Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American
There is a double standard: White terrorists are dealt with as lone wolves, Islamists are existential threats
It's all about white male privilege, don't you know? Fortunately, the latest news is that videotape studies have led to a white suspect. Exhale! [Hold that exhale! Per Breitbart, CNN is reporting that the suspect is "a dark skinned male", but CNN jumped the gun on their arrest report, so who knows?]
This has been most obvious in the context of recent mass shootings. In those awful episodes, a religious or ethnic minority group lacking such privilege would likely be collectively slandered and/or targeted with surveillance or profiling (or worse) if some of its individuals comprised most of the mass shooters. However, white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those shootings — even though most come at the hands of white dudes.
Really? "Most come at the hands of white dudes"? That has been debunked, but the news has not reached SirotaWorld. Our hero links to his earlier presentation of that misinformation and also links to this Mother Jones study of mass shootings over the last thirty years. Let me extract from that and help him with the numbers:
Since 1982, there have been at least 62 mass shootings* across the country
Two involved partners (Columbine and Westside Middle School), for a total of 64 killers.
Forty four of the killers were white males. Only one of them was a woman.
Simple arithmetic says that 19 were male shooters of color, unless Mother Jones can't identify white people accurately.
So, are white men over-represented in that group? Well, men are over-represented in this group: men are about half the total poulation but over 98% of mass shooters.
But once we embrace the grim reality that mass shooters are men, white men don't look so bad. In the US, whites are roughly 70% of the population today and were a higher proportion back when this time series begins in 1980 (per this chart, non-Hispanic whites were 80% of the population in 1980).
And 44 of the 63 male shooters were white, which is 70%. So whites are engaging in mass shootings roughly in proportion to their place in the population. Will that track over to bombers? Who knows?
But it does mean that this comment from Sirota is literally accurate but arithmetically inept:
I said that because most of the mass shootings in America come at the hands of white men, there would likely be political opposition to initiatives that propose to use those facts to profile the demographic group to which these killers belong.
Well, most men in America are white so it is not a total surprise that most mass shooters are white. However, on a proportional basis as a profiling technique, race does not jump off the page as helpful in predicting a propensity for mass shooting.
But I think the reality-based community is enjoying their own reality on this one.