race & murder

Charles Brown CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Thu Apr 22 14:17:38 PDT 1999

>>> <digloria at mindspring.com> 04/22/99 04:38PM >>>
At 03:44 PM 4/22/99 -0400, you wrote:
>It is mentioned, but it is framed in such a way that it seems to have about as much significance as the fact that they wore trenchcoats or played cybergames. The NYT has about eight sub-story articles and none of them explore the racist aspect in depth.

they killed one black person, a black athlete that had been transferred from a less well-to-do school. there were other black people in the library that they didn't shoot. there is absolutely no evidence that we know of yet that these young men were any more racist than the jocks they killed. (((((((((((((((((((((((

CB: absolutely no evidence ? How about that they wore Nazi insignia and admired Hitler ? Read your own post below. One guy shouted Heil Hitler when he did good in bowling.


that they called Isaih Shoels a n----- doesn't necessarily mean a great deal and i'd bet you a franklin that most of the white jocks they killed also called peeople that just as often.


CB: So , if everybody was involved used racial epithets , that is an indication that racism is not a widespread and important problem n the U.S. ?


if they'd really wanted to kill blacks, they surely would have done it. the 11 and 13 year old in Arkansas wanted to kill girls and they figured out how to do it. surely, if these two boys wanted to kill blacks they surely would have managed to do so after months of procuring explosives and planning this all out. did'nt you read about the video they produced in the fall, one depicting themselves dressed in trench coats and mowing down jocks. what about the reported attempt at a showdown between the trenchcoats and jocks last fall-- a fight where the trenchcoats showed up with brass knuckles, but two hours late? (i've attached the stories)

every night since this has happened i've spoken to a good friend who lives in denver, not too far from the school. it's pretty clear that there was more to this than racism. that's surely *part* of it, but certainly not what prompted them to kill 11 jocks and a teacher--all white, all wearing something that identified them as a jock, some very obviously popular well-known athletes in the schoool.


CB: So, of the different "parts" of it, what is the reflection of the larger social problem ? racism or anti-jockism ?


the convoluted dynamics of class conflict though are surely a part of this, much more a part of this than some reductive explanation like "racism"


CB: Your notion of "reductive explanation like 'racism' " is an example of trying to play down the racism of it.

I object to the downplaying of the role of racism and you distort my statement to be that I think the only thing going on is racism. Your maneuver of falsely accusing me of exaggerating the racism is the twin of the media downplaying racism : You accuse me of overstating the racism , when I focus on it because it is underplayed by the media. Finally, by your sleight of hand one ends with the feeling that racism is a minor dimension of the event. In other words, first race was a *part* of it, but because Charles overemphasized it, now we compensate for that by emphasizing the other parts , and we end up that the other parts were the main aspect. You use the excuse of criticizing overemphasis of racism to end up underemphasizing racism.

I never reduced it to racism. Anyway, I always connect racism and capitalism, and alienation. The fact that the kids also demonstrate the all around alienation , dog-eat-dog mentality engendered by capitalism doesn't negate that capitalism also engenders racism.


(see the stories on the social status structure of the school. this, my friend says, is *very* typical of that school and very reflective of the class politics of denver where the middle class and middle class jobs are evaporating and have been for quite some time.)


CB: That there are other social dimensions to their alienation does not in the least contradict that racism was ALSO a dimension. The stories on the social status structure of the school are in the Big Brother media and must be read very critically, picked over very carefully to extract small shreds of truth from a mass of pseudo-scientific spam.


and frankly, i think they've paid a lot more attention to race here than would be expected.


CB: Typical post-Reagan thinking. The racism is OVER-emphasized by the media. Yea , right.


what better way to explain this bizarre event than to write them off as racist nazi sympathizers rather than the typical altogether too normal products of capitalist, racist, sexist society. in other words, it's not yer normal racism --which heaven forbid, white middle class people in the suburbs surely aren't, but when they are then hell it *must* be becausse of something abnormal, something weird like nazism, etc.

absurd. worse, it's friggin dangerous


CB: They aren't "normal" in the sense of in the middle of a normal curve of racism in the U.S. population. But the intensity of their racism is more common than the impression one would have from media exposure of fascistic racism. They aren't as many standard deviations from the norm as most Americans would think. Thus the norm of racism is greater than most Americans think. The average American is closer to nazism than they think.

What exactly is the danger ? That people will miss the normal racism because they they don't realize that this is normal racism ? That somehow people will focus on their Nazi symbols and dismiss them as abnormal and therefore not do anything about normal racism ? I am not clear on what you think the danger is.

Charles Brown

Gunmen Had Premonition in Video

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) -- Months before they massacred a dozen students and a teacher, two high school students made a video portraying themselves inn trench coats, shooting athletes as they walk down their school hallway.

The video was made for a class last fall.

On Tuesday, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold wearing black trench coats, walked into the school, spraying gunfire and setting off explosives before killing themselves. Witnesses said they targeted athletes,

In the video, the two "had their friends pretend to be the jocks, and they pretended to be the gunmen shooting them,'' junior Chris Reilly told the Denver Rocky Mountain News Thursday. "I saw the video Eric and Dylan made. .... It represented what happened.''

Eric Veik, 16, who helped the two produce several videos, said all were in a similar genre. "They always wore trench coats. They always wanted to be the intimidators, the good guys out to get the bad guys,'' he said.

Veik turned over three to four copies of the videos to police after the shooting.

Teacher Garrett Talocco, who taught the class, declined comment, as did school district spokeswoman Kay Pride. ----------------------------

Classmates said Harris and Klebold were part of an outcast group called the Trenchcoat Mafia and that they wore black and spoke German to each other. They believe their choice of Adolf Hitler's birthday for the attack was no coincidence.

Accounts from students indicated Harris was a leader, a boy who would come to class as if to war, in steel-toed combat boots and a German cross, while Klebold was a follower.

Jessie Boyer Jr., a former friend of Harris, said he was surprised Harris criticized "jocks'' because he had liked sports.

"He was an upbeat guy, but something changed. He associated himself with Nazis, and listened to a techno-Nazi band,'' Boyer said.

Harris also liked war games with his friends.


A couple of months ago, members of the Trenchcoat Mafia made a date to fight the jocks on a Friday night at a baseball field, said football player Matt Good.

The jocks showed up, but the Trenchcoats were two hours late, and they went to the wrong spot, Good said. They also showed up carrying swords and brass knuckles -- not the jocks' idea of a clean fight. The fight was never rescheduled.

John House, 17, a senior, said he refused to associate with Klebold after he joined the Trenchcoat Mafia.

"I went bowling with him, and when he would do something good, he would shout, `Heil Hitler!' and throw up his hand,'' House said. "It just made everyone mad.''

ôtouch yourself and you will know that i exist.ö ~luce irigaray

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