Wednesday, August 5, 2009

White Men are Falling Down: Beware the George Sodini Next Door

My mom keeps warning me to be careful about crazy white supremacists. I would always laugh mom off and tell her if I can survive walking around Chicago and New York at all hours of the night, I can manage semi-rural Michigan no problem. After hearing about the murder rampage at the LA Fitness in Pittsburgh, I may have to reconsider her warnings.

Now, given the mainstream media's tendency in these cases, George Sodini's murder of at least 3 women and the wounding of 9 will be treated as an isolated incident. The mainstream press will ring their hands over "how could a normal guy like Sodini go crazy?" Or they will ask, "how could a good, normal American commit such a horrible crime?" As pointed out by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jack and Jill Politics, one can rest assured that Sodini's anger at Barack Obama and black people in general will go unreported. As George Sodini wrote in his online journal:

"Why do this?? To young girls? Just read below. I kept a running log that includes my thoughts and actions, after I saw this project was going to drag on.
November 5, 2008:

Planned to do this in the summer but figure to stick around to see the election outcome. This particular one got so much attention and I was just curious. Not like I give a flying fcuk who won, since this exit plan was already planned. Good luck to Obama! He will be successful. The liberal media LOVES him. Amerika has chosen The Black Man. Good! In light of this I got ideas outside of Obama’s plans for the economy and such. Here it is: Every black man should get a young white girl hoe to hone up on. Kinda a reverse indentured servitude thing. Long ago, many a older white male landowner had a young Negro wench girl for his desires. Bout’ time tables are turned on that shit. Besides, dem young white hoez dig da bruthrs! LOL. More so than they dig the white dudes! Every daddy know when he sends his little girl to college, she be bangin a bruthr real good. I saw it. “Not my little girl”, daddy says! (Yeah right!!) Black dudes have thier choice of best white hoez. You do the math, there are enough young white so all the brothers can each have one for 3 or 6 months or so."

Academics are fond of throwing around the word "intersectionality." If there ever was a case of someone hating both women and people of color (and quite likely gay folks, those who aren't Christian, etc. etc.) Sodini is quite likely it. In his infectious, all encompassing, anger, resentment, and hate, he is most certainly not alone.

With the spate of workplace shootings, the more than 10,000 threats against Barack Obama, and the rise in hate crimes since the 2008 presidential campaign, something is clearly amiss in America. Those more timid souls will highlight how these trends are a function of a failing economy. For them, this has nothing to do with race. Likewise, and for the conservatives in particular, the argument that Beck, Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, and the other members of their rogues gallery of bloviating hate mongers are stoking the fires of racial and political violence will land on deaf ears.

Again, we see the myopia that is whiteness. The link between white male insecurity, the right wing media machine, and these incidents of violence is so utterly clear, yet the privilege of whiteness (as the very definition of what it means to be "normal") has created a blindness that is incapable of acknowledging the obvious sickness that beats in the heart of the American body politic:

The more bold and brave will point out that violent episodes such as the George Sodini rampage have everything to do with race, and with white men in particular feeling that their place in the world has been disrupted. And whoa upon on any person who stands in their way. A storm is coming--and America best get ready.

1 comment:

Werner Herzog's Bear said...

I thought I had become as depressed about the political culture in this country as I could be, and then I read the death-threats article you linked to. *sigh*