By May 27, 2014 9 Comments Read More →

Calling Elliot Rodger ‘White’, Media Blindness To Multi-Ethnic Peoples, and Why It Matters…


In her article, “White guy killer syndrome: Elliot Rodger’s deadly, privileged rage,” Brittney Cooper asks: “Can I go ahead and scream yet? It’s time for America to admit what it’s long resisted: White male privilege kills.”

That’s certainly a compelling introduction to what could have been an important editorial on the role of privilege in the Elliot Rodger killings. But the article is premised on a false assumption, born largely out of liberal white blindness to mixed heritage peoples: the assumption that Elliot Rodger is “white.”

The first thing I thought after reading this and several other editorials on Rodgers “white male privilege” is that if I see one more article that calls Elliot Rodger “white”, I’m gonna lose it. But why? Does it matter if the Daily Kos turns Rodger’s killings into the “Aggrieved White Male Entitlement Syndrome”?

The short answer, is: yes.

In the media’s attempt to seem racially “enlightened”  they are completely blind to mixed heritage people. Elliot Rodger was half Chinese and half Caucasian. His mother was ethnically Chinese, from Malaysia.

This relegation of the mixed heritage of Rodger to “whiteness” alone is not a case of the media demonizing white people. Some might like to imagine it as such, but this is plain and simply a case of culturally homogenous members of the media being blind to the growing reality that many people in the world do not belong to one illusory racial category.

Even take the term, “Caucasian.” Iranian people are the truest Caucasians geographically, but in American society they are not considered “white.” Yes, “white” is a socio-political fantasy, and a pseudo-scientific illusion that has long been discredited by biologists (you knew that, right?), but it still has socio-political borders, and half-Chinese is not “white” unless it is the media, and struggling writers, are trying to construct a sensationalist narrative.

But “Chinese and European” is complex. It’s too complex for the average culturally homogeneous American to deal with before deciding to click or share an article. So the run-away headlines have prevailed with assumptions that the rich, quite-privileged Rodger was an “entitled white male” rather than an entitled male, or perhaps more importantly (or even all-importantly), an entitled affluent male.

In spite of not being homogeneously “white” or “Asian” alone, Rodger was a bigot against African Americans. This may surprise people who have not spent a lot of time in various parts of the world where white is alright, but if you’re black you still have to get back… even in non-white countries. The entitled, affluent, half-Chinese/half-Caucasian Elliot Rodger wrote of his own hatred for Africans, and his own mixed-heritage as follows:

“How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more.”

But the media doesn’t want complex psyches like that of a half-Chinese, anti-black racist rich kid. They certainly don’t want to demonize children of the rich… After all, they know who is signing their pay checks. They want something that fits into soundbites and assumptions. They want to make Rodger out like an Oklahoma City bomber because that will keep us tuning it. It indicates a pattern of terrorism, and the media has shown us that they love to imply patterns in terrorism.

For our part, as viewers, we love it too. We often don’t question the narratives orated to us on the evening news, nor quickly banged out in the diatribes of online contributions to Salon and the like.

At the end of the day, the media doesn’t want to face the fact that there aren’t simple profiles for every murderer, nor racial pigeonholes for people in general… But then again, neither do most of us.

9 Comments on "Calling Elliot Rodger ‘White’, Media Blindness To Multi-Ethnic Peoples, and Why It Matters…"

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  1. Szebran says:

    Liberal rascism showing its ugly face again.

  2. michael s says:

    I see no problem in calling elliot white.

  3. Nat Turner says:

    America and Europeans in general judge by appearances not culture or wealth,
    when one looks at Elliot Roger one sees a White youth,
    who if he had children with a White woman they could well be blonde on blue,
    with no trace of the Asian grandmother to be seen.
    This is one of the reasons America practiced the “one drop” rule,
    so as to thoroughly rinse out the African blood before a person could
    be deemed to be “White”.
    With African Americans it was documented that 200,000 a year “passed out” from the Black community to the White without anyone, in the White community,
    ever knowing of their African ancestry.
    Political Blindspot is as guilty as the journalists it criticizes.
    In that it does the same thing from another angle with President Barak Obama.
    “the first African American president in U.S. history”
    I do not in anyway take away from his Blackness or being African American,
    he is and more so in the sense that his father is “fresh” Kenyan African blood.
    I am saying that for White people the slightest amount of visible Black blood makes a person Black in their minds,
    even in cases such as Richard Reed the English shoe bomber who was in fact 3 quarters White.

    Apartheid in South Africa was an example of when White folk are in the minority,
    how they behave needing to build up their numbers,
    then you could go to a panel, be examined and if judged to look White enough, despite known African ancestry, be classified as White.
    Note that to look at Elliot Roger he was White,
    he thought he was White,
    most around him probably never gave it a second thought,
    he took on the “White” mindset enough to hate Black people and blame them for his lack of success, in this case “girls”, but
    it could of well of been jobs. promotion or housing.

  4. Logic_Bomb says:

    ……Maybe if you read his manifesto you would know why he is considered white.

  5. Kevin Anderson says:

    So i guess tiger woods is not a black man?. Lol.. Even causcasion folks refer to obama as a black man.. You see the mixed race in you doesnt count at the end of the day..if your obama or tiger woods. Your black buddy,! If your elliot rodger, sad to say your white! :-(.. Your enviroment influences you.. And who you are… Elliot rodger grew up amongst whites, and spoke white, he therefore is or was white..and in forein countries. They call him crazy white boy

  6. Kevin Anderson says:

    To the writer of this article, everyone knows this kid is mixed! But at the end of the day he was white, frankly you have wasted your time writing this article, everyone here is now stupider for reading this!

  7. Simba711 says:

    If he’s white then so is Obama. He was half white and he hated being only half white. Nothing anyone says will change hardcore facts. His mother was not white.

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