Instead, the mainstream corporate news media is driven by superficial discussions of topics of public concern that can drive ratings.
As I suggested earlier, Elliot Rodger should be a focal point for a discussion of broader issues about race, gun violence, gender, and mental health issues. Apparently, those most obvious concerns and questions are verboten on the Right...and even among some on the "Left" who have internalized the norms of "colorblind" racism.
Neither white conservatives nor white liberals want to talk seriously about white privilege and Whiteness as it relates to Elliot Rodger: it would seem that both sides are largely in agreement about the necessity of protecting the nobility and innocence of Whiteness and White Masculinity.
I am fascinated by how race has not been more central to the mainstream media's discussion of Elliot Rodger's murder rampage. By comparison, the conversation about Elliot Rodger and gender is much more sharp and enlightened.
However, I have not seen (with a few exceptions)--and do please share and educate me if I am wrong (I am not able to watch or listen to every broadcast)--a focused discussion of how Elliot Rodger, a white Asian, internalized white racism and White Supremacy against people of color, and then acted upon it through misogynist violence.
Nor have I witnessed a conversation in the mainstream media about Elliot Rodger, the question of "mixed race" identity--I would suggest that such constructs are extremely problematic and facile in the American racial order, yet an increasing number of people are embracing them as a way of distancing themselves from people of color--and the specific mental health challenges around self-esteem and anxiety which some self-identified "bi-racial" and "mixed race" people may face because of their "racial" identities.
My claims are precise and careful: I am not arguing that self-identified "mixed-race" or "biracial" people are more prone to mass shootings, gun violence, or the like. No. The data do not support such a claim.
Rather, I am interested in how the media is not talking about how Elliot Rodger, a version of the tragic mulatto figure, a self-hating Asian-American with deep levels of internalized racism, had those feelings mated and mixed with (likely) preexisting mental health issues, and then committed mass murder based on his racist and sexist motivations.
The mass media seeks out simple explanations for complex problems. As such, discussions of race and racism are flat, ahistorical, and lack nuance. In the case of Elliot Rodger, it would be both easy, and also a public service, for a news program to feature a panel discussion with psychologists, historians, mental health practitioners, anti-racism activists, and (other) social scientists to discuss how internalized racism can lead to violence.
I am transparent. I have dated and loved across the color line. I did so without apology or regret.
One of my rules for a long-term relationship with someone who is not black is that we must eventually have a conversation about the racial identity of our potential offspring.
I am a Black American. My children will be Black Americans. Regardless of the "racial" identity of their mother, our/my/her children must be given the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, moral, and philosophical armor to navigate a white racist society. I have that basic obligation as their father.
Those children will be black and may have a white, Asian, Hispanic, or First Nations, mom. One identity does not make impossible the other. Ultimately, I would consider myself a failure as a father if my "mixed race" child came home, confused that someone called him or her a "nigger", as they imagined themselves as something other than black.
Did Elliot Rodger's parents give him a talk about survival strategies, race, and identity in a manner appropriate for his life as an Asian-American man?
More generally, why is the mainstream media not discussing questions of internalized white racism and mental health?
And what is the mainstream media, and the American public who is their primary audience, afraid of regarding this issue?