When Rich White Men Kill
By: Matt Sedillo
The Southwest Political Report
On October 3rd two days following the massacre in Las Vegas the Washington Post ran the headline.
“As Las Vegas grieves, Investigators Struggle To Uncover Motive Behind Shooting Rampage”
Reuters ran the headline,
“Wealthy Las Vegas Shooter Perplexes Law Enforcement”
Reporters from major television news outlets were equally perplexed.
“There is a lack of a clear answer. We are standing in a retirement community. The person we are talking about is a 64 year old retired accountant. This is not exactly the profile of somebody who would commit this type of atrocity. At one point he had a valid pilot’s license.” – Kyuang Lah CNN
“The guns bought as you said seem to be mostly legally although no one around him seemed to know that he had an obsession with guns. If there was one more thing it maybe that it could have been possibly even worse because in that search of his home in addition to more guns in addition to thousands of rounds of ammo they also found explosive and when they searched his vehicle here in Las Vegas hey also found ammonium nitrate which of course is a key ingredient in home made bombs. But this morning Las Vegas as it wakes up will still see the streets behind me outside of Mandalay bay closed many of the casinos seem to operating as usual from our check this morning but the question, the over riding question Joe and Mika, of why, still has no answer.”- Chris Jansing MSNBC
Even as the facts about this Paddock’s life and death come to light the words profile and description will not and cannot be attached to his name and still remain within US political orthodoxy. Paddock was a rich White gambler who made his money in real estate. He was a rich White man steeped in gun culture, in a state drenched in libertarian ethics in from a wealthy community whose local news outlet ran a story titled “Trump Leads Peaceful Overthrow of Government.” If Stephen Paddock fits the description of a mass murderer then so does much of Nevada. If Paddock fits the description so does MAGA. If Paddock matches the profile than so does much of the U.S. and not just any section of the U.S. population but its most prized section, the country club set, Rich White Men.
Stephen Paddock was a multimillionaire who made his money in real estate and had been making his living in more recent times as a gambler. Not every real estate man commit mass murder, not every real estate man is a Paddock or a Trump. Let’s not rush to judgment here. But we cannot ignore the facts. Some are and we should remain vigilant in that. If you see something say something.
Stephen Paddock’s father was a bank robber and a prison escapee. No one should be punished for the sins of their fathers. But one simply cannot imagine that piece of information being glossed over as it has been in the news had Paddock not been White.
Stephen Paddock’s gambling has been used to normalize him. In April this year TSA assaulted Dr. David Dao dragging him off a plane. The fact that Dao liked to gamble was used as a tawdry detail trying to make him seem like some kind of “degenerate.” Apparently according to US standard White Supremacy White men gamble because they are lovers of fun whereas Asian men gamble because they are cunning and deceitful.
The fact that Stephen Paddock owned a plane also is supposed to somehow indicate that he was a normal kind of guy who would never do such a thing. If a Muslim man were to shoot hundreds of people killing dozens would the fact that he owned a plane make him seem more or less like a mass killer in the eyes of the media?
White supremacy is not bound by the rules of fairness or logic. It is a conquest ideology that justifies the world as it currently formed. When Rich White Men Kill we are always supposed to act perplexed. Because by definition they cannot pose a threat to society because by the standards of White Supremacy, overarching Patriarchy, White Supremacist Patriarchy and general Capitalist ideology they are society. How could they be the threat? To who? How? Why?
These questions are not really questions. They are assertions. Rich White Men are not the culprits in US media and when they are, they are lone wolves, they are stray White men. Most media portrays Donald Trump as a stray White Man. In the US Rich White Men never fit the description. Rich White Men never fit the profile. Even Rich White Men with dozens of guns, thousands rounds of ammo and homes full of explosives.
Photo courtesy of The Wrap