Despite its final-act flailing, liberal western society continues searching for order. As a people, we simply aren’t wired for chaos. Which is ironic, given how certain our contemporary values make its arrival. Regardless, we have a need for structure even in the tumult. That’s why a sort of reporting etiquette has emerged in response to the West’s increasingly routine mass killings.
But before we can observe proper politesse we have to know the occasion. Otherwise we will not know whether to warn against a backlash or actively foment one. Whether this was an act of broad racial malice, or an opportunity to avoid scapegoating. Whether those lost had real human stories, or were simply flesh-toned emojis. Whether the killer was a poor reflection of his politics, or separate from those entirely. But primarily, we need to learn whether the victims were martyrs or meaningless. And the only way to know that is to find out who killed them.
Here’s a small example: have you ever heard of Heather Heyer? Probably you have. She was the woman killed by a “white supremacist” driver in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her death quite possibly represented the first white victim of violence lamented by liberals in the 21st Century. Ms. Heyer may have been as pleasant a person as Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, yet like them she was canonized only by virtue of her assailant. Had she instead been smeared into the pavement by one of Islam’s many Grand Theft Auto enthusiasts, then #TheLeftWouldntGiveAShitAboutHerName.
What follows is a similar example from today. This article from ABC News covers this afternoon’s massacre in Texas. It references two earlier church shootings: one the media covered, and another the media covered with six feet of dirt. See if you can discern the subtle distinctions.
The massacre in Texas is at least the third deadly shooting at a U.S. church in the past three years.
In June 2015, white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black churchgoers during a Bible study at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof was sentenced to death this January.
In September 2017, a gunman allegedly stormed the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, fatally shooting a woman in the parking lot before entering the church sanctuary, shooting and wounding six people.
* In 6/15, the killer was a white supremacist. In 9/17: gunman (no race, no agenda). May have simply become confused while hunting quail.
* In 6/15, a specific person, Dylann Roof, shot and killed people. In 9/17, this nameless gunman allegedly stormed a building. That doesn’t sound nearly as bad as killing people. And we really can’t even verify this storming occurred, as it’s all mere allegations at this point.
* In 6/15, nine black church goers were killed. In 9/17, a faceless raceless woman who may or may not have been a church goer was shot (allegedly).
Understanding such unwritten reporting etiquette is what separates undisciplined bloggers from the professionals at ABC News. It might seem inelegant to grade a commoner’s life strictly on the profile of who ended it, but if you do not do so then some very unpalatable conclusions might be drawn. As a result, every murderous shot represents the starter’s pistol for determining victims’ moral value. With the Texas killer’s identification, white rural Christians seem to have temporarily found theirs. I hope they don’t grow accustomed to the acclaim.
A few other thoughts on Texas…and places unlike it.
As you know, last week an Uzbekistani national barely failed his NYC driver’s test by not coming to a complete stop on top of several of that city’s polyglot residents. It seemed to me quite a pointless loss of life, though ritualized human sacrifice has an esteemed pedigree. And few people practice it with more zealous devotion than the congregants of open borders multiculturalism.
Given his social media interests (civil rights, militant atheism, and a Bernie Sanders resist group), the Texas killer is almost undoubtedly a leftist. Only the depth of which seems to be in doubt. Thus it reminds me again of an ongoing habit of liberals using their own behavior as validation of their contempt. For instance, it is quite unsportsmanlike for a white leftist to say “Whites are terrorists who ruin the world!” And to then prove the point by committing a mass shooting so that his surviving peers can bang on Twitter like chimpanzees: “We told you whites were terrorists!”
Dealing with so-called countrymen this unselfconsciously duplicitous makes me even more eager for advances in the science of political speciation. The sooner they literally aren’t us, the quicker we’ll all recognize reality.
Fresh off every other killing since Franz Ferdinand, Sam Hyde.