race & murder

digloria at mindspring.com digloria at mindspring.com
Fri Apr 23 10:05:28 PDT 1999

>I don't think you can refute attributions of racism by showing good
>interpersonal relations with members of persecuted groups. The racist idea
>exists apart from/prior to any individual manifestations - racists
>attribute characteristics to the entire group. That's why the "some of my
>best friends are ____" defense is so ludicrous.

no kidding Doug. that's NOT what kirsten was saying and not what i would say either. kirsten went on to explain why she quoted that material and i think she did well to include ALL of it--she could have easily snipped out the stuff about their racism.

the point is that attributing this to their reputed neo-nazi sympathies--code for virulent racism among other things--is just a bit of stretch given that the nazi insignia, the music they listened to, etc don't necessarily signify anything at all in terms of some coherent political beliefs which few adult USers have in the first place, let alone teenagers.

no one has denied that these kids were racists. the question was: "does their racism explain what they did?" my answer was only a wheensy bit. they surely were after Shoels and apparently for particular reasons, some of which was because they were racists. but, if so, they why kill jocks? why make a video tape months ago portraying themselves as killing jocks. why write:

"I live in Denver, and I would love to kill almost all of its residents," Harris wrote. "You all better hide in your houses because I'm coming for everyone and I will shoot to kill and I will kill everything."

That statement is explained by racism?

why set up two propane tanks in the cafeteria, designed to do some damage to anyone who happened to be there at the time? that's a racist act designed to show they hated blacks, etc?

finally, chaz went on about the media ignoring the racism. well no kidding to that too. but this is a lot more subtle than the media not mentioning racism. what bothers me (and kirsten i think) is that the way it's been portrayed: the heavy emphasis on neo-nazi connections, etc allows people to think that this was an aberration, that the violence, the use of the word n-----, etc can be attributed to an unusual kind of racism, a perverted form of violence, rather than as wojtek said, and i've said over and over, as the altogether too typical result of capitalist class relations in which these kids don't quite understand what the true enemy is and instead reach for easy scapegoats. they spit their anger, their alienation (in the marxist sense), their despair out in an acceptable discourse because there wasn't much of an alternative language available to them.


“touch yourself and you will know that i exist.” ~luce irigaray

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