Nice White Boys Next Door and Mass Murder

As the unraced universal subject, white people are simply unaccustomed to being explicitly identified as white.  For many, the tired colorblind party line of white privilege means that just talking about race is racist.  Universal means normal, and even the most heinous white criminals (Gacy, Bundy, Dahmer, and the list goes on) are humanized by a back story of psychoanalysis, cable TV biopics, books, and pop culture reportage.  The wages of whiteness means not having to know the classic people of color ritual—i.e., that when big crime news breaks its pro forma for many African Americans and Latinos to find out the race of the perpetrator and then those of the victims.  If the perpetrator is white there is a collective sigh of relief that Middle America won’t have another dark savage, immigrant or Muslim community to demonize.  If the victims are of color, there is a short window before the media’s attention fades (ala the August massacre of six at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin) and shifts to more important matters like Lindsey Lohan or missing white girls.

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