Atlanta, Boulder & Saco — Hate Crimes, Categorically Bad Oppressors and the Categorically Noble Oppressed.
Posted by Edmund R. Folsom, Esq.
March 26, 2021
Mass Shootings Dominate the News — Hate Crimes, Angry White Males, or What?
There was a lot of big crime news over the past couple of weeks. Last week, a man shot 8 people to death during a spree at three Atlanta area massage parlors. On Monday, another man shot 10 people to death in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket. In both cases, the press and punditry immediately launched into their demented game of categorizing the perpetrators and victims and running with a matching intersectionality narrative.
The knee-jerk narrative in the Atlanta killings called it a white male hate crime against Asians. Before the Atlanta killings there was a rise in violence against Asians in some locations, but the press was cautious about branding the incidents hate crimes largely because many of the perpetrators were Black.
The concept of hate crimes was created for a particular purpose, and labeling Black-on-Asian violence as a hate crime is not the purpose for which it was created. The hate crime category was created primarily to turn the commission of crimes into teachable moments about America’s central, fundamental flaws, when the perpetrator is a heterosexual white male (oppressor, inherently bad because of it) and the victim is someone other than a heterosexual white male (oppressed, and inherently noble because of it).
Do you disagree? Then come back and remind me the next time a prosecutor or the press makes a big deal out of a hate crime allegedly committed by someone who isn’t evidently a heterosexual white male.
The Atlanta Massage Parlor Murders
To the teachers of teachable moments, the Atlanta spa murders initially seemed to fit the hate crime model to a T. A white heterosexual killed 6 Asian women and 2 other people described in a number of news reports simply as “others.” The “others” were a white male (totally irrelevant to the narrative) and a white female. In this instance, the intersectionality narrative places a relatively low value on the white female, who otherwise fits the oppressed/oppressor model that the concept of hate crimes was created to address.
But compared to the high teachability value of Asian women as victims of white male racial hatred, the white female victim carries a relatively low value here. The teachers of teachable moments immediately hyped Atlanta as an example of white male, anti-Asian hatred, fostered by the racist rhetoric of that whitest of all white-supremacist heterosexual males, Donald Trump, who instigated the hateful massacre by referring to SARS-CoV-2 (which originated in China) as the “China virus.”
The teachers of teachable moments did not fear that labeling the Atlanta murders a hate crime might cause animus toward people who share the perpetrator’s intersectionality category. When a perpetrator is a white heterosexual male, the main point of the hate crime-labelling exercise is to promote animus toward those who share the perpetrator’s intersectionality category – they’re white heterosexual males for crying out loud!!! In fact, the broader point is for people to take a dim view of the America that places white heterosexual males in the privileged, white supremacist position to exploit all the other exploited people in the first place — an America in need of fundamental transformation.
But the Atlanta narrative hit a snag on the part about being motivated by racial hatred toward Asians. The heterosexual white male perpetrator of the Atlanta killings apparently went on his massage parlor shooting spree to eliminate people who tempted his sinful compulsion to pay them for sex, not because the victims were Asians.
The Colorado Supermarket Murders
This week’s shooting rampage, in Colorado, also initially appeared to involve a white male perpetrator from the oppressor class. If true, this would have nailed down the correct perpetrator element for a hate crime teachable moment. But hate crimes were not conceived to produce teachable moments about heterosexual white males killing other heterosexual white males, and in Colorado all the victims appear to be generic white people. Some were women, but even the women were white, and the white male perpetrator did not target them because they were women.
The alleged Colorado perpetrator fits into intersectionality’s top demon category – the white heterosexual male – but because the perpetrator did not act out of animus toward the victims’ intersectionality categories, the teachers of teachable moments quickly jumped on the privileged and unjustifiably angry, oppressive, white supremacist male (undoubtedly nurturing some ridiculous perceived grievance) going on a killing rampage with a gun archetype — a prime example of angry white male fragility.
But, oops! The narrative soon required a re-calculation. It turns out that the shooter is a Muslim, a naturalized immigrant from Syria. Intersectionality tells us this perpetrator is a noble oppressed. Fitting the Colorado shooting into the hate crime model would require the alleged perpetrator to have acted out of animus toward the white, non-Muslim victims because they were white and/or and non-Muslim.
This might lead us to ask whether all the talk these days about white supremacy, white racism, and the evils of whiteness was what motivated this Muslim Syrian immigrant to shoot a bunch of white AmeriKKKans at a grocery store. And asking questions like that is not at all what hate crimes were conceived for. So instead, the teachers of teachable moments immediately pivoted to the alleged perpetrator’s gun as the demon in this morality play. The shooter was probably bullied. The gun is a criminal.
The Saco Shaw’s Supermarket Slaughter
Going back several years, I was thinking about the summer of 2015 when a person walked into the Shaw’s Supermarket in quiet little Saco, Maine, one afternoon and intentionally killed a random patron inside. It was murder. Whether you know a single other thing about the intersectionality category of the perpetrator or the victim, and whether you know a single other thing about how the killing was done, it was murder.
As unsettling as that murder was to the community, making some people fear a simple trip to the grocery store, it represented no great teachable hate crime moment. It was just a case of a 31-year-old white transgendered person following a random 59-year-old white grandmother from the store parking lot, walking up behind her in the ice cream isle and slitting her throat with a knife because the 31-year-old white transgendered person was angry about life and wanted to “get back at someone.”
Sure, the perpetrator and the victim occupied 2 different intersectionality categories, but the perpetrator was not a white male. Also, it wasn’t clear that the white perpetrator was motivated by animus toward the white victim’s gender identity. And even if the perpetrator was motivated by the victim’s gender identity, the perpetrator’s gender identify has a higher victimhood status under intersectionality than the victim’s gender identity. Teachers of teachable moments would be careful about labeling this a hate crime, just as they take care not to label Black-on-Asian violence as a hate crime – it might cause people to take a dim view of others who share the perpetrator’s intersectionality category. And finally, the murder weapon was a knife, not a categorically demonic firearm.
The random midday murder of a 59-year-old, unarmed white grandmother inside the Shaw’s Supermarket, in tiny Saco, Maine, didn’t merit the serious treatment or carry the teachability value that a hate crime or a gun murder carries. It would have been much more valuable if it had been committed by a heterosexual white male with a gun, especially if the victim hadn’t been so white. Just ask any of those mostly white upper/upper-middle class teachers of teachable moments who think they purchase their own indulgences by denouncing you as fundamentally flawed and illuminating your one true path to redemption.
The-personal-is-the-political begat the hate crime, which begat the inversion of hatred.
Deconstruct the lunacy.
A note on an early architect of the lunacy: Michael Foucault is a foundational thought leader of the lunacy. According to Guy Sorman, one of Foucault’s contemporary French intellectuals, who knew Foucault personally, Foucault was a de facto colonialist pedophile who had sex with 8 to 10-year-old Tunisian boys and believed he and his fellow elites shouldn’t be fettered by the same moral code as the masses. Foucault’s present-day progeny have absorbed Foucault’s rules-are-for-thee-not-for-me philosophy well. It undergirds their privilege, their license, to gratify their lust for arbitrary exercises of power and control over others, under guise of championing the cause of the oppressed against their oppressors.
Disclaimer: The above post does not contain legal advice. It is for information purposes only and is not to be taken as legal advice. The reader does not have an attorney/client relationship with the author by virtue of reading the above post.