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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:28 AM

Mass Killings: Why American Men Are "Going Postal"

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14183-mass-killings-why-american-men-going-postal

This is an excellent piece that ties together America's problems and why we have our violent nature. Well worth the read. I've snipped some pieces here:

>snip

It is all the more remarkable because the race and gender of the perpetrators was not discussed. Surely, if all of the mass killers were African-American that would have been noticed. If all those people were killed by white women or immigrants, that too would have been a topic of discussion, to say the least. Somehow the fact that the killers were white men seemed unremarkable. That is a clue to consider.

What could make US white males so angry?

Mass killings became a new phenomenon in the 1980s when Reagan's platform of disempowerment of white, male workers, began. Asian men had at that point also been largely included in the hegemonic gender.

Four-fifths of the jobs lost in our current recession have been male jobs in manufacturing, construction and big-ticket sales. The decisions to export American jobs were based solely on corporate profit regardless of the extensive social and personal damages those decisions produced. Within capitalism that is how decisions are made.

The blind rage of mass killings is a wake-up call. We have to look at the interaction of all the conditions of existence that combine to generate America's mass killings. At present, the US is home to a vast group of predominantly white, dispossessed, enraged men. We have a political system that permits vast money at the top to hijack our politics and culture with unlimited "gifts." Our airwaves are sold to the highest bidder. We have powerful lobbies that sell US militarism and gun ownership as refuges for dispossessed men. We have profit churning mass media with films, videos, and advertisements pushing violence as a solution to problems from intimate life to international relations. We have a dysfunctional public mental health care system. We have limited mass positive political and social movements, and no socialist power blocks to capture and channel rage at the grotesque inequality that dominates our nation and denies our young men.
<snip

32 replies, 3903 views

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Mass Killings: Why American Men Are "Going Postal" (Original post)
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 OP
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #1
Eleanors38 Feb 2013 #2
Doctor_J Feb 2013 #6
Eleanors38 Feb 2013 #25
Recursion Feb 2013 #8
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2013 #10
pkdu Feb 2013 #30
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #15
flamingdem Feb 2013 #3
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2013 #9
antigop Feb 2013 #4
Doctor_J Feb 2013 #5
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2013 #11
Big_Harry Feb 2013 #7
just1voice Feb 2013 #12
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 #13
Bluenorthwest Feb 2013 #16
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 #17
Bluenorthwest Feb 2013 #19
Bluenorthwest Feb 2013 #20
bobclark86 Feb 2013 #14
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 #18
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #21
alarimer Feb 2013 #32
undeterred Feb 2013 #22
felix_numinous Feb 2013 #23
love_katz Feb 2013 #31
Brigid Feb 2013 #24
lunasun Feb 2013 #28
yardwork Feb 2013 #26
patrice Feb 2013 #27
patrice Feb 2013 #29

Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:39 AM

1. The last paragraph really sums it up well ... and then people wonder why ...

The blind rage of mass killings is a wake-up call. We have to look at the interaction of all the conditions of existence that combine to generate America's mass killings. At present, the US is home to a vast group of predominantly white, dispossessed, enraged men. We have a political system that permits vast money at the top to hijack our politics and culture with unlimited "gifts." Our airwaves are sold to the highest bidder. We have powerful lobbies that sell US militarism and gun ownership as refuges for dispossessed men. We have profit churning mass media with films, videos, and advertisements pushing violence as a solution to problems from intimate life to international relations. We have a dysfunctional public mental health care system. We have limited mass positive political and social movements, and no socialist power blocks to capture and channel rage at the grotesque inequality that dominates our nation and denies our young men.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:52 AM

2. Something seems missing...

I haven't read this piece, so maybe it's in there:

The utter contempt and disrespect for white males displayed under a thin veneer of regionalism, lifestyle dislikes, and rural suspicions.

White males are the all-purpose punching bag for anyone who wants to blame or deflect. And there are NO societal constraints for the lowest blows.

Another "unremarkable" consideration, I suppose.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:01 AM

6. This sounds like a Fox "News" transcript

Did you borrow it from O'Reilly?

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:34 PM

25. Don't watch that stuff like some. Anything relevant, otherwise?

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:11 PM

8. No, if that were it non-whites and non-males would have been massacreing people for centuries (nt)

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:36 PM

10. I sure have noticed that DU's who claim male victimhood

and disparage the real inequalities that women face tend to favor the Gungeon. I NEVER see them try to quash discussion about discrimination against black, brown, yellow, gay or disabled people, by the way. Just WOMEN.

I used to see it frequently from the Men's Rights group guys, but lately I'm seeing more of this sad self pity paired with gun love.

Men. Guns. Perceived victimhood. Refusal to consider the other point of view......

Just some consistencies I'm noticing.

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:13 PM

30. Plus a gazillion...

While males ( poor babies ) ...yes , I'm one. : the ultimate Minority.
Regional : Southern ? If shoe fits
Rural: I love " god and guns and hate my gubmint" ? If other shoe fits?

I am tired of listening to redneck teabillys who pray at the altar of Guns , God (really , not mine) and anti- Gubmint...trashing intellectuals , artists , debate/discussion , compromise etc.

Theirs is a world of Fear and Loathing...in the worst way.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:23 PM

15. Care to name some examples?

Especially some of the "lowest blows?"

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:55 AM

3. And what brings Americans together? The Superbowl, a very violent game

that features sexist and racist advertising and after which the incidence of abuse of women skyrockets, depending on if the abuser's team wins or not



RAH RAH

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:23 PM

9. I'm not surprised

Although I hadnt heard that before.

Of COURSE massive celebrations of muscle and force will seep into behavior. The fact that there's such massive denial about the fact of male violence in a society that celebrates manly force and the strong over the weak (in ALL iterations) is massively frustrating.

As Recursion said, if mere denigration explained the explosion of male violence, then women and African Americans and etc. should have been exacting violent revenge long ago.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:58 AM

4. "The decisions to export American jobs were based solely on corporate profit...

regardless of the extensive social and personal damages those decisions produced."

Precisely why some of us on DU try to get people's attention on outsourcing issue. Politicians on BOTH SIDES allow it to continue.

Precisely why we need PRO-LABOR (not DLC/Third Way) Dems.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:01 AM

5. Where is Hate Radio/ Fox "News" in the equation?

Surely they bear a nice chunk of the blame

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:41 PM

11. yes, they give 'permission' (by example) to be callous and angry

And direct the scared, ignorant, overwhelmed and helplessly rageful masses by providing handy scapegoats that deflect from the real criminals.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:03 AM

7. Is the gun a God

In the uk last year there wear 35 people killed by guns, in the USA there was 326 people killed by guns yesterday? And you don't need gun control

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:51 PM

12. I read here that 203 people were shot yesterday, were the killers all white?

 

If a person/writer were to take a real look at violence in America it would expand well beyond the extremely limited framework of the current meme "white males are angry". The article attempts to do that but focuses on "At present, the US is home to a vast group of predominantly white, dispossessed, enraged men."

How about the 50 million poor people and/or the entire 99% -- not just the white ones. How about people without health care, people in prison, people who can't get a basic education?

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Response to just1voice (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:54 PM

13. Article is limited to mass murders and even defines it.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:25 PM

16. Do they explain why the mass murders done by those who are not white males don't count?

Virginia Tech, Asian.
Binghamton NY, shooter from Vietnam.
DC snipers, African American.
Fort Hood shooter is of Palestinian descent.

Off the top of my head. But yes, if we eliminate all the shootings by non whites then all the shootings are by whites.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:27 PM

17. You obviously didn't even bother to read the first paragraph.

"Fraad reflects on the pervasiveness of mass shootings by white and Asian men and reviews some of the features that distinguish the US from other developed countries that may contribute to exceptional US gun violence."

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:38 PM

19. Yes I did.

They are just not all that accurate.
If facts are the point, then facts matter. These shooters are all men, they are not all white men. This is simple fact.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:42 PM

20. Ft Hood, Palestinian/American. DC shooters, African American...

All men. Not all white nor all white and Asian. Rainbow of violence. That's just how it is.

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Response to just1voice (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:15 PM

14. Slightly more are black than white...

http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_03.html

For those murders where ethnicity is reported, it was 5,286 white people as the murderer to 5,890 black people, despite the U.S. being 79.8 percent white people and 12.8 percent black people. 245 were "other" and about 4,300 "unknown" but those are likely along a similar breakdown.

But nobody cares about non-white people getting murdered. The 1% would have to actually DO something, like ending the drug war, improving economic and academic opportunities and so on. I don't see ANY 1%ers like Bloomburg or the Koch brothers on the "other side" doing jack shit to help inner-city youth break the cycle of crime and poverty... that would actually take effort.

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Response to bobclark86 (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:28 PM

18. This thread was opened in 'good reads' to discuss the article. It's about mass murder.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:30 PM

21. I have a simpler answer

 

President Obama challenged us with this question: Do we want a society in which we are all in this together, or in which we are all in this alone.

Our answer, as always, ever since the post-war generation at any rate, is ALONE. We aren't a society, we are a collection of individuals all looking out for number one. We live in a culture that worships the anti-social personality. We worship greed and self-interest over everything else, we plan vacations while our children lose their homes, we give tax cuts to the wealthy while tens of millions of kids go hungry, we don't care about education or our infrastructure or unaffordable healthcare. We don't care, unless it's us. We have a generation that burned the country to the ground, snorted the ashes, then pissed on the smouldering rubble.

We call this the American way.

And we wonder why disenfranchized and disturbed people go from being anti-social -- as we taught them -- to sociopathic. How, we wonder, can these monsters do this? Do they not care about the children or other victims? The answer, of course, is no.

No.

"Some men just want to watch the world burn." That line from a recent movie resonated with a generation, not because they were disturbed by the idea, but because they could sympathize. They want to watch the world burn, and they are one tiny psychotic break away from striking the match.

In my opinion

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:10 AM

32. I think you've summed it up.

The right-wing's attitude, which has filtered out to society as a whole is "screw you, I've got mine." Nothing else matters but the individual. There is a sickness here that is deeper than who is to blame for mass killings. It affects all of us.

In the middle east, men with little to do become terrorists. Here they become mass killers.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:59 PM

22. The white males who go postal are often highly intelligent.

Some have even been graduate students. It just doesn't strike me that the people who kill people are doing so because they aren't finding their role in the economy.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:11 PM

23. It is the definition of power

as 'power over' instead of 'power with'. Power over others, and thus safety and happiness, is the fairy tale we have to wake up from and grow beyond, if we are to survive as a society.

The gun issue is absolutely about personal power, people who feel the most 'left behind' in this changing world do not have adequate coping skills to shift with the times. Ironically the values of cooperation, community, tolerance, harmony with nature are very ancient and what is required is remembering who we are as Earthlings.

We are a part of the Earth, and the power-over myth that has been taught to humans through religious, racist, and cultural myths has interfered with us holding on to our ancient roots as human beings living in harmony with each other and our planet. The uses of fear and loathing to craft these myths has resulted in a very sick society, because they have a war mentality.

The myths that are harming this country and the world at large, are based on war and a form of Armageddon. This dystopian view of the future teaches people to hoard food, guns, land and an eternal vigilant state of fight or flight. It is a very destructive state of mind, and needs to be countered on every level and at every opportunity---and replaced with better ways of coping. I agree with Dennis Kucinich that we need a Department of Peace. Put as much time and effort studying ways of helping people cope, and the sharing of resources.

We as a country need to grow up past consumerism, exceptionalism, racism, dominionism and all the other destructive religious interpretations--and truly recognize these old assumptions as the toxic and harmful belief systems that are at the root of our identity crisis.

These myths teach us to accept 'power over' as a given--by those FEW people who have defined it, because their power mostly depends upon us BELIEVING and ACCEPTING this definition. As we believe in 'power over', we GIVE our POWER of CHOICE away to them. This has been going on for millennia, and today we are seeing the culmination of this belief system. This is how we have arrived to accept a piece of paper as more valuable than life.

Peace~~Felix

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Response to felix_numinous (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:30 PM

31. What felix_numinous said.

Word.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:26 PM

24. This sentence says it all:

There is no direct profit to be made from saving children's lives.


Herein lies the crux of the problem, in a country where nothing matters more than the Almighty Dollar.

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Response to Brigid (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:51 PM

28. +100

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:40 PM

26. Women and minorities are disproportionately badly affected by the economy.

The column makes it sound like white men are being hurt the most by the capitalist economy. In fact, women and minorities are hurt by capitalism even more than white men. If being abused and disenfranchised made people into mass murderers then we would see a lot more female and minority mass murderers. So the basic premise of this column is incorrect.

The statements in the final paragraph in the message are mainly true, but it's not true that "white men" or "our young men" are the ones who suffer the most from these inequalities.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:48 PM

27. Styx, "I'm just a prisoner in a king's disguise . . . "

Free our men!!!

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