The Culture Behind School Shootings

Photo by Phil Roeder | CC BY 2.0

Another week, another mass shooting and still the discourse remains primarily about individual violence. The goal is to inject a fear into the populist. The goal is to divide us. The goal is to make us afraid of each other. The goal is to justify further control of the people and to continue to obliterate civil liberties. The old phrase “If You See Something Say Something” has popped up again. This is the phrase that came out of 9/11. It enlists each one of us in the war on terror, the war on crime, the war on guns. The other phrase now is  ____ Strong. Plug in any name. No matter where the shooting happens we must become “stronger”. Not more peaceful. We must become stronger. We remain at war with somebody. And like the war on terror and the war on crime, the villain is both everywhere and nowhere. One of those Middle East countries, forget which one. One of those kids with a hood, forget which one.

As wretched as Donald Trump may be this paranoid autocratic form of American fascism is a post-9/11 phenomenon. And in large part should be laid at the feet of Bill Clinton and his pivot towards mass incarceration. The hysteria around gun shooters is not entirely different from the talk around Muslim terrorists, immigrant rapists or black super predators. The difference of course is that white male violence is often excused as issues of mental health. Which brings us to the necessary point that there is a false hope in our law…

Read more