After the tragedy at LAX, Chip Donaldson Jr. fears what may come next. “Look, I’m just saying, I can see how there might be a national knee-jerk reaction considering that a disproportionate number of these senseless mass shootings are committed by young white guys, but I just don’t think it’s fair to assume that all young white men are potential sociopaths. There are young white male children out there – still in diapers and everything – who are essentially already suspects in the eyes of society. How cruel is that, you know?”
Does Chip have anything to fear?
Perhaps. After all, the specter of racial profiling has left its ugly mark on the US. After 9/11, countless Muslim and Middle Eastern men and women were targets of racial profiling by authorities and victims of vicious hate crimes by xenophobic, fear-driven citizens. Then there’s New York’s controversial Stop and Frisk policy, which has been found to overwhelmingly target young men of color (Approximately 90% of those stopped were Black and Latino).
So, perhaps there is something to Chip’s trepidation. After the horrific Aurora theater shooting, didn’t we see that there was a dramatic increase in police presence and surveillance in white neighborhoods? After the terrible Sandy Hook shooting, didn’t authorities descend upon Bad Sweater Parties and Abercrombie and Fitch retailers nationwide to target Caucasians? If we go back a bit further, we can remember how after the Oklahoma City bombing, middle aged white men felt the unbearable weight of national scrutiny. We can only assume that hate crimes against Caucasians also shot up dramatically after these events.
So, one can only hope that Chip is able to stand strong and bear the coming backlash with grace and dignity. One day we will live in a society in which being white does not carry such a heavy price tag.
Until then, godspeed Chip.
Your handsome and humble servant-
Photo by John O’Nolan