While I was quick to decry the media's blame-the-victim framing of the Hartford Massacre, Norm Pattis presents an interesting analysis of the massacre. While the victims didn't deserve to be murdered, Omar Thornton does represent another man so consumed by rage that he attacked what he viewed as his oppressors:
When I first learned that the shooter was black and all the victims were white I worried in a plantation-owner sort of way about copy cat crimes. I have represented many people of color in employment-related disputes. Anyone who believes, even for a moment, that the color line is not alive and well in the United States lives in a dream world. There are simmering tensions. There is black rage and white resentment. The "N" word is often spoken in hush terms.
As with Joe Stacks, no one is saying that Thornton was right. Blacks are, however, saying that they can understand why he went postal. Indeed, that's what people said about Joe Stacks. "I would never do such a thing. And it was wrong. But...Well...The guy sorta had a point, you know?"
One man was arrested for saying that he understood Thornton's rage:
Connecticut police say they arrested a man at a management company after he mentioned the shooting rampage across the state that killed nine people and said he understood the killer's mindset.
A law student wrote on this blog, in response to my claims that there will be more violence:
I've seen no indication that Americans are at all motivated to resort to violence. Americans are way too apathetic to do anything.
That reveals an elitist's misunderstanding of humanity. Have you ever been desperate? I know rich people who take Prozac to distract themselves from the futility of existence. What a joke. Try having no money, no options, and no safety net. Suddenly life will no longer be futile. You will find that the point of life is right in front of you - survival.
Yet those who have never known hunger and whose lives are so comfortable that they must turn to drugs cannot understand the suffering of tens-of-millions of Americans. Food stamp use is at a record high. Tonight I'll listen to Pink Flyod's "Time," pondering life until I reach a quarter-life crisis - ignoring that I just ate a grass-fed rib eye. There are Two America's - except that the bottom half of Americans are wondering if their power is going to be shut off.
Imagine you had everything taken from you. Meanwhile, you seem record bonuses paid to the same people responsible for your job loss. The CEO who outsourced your job is getting paid $50 million after being caught stealing company funds.
What would you do?
If this is too hard to imagine, then start talking to some normal Americans. Your whiny, Whole Foods shopping friends aren't Real America.
Talk to the 50-year-old man whose job was outsourced, and who has been unable to find work for 99 weeks; and who hears dip shits like you claiming that unemployment shouldn't be extended, because then guys like him - who have worked every day for decades - will decide to stop working.
Omar Thornton and Joe Stacks are not alone. Millions of American men are but a job loss away from from "going Stacks."
A few workplace massacres isn't that worrisome. Like all tragedies, they are low-probability events. I'm not afraid of terrorists, and I'm not concerned with a few men like Thornton and Stacks.
What happens when someone channels the rage of the millions of Americans who have been shit on? What then?