Elliot Rodger and the Case of White Male Entitlement

Once again, this nation – well, most of it – stands in shock of another killing spree perpetrated by a young white male. We mourn the loss of life at the hands of mad-crazed violence. Some among us wonder why such a thing happened in the first place. The media jumps onto the story about the madness, digging into the psychological past of the murderer in order to explain to their viewers and readers what could’ve led a young man to commit a horrible act. And this happens everytime a white male looses his mind and kills everyone in sight, usually before taking his own life.

Elliot Rodger, a young half-white male (His mother’s Asian) student at the University of California Santa Barbara who was the son of the associate director (Peter Rodger) of the Hunger Games, was another in a line of angry, disgruntled white dudes who took his rage out on the world around him. Fueled by his resentment of being a sexually deprived virgin, according to his manifesto, Rodger decided that the world had to pay dearly for him not getting laid. So he shot, stabbed and ran over as many people, women and men, as he could before rubbing himself off the face of the Earth.

At first, it sounded like someone who just needed a hug, or in his case, he needed some ass. But as the manifesto unravels, we see that this young man was anything but a gentleman. In fact, he was the farthest thing from.

elliot-rodger-privilegeWe learned that Rodger was really a misogynist. He saw women as objects put on Earth to please men, especially him. When they didn’t give him any play, he got pissed, especially when he saw happy couples together and a white girl hooking up with an “inferior, ugly black boy”. Yep, he’s also racist. And to put the icing on the cake, he was just plain spoiled as hell. So, pardon me while I pass on feeling sorry for this fool.

Without a doubt, this is white male privilege that has blown up all over Santa Barbara, taking out at least seven people and injuring over a dozen more. Of course, there are conversations regarding sexism and misogyny and what has to be done to prevent another Elliot Rodger from being born. But what’s not as discussed as much is the white male entitlement surrounding this whole mess.

We see white male entitlement surface in Rodger’s manifesto in regards to interracial relationships. He considered himself to be descended from British Aristocracy. Therefore, his bloodline is his golden ticket that shows he is more deserving to date beautiful women while black men are not, due to them being “descended from slaves”. This, along with his warped view of women as being inferior to him on some level, or two, helped to ignite what would be a bloody massacre in Southern California.

And while white male entitlement deluded Elliot Rodger of being God’s gift to women, it also blankets from from being a sweeping indictment on the rest of the white male population. Rodger was only one man who carried about this vile attack. However, the obvious question to pose would be, “What if Rodger was black, brown or even Muslim or Middle Eastern?”

We know all too well the cringe we feel whenever a terrible crime happens. That cringe comes from the fear of being collectively judged, and we express it by telling ourselves or other people, “Please don’t let him(her) be one of us.” When we see that it’s not, we breathe a sigh of relief. When it is, that’s when we shake our heads.

We know we don’t have the privilege of being seen individually when one or a few black folks act the fool. In fact, it’s one of the staples of Western entertainment from reality TV shows to online videos. That small number becomes a representative of the entire race, and it’s what society lusts for to protect and defend white supremacy.

White criminals and murderers, on the other hand, are just glitches in the natural program of white peacefulness. Only they are what’s wrong with society, not an entire race. They are not burdened with the terms ‘white crime’ and ‘white-on-white crime’. There is no talk about white pathology, especially when it comes to guns.(Yes, I’m talking about you, NRA.) And criminality and violence are never tagged on to pale skin color.

The irony is that whites commit the most crimes in this country and have committed horrible acts of violence against people of color WAY more than the reverse. So, while Santa Barbara massacre will be added to the growing list of mass murders, it will not deem the culture of white male entitlement to be a fatal and destructive pathological force that warrants immediate attention.