race & murder

kayak3 kayak3 at bouldernews.infi.net
Fri Apr 23 05:36:06 PDT 1999

digloria at mindspring.com wrote:
> >
> >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:

Why kill jocks. Maybe highschools are different in other parts of the country but where I went to school the jocks waged a front line war on non-conformity. Having long hair or expressing deviant political views made you a target for the jocks. I haven't read anything that confirms that the perps were harrassed by jocks but many students discribed how they were abused for being different. As a group they also dished out abuse.

Most of what I have read in this thread sounds so convuluted. I think racism and neo nazi influences are a factor but I think the underlying problem lies in social relations in our high schools. When went to junior and senior highschool, students who were different in any way were targets for abuse. Some of it was horrible. The teachers and administration would only take notice if a) it resulted in violence or b) interfered with a teachers course plan for the day. I wittnessed psychological cruelty that went on right under the noses of the faculty without any intervention on their part. The social structure in US schools have a hierarchy where kids compete for acceptence. This, I believe leads to the kind of abuse that generates the rage we see in some kids. Others just get depressed and kill themselves. This happened to too many of my classmates.

This incident is a perfect opportunity for people on the left to point out some of the basic problems associated with our social relations. Such as the competitive nature of our economic system as well as our social lives. Instead too many of us are focusing on issues that only relate to the problem in a superficial way.

I was listening to a call in program on KGNU in Boulder. One of the callers was a you woman who had graduated in 1995. The discription she gave of her own high school experience gave me the impression that things have not changed a lot from what experienced in the late 60's and early 70's. The participants in the studio acknowleged here comments and then went on a tirade against the availability of firearms. I know, this is a sample of only one person. My statistician wife would be appalled.

I think this is a complex problem involving many variables but I think that the overall alienation of young people is the variable that goes further in explaining what happened. This doesn't mean that media violence, availability of guns and racism and sexism are not factors. I just see them more as symptoms instead of the underlying cause of the violence.

> "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?

>From what I've read, these boys hated everyone and held deep seated
resentment for the way they were treated by their fellow students the year before.

Brad Hatch

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