OP-ED: White Male Terrorists and The Media

Throughout the many years of terror attacks, the United States has endured this last decade, the majority of the carnage is at the hands of white males. In the past year, white males have killed more Americans in mass murders more than by any other background. However, in the past decade, we haven’t seen the media represent that accurately. We have seen the media call these men “gunman”, “depressed”, “mass killer”, “loner”, “serial bomber” but never “terrorist.”

Currently, there seems to be a twisted obsession of coddling the white man.

The numbers aren’t lining up. In 2017, there are some of the terrorist attacks carried out by a white male:

  • Stephen Paddock opened fire on a music festival crowd of 22,000 people, killing 58, and injuring 81.
  • 20-year-old James Alex Field Jr. drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 10 others.
  • Rep. Steve Scalise was severely injured when 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson shot at a Congress Republican Members during a baseball practice.
  • James Jackson traveled from Baltimore to New York to “kill as many black men” as he could. 66-year-old Timothy Caughman was killed.
  • 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche were killed for defending Muslim teens from being attacked by 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian.

This week, 23-year-Mark Conditt, killed himself after detonating an explosive as police closed in on him. Conditt terrorized Austin for weeks with a deadly bombing spree, killing 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House and 17-year-old Draylen Mason. As the news rolled out, many viewers noticed that mainstream news was referring to Conditt as everything but “terrorist.” Social media erupted in anger that the media seems to coddle white male mass murdered- promoting an unrealistic sense of innocence through “depressed”, and “mentally unstable” but will headline Tamir Rice’s experience with domestic violence when it was the white cops that shot and killed, without warning, the 12-year-old, threatened to arrest his hysterical 14-year-old sister ,tackle her and put her in the patrol car. Or when the New York Times wrote a one-page article demonizing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin for texting about smoking weed.

Image Credit: Andy Omvik on Unsplash


The media’s inability to stay accurate through such turbulent times causes a greater harm to our society than we may even be noticing. We are being told to accept that a white man’s crime is not nearly as bad as that of a person of color, regardless of the actual crime committed. Furthermore, in an already fragile environment, it is saying that a white man’s life is more sacred, more fragile, more protected than a POC’s life. When the work of journalism is not the honest reflection of the current times, we are learning to devalue the life of others, desensitize the violence and demonize men of color.

What if the victims of the Austin bombings were white, and the suspect Muslim? What if we held the suspects accountable for their actions, not their background? Then we can begin to understand our society enough to repair the system. Currently, there seems to be a twisted obsession of coddling the white man. Today, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters that Austin bombing suspect, in his confession tape, “does not at all mention anything about terrorism, nor does he mention anything about hate, but instead it is the outcry of a very challenged young man, talking about challenges in his personal life.” But I know a lot of troubled young men who have never shot up a place.

Last week, two men were killed when explosives detonated. The suspect was a white male and HE IS an American terrorist.

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