While many people may recognize the picture of Osama Bin Laden, I bet very few, myself included, would recognize the other photo of the otherwise ordinary white male. His name is Ted Kaczynski, also know as the Unabomber. For those unfamiliar with his reputation, Kaczynski was at one time the number one target of the FBI, and spent 20 years involved in a mail bombing spree.
However, if I were to see both of these men out in the public I would most likely be more afraid of Bin Laden because of the skepticism and racism that has been produced over the past decade towards Islamic and Muslim people.
Why do we fear them? Is it because of their religious customs and beliefs that make them wear turbans to cover their heads and faces? Is it the unknown and unlike that scares us? Why is there hatred and racism towards over a billion Muslims on this planet for one crime committed by only 19 of their people?
We might find the answer in the definition of racism.
Racism : is the belief that the genetic factors which constitute race are a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
Does our white privilege once again make us believe that we are the superior race over Muslim and Islamic people? Are we blinded by the color of their skin, their traditions and religious beliefs that are not ours that make us afraid?
Are we afraid of men who look like this?
This is Charles Whitman, a 25 year old white male college student who in 1966 murdered his wife, mother and then went on a rampage at the University of Texas killing 16 people and wounded 32 others.
Or young men who look like this?
This is Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the famous duo of the Columbine High School Massacre. They killed 15 people, including themselves, and injured 24 others. When TIME magazine did a cover story on them the title was: The Monsters Next Door?
The question mark in the title is the media putting a spin on the story because it implies the mystery that two young white males like these two, could actually commit something as violent as this. However, we need to look at the numbers and realize that white males are not the exception, they are the rule when it comes to culprits of most violent crimes committed in the US.
This is a comparison chart taken from a crime statistics website. Look at the common killer column.
Definitions were also given and this is not reworded I just cut out the first sentences of the definitions.
Serial Killer - A serial killer is a typical white male, 20-30 , and most of them are usually in the USA.
Mass Killer - A mass killer is a a very angry and frustrated white male, 25-40 , who may be suffering from some sort of mental problem.
Spree Killer - A spree killer is like a serial killer at warp speed(without the sex motive) or a mass killer at a snails pace. A spree killer is usually a white male 20-30 who acts like a mass killer, killing a lot of people by shooting, and this murdering usually happens over a period of time from a week's to a month, with the killer fleeing the police and public fear at the same time.
Why doesn’t it stick to white people?
How is that with all these confirmed cases of domestic terrorism and killings done by white males in our country, that stigma sticks to no one who is white. That the media can still put a spin on a story of the young white male who “had it all” before he lost it and went on a killing spree. How is it that most white males can go into any hardware store and pick up home made bomb materials, but a Muslim person gets carded twice before he can enter a bar.
Or that a young white male like this can walk into a WALMART and purchase a firearm no questions asked. This is a photo of Jared Lee Loughner, a 22 year old white male who is on trial for the Arizona shootings done just a week ago on Jan 8th, 2011. Loughner killed 6 and injured 14 others.
There are people in our country who like to believe that racism is not an issue anymore. That we’ve somehow moved beyond it because we have a black president now. Well it still exists, and in the past decade it’s demeaning eye has been focused more on the Islamic and Muslim people because of the acts of 9/11. White privilege still unburdened by race is oppressing these people more than ever by heighten security and searching everyone like them at the airport. Do we react like this when white people are the perpetrators of violent crimes? Do we start searching every white male who looks like Ted Kaczynski? No, because we are still invisible to our privileges. Racism will continue and so will oppression unless we the dominant group, open our eyes to not only our privilege, but the people we should really fear.