple. Excusing them by labeling them as resulting from mental illness or something else neither negates the fact that they do result in fear on our part nor make preventing like acts to occur in the future any less egregious or urgent. The recent attacks in Las Vegas and Texas are no less terrorist attacks than the New York attack on bikers with a truck. Bombings conducted by radical so-called “pro-life” extremists are not different in degree or kind from the Boston Marathon bombing. The distinction is one that merely feeds off and encourages further bigotry and does nothing to solve the underlying problems creating the phenomenon to begin with.


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