Colored Killers Need Understanding Too, Right?

By OckyDub | Posted May 28 2014 | 7 Comments  


Colored Killers Need Understanding Too, Right?

Another mass shooting and another mass media faux investigation attempting to answer the question; why and how did this happen? One thing is for sure, if the answer to the question is possible mental illness than you can bet the perpetrator of the mass shooting most likely is white. You see the narrative goes like this; Black or Latino men who commit crimes (like drive-by-shootings) are thugs or monsters. Brown men (of Middle East origin) who commit crimes are terrorists or evil doers. White men who commit mass shootings suffer from mental illness and the country as a whole is to blame because we failed to act in a timely manner by not properly diagnosing them and getting them the help they needed.
There is a sort of empathy and humanizing concerning these non-minorities mass shooters. The media researches and investigates their schooling, family life and attempts to examine them on a psychological level in hopes of understanding what went wrong and why they acted so violently. For the Black and Brown there isn’t really an in depth analysis. The solution is the same; lock them up and throw away the key or bomb them to oblivion.
Take for instance the report by Howard Spivak M.D., director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Violence Prevention. In 2012 Dr. Spivak presented his research to a congressional briefing detailing how up to 30% of inner city youth may suffer from PTSD. Two years later and this issue goes viral because one reporter echoed the phrase “Hood Disease” on air. Now this real and serious issue has been marginalized by the media and the “pull yourself up by your boot straps” naysayers.
When some of these inner city kids grow up to commit crimes, the media wants to know how many babies did their mother have out of wedlock and was their father in the home. We are told to stay away from them and the cities they dwell like Detroit, Chicago, Oakland and Baltimore. When folk of color kill or are killed, there isn’t any massive media coast to coast coverage or outrage to Congress demanding change with better gun controls.
Economic disparities and racism are very real problems in our societies. Separate and unequal education, housing and employment are some of the results of these prejudices. Any logical thinking person can conclude those suffering within these conditions can have or develop psychological and mental damage. To solve the epidemic of violence in the inner cities and communities of color, we would first need to examine the root causes but denial is much easier. As long as the coloreds are killing the coloreds, the world and the media seems to not care.

About the Author

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

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  1. RolandG
    rolandgarros28 | May 28th, 2014

    @Ocky, I get what you’re saying but I think the difference between senseless crime like what this man did and the things you’re mentioning with inner city crime is there was no attempt at any other crime during this mass shooting like robbing or stealing or looting etc. This man just rode down the street shooting at random people indiscriminately. A person like that has to be crazy or at least that’s what I would tell myself to explain senseless violence like this.

    When the D.C. Sniper was killing random people, I think people ultimately questioned their psychological state as well. I know the older guy was put to death, as would most white mass murderers, but I don’t think people treated them any different. And this may even be a bad example since I believe one or both were muslim….

    These types of crimes, to me, are different than we black people killing each other in our own neighborhoods over clothing and money and drug turf. There may be innocent lives lost as a result and that’s always tragic, but I wouldn’t say we (colored) people have a history of walking down the street randomly and intentionally gunning down innocent people we’ve never met. But again, I get what you’re saying about the overall tilt of media coverage of crimes committed by us. Nice post.

    • Ocky Williams | May 28th, 2014

      ” This man just rode down the street shooting at random people indiscriminately”

      Some gangs have this exact same method as initiation for their new members. When we attempt to put senseless violence in categories based on color and the amount of people killed, for me it changes the conversation.

      A brown boy killing another brown boy over a pair of Jordans is just as senseless.

      • RolandG
        rolandgarros28 | May 28th, 2014

        I’m not attempting to put senseless violence in categories based on skin color if that’s what you’re suggesting. I’m just suggesting that part of the reason the media covers crime the way they do has to do with the background of those involved. I’ve watched tv reports and read news reports detailing the possible reasons this man committed these acts and they ranged from he couldn’t get girls to his parents divorced and he had to live in an apartment for the first time which apparently is beneath him. He didn’t grow up in a crime riddled neighborhood. People are genuinely perplexed as to why someone with his means and background could commit these crimes.

        Your premise in your first paragraph is a little flawed. First, it’s very rare for black people to even commit mass murders. Second, when a black person does commit mass murders, I don’t think the media automatically portrays them as thugs(again DC Sniper). Had this white man done a drive by and shot into a home and killed 7 people as a result of a drug deal gone bad, do you think the media would still view this as just a mental health issue and cover it wall to wall? I don’t think so. They didn’t do it for Timothy McVeigh(Oklahoma city Bombing) or Ted Kaczynski(Unabomber) or David Koresh (branch dividians).

        I’m only differentiating between MASS murders and other crimes. I agree with your point if you’re writing about other crimes just not mass murders.

        • ControlledXaos | May 28th, 2014

          This guy was biracial wasn’t he? White and Asian?

          At any rate, I think there is a ‘poor little rich kid’ thing going on here.

          Probably a reason why this ‘we could have done something earlier’ is that he premeditated this and with his manifesto and Youtube vids, someone could have intervened. Most of the time, when there is a mass shooting, there’s no warning. That’s pretty much happened here though since it was only a few minutes before he went on his rampage that he sent the manifesto out. I think he knew he was going to die but wanted to get his message an audience after he was gone.

          My theory is that at least two of the reasons why he couldn’t get chicks was that he was probably going after girls who were out of his league. He wasn’t bad looking. Also, they girls who probably would have gone for him recognized he had issues and stayed away. Why no one else close to him recognized this, if this was in fact the case, we will never really know.

          Oddly enough, he ended up killing more males than females. :/

  2. Rod Turpin
    Rod! | May 29th, 2014

    I think the main difference in how these are handled differently when looking at these recent mass shootings vs. gang violence is just the sheer numbers involved. According to the CDC, in 2010 and 2011 of 11,100 gun murders, gang violence accounted for about 8,900 of them. As tragic as many of these mass shootings have been, they don’t get anywhere near 8,900 deaths in two years. In fact, mass shootings accounted for 83 deaths in 2010. So when they get evaluated in the media, mass shootings viewed as more abnormal and thus more worthy of deeper scrutiny (and as one commenter has pointed out, with the DC sniper (who is black) they did go into his psychological background pretty thoroughly).

    In the case of gang violence, it’s so much more common its just come to be accepted as so normal we don’t bother looking into any real psychological factors for the most part. And that certainly is an issue, as we treat is like a standard part of life in the U.S. when it doesn’t have to be. We should delve deeper into those issues, but I don’t think the difference in how we handle them is racial; I think its a symptom of a culture where gang violence causes on average 12 gun deaths every day; its just viewed as an everyday reality.

  3. Ocky Williams | May 29th, 2014

    Just my observation; I don’t recall the psychological in depth discussion being involved when black men went on shooting rampages as compared to Aurora, Colorado; Sandy Hook, Conn; and now Santa Barbara. The fact that we keep bringing up the DC Sniper and not even the more recent examples is odd. Did you all forget about…

    Christopher Dorner
    Nidal Malik Hasan
    Aaron Alexis
    Brian Nichols

    The discussion around their mental capacity and general outrage by the public to law makers, in my opinion was nowhere near the same.

    • Rod Turpin
      Rod! | May 29th, 2014

      I probably focused on the DC sniper first as that hit home to me (I lived in DC during the time, and was one of the students who had to have a police escort home because of all the chaos). But as far as Chris Dorner and the two Fort Hood shooters, they were psychoanalyzed repeatedly in the media. In fact, the Fort Hood shooters probably got more psychoanalysis on conservative news media like Fox just to shift the discussion away from gun regulation and such. Admittedly, I’m not as familiar with how Brian Nichols was handled.

      I genuinely don’t see much of a difference between how black and white mass shooters are psychoanalyzed in the media. From the article, I was thinking of the comparison between mass shooters vs. gang violence, of which there is a massive difference in how they’re viewed and handled, but if we’re looking at black vs white mass shooters I don’t really see the race of the shooters making a tangible difference. If anything, I think the race of the victims involved play a much more prominent role in how its handled (e.g. kill a bunch of inner city black kids, its a tragic gang shooting, kill some white kids, you’re a mass shooter).

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