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Surya Gayatri

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Nebraska
Home country: USA
Current location: France
Member since: Mon Aug 1, 2005, 01:04 PM
Number of posts: 9,123

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Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs.’ Why are white people called ‘mentally ill’?

https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=
Media pundits have already started to use the “mental illness” narrative to characterize suspected shooter Dylann Roof. Why not call him a suspected terrorist?

But listen to major media outlets and you won’t hear the word “terrorism” used in coverage of Tuesday’s shooting. You won’t hear the white male shooter, identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, described as “a possible terrorist.” And if coverage of recent shootings by white suspects is any indication, he never will be. Instead, the go-to explanation for his actions will be mental illness. He will be humanized and called sick, a victim of mistreatment or inadequate mental health resources. Activist Deray McKesson noted this morning that, while discussing Roof’s motivations, an MSNBC anchor said “we don’t know his mental condition.” That is the power of whiteness in America.

U.S. media practice a different policy when covering crimes involving African Americans and Muslims. As suspects, they are quickly characterized as terrorists and thugs, motivated by evil intent instead of external injustices. While white suspects are lone wolfs — Mayor Joseph Riley of Charleston already emphasized this shooting was an act of just “one hateful person” — violence by black and Muslim people is systemic, demanding response and action from all who share their race or religion. Even black victims are vilified. Their lives are combed for any infraction or hint of justification for the murders or attacks that befall them: Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie. Michael Brown stole cigars. Eric Gardner sold loosie cigarettes. When a black teenager who committed no crime was tackled and held down by a police officer at a pool party in McKinney, Tex., Fox News host Megyn Kelly described her as “No saint either.”
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With that context, it’s clear that killing the pastor and members of this church was a deliberate act of hate. Mayor Riley noted that “The only reason that someone could walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate.” But we need to take it a step further. There was a message of intimidation behind this shooting, an act that mirrors a history of terrorism against black institutions involved in promoting civil and human rights. The hesitation on the part of some of the media to label the white male killer a terrorist is telling.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/06/18/call-the-charleston-church-shooting-what-it-is-terrorism/?tid=trending_strip_6

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Excellent read in this opinion piece by Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religion and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Atone for centuries of past sins and on-going inhumanity while they're at it.

The world's weathy nations 'continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future.'

Posted by Surya Gayatri | Thu Jun 18, 2015, 07:43 AM (1 replies)
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