“Shooters Of Color Are Called ‘Terrorists’ And ‘Thugs.’ Why Are White Shooters Called ‘Mentally Ill’?”


Writing about the Charleston massacre in the Washington Post, Anthea Butler hopes that the common media narrative portraying mass shooters as “lone, disturbed or mentally ill young men failed by society” does not supplant discussions of the deep racism that still exists in America. And Fox News Channel‘s Senior Managing Editor for Health News Dr. Manny Alvarez draws attention to the dangers of prescription drug abuse “helping to fuel violence in America.”

“In public discussions, black children often morph into potentially menacing adults after they’ve been victimized, while white mass shooters are portrayed as children, even if they’re well into their 20s,” writes Butler. “Media reports and police statements repeatedly referred to Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy shot by police in Cleveland while playing with a toy gun last year, as a ‘young man.’ But James Holmes, who was 25 when he shot dozens at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, was frequently defined by his youth in media profiles, which described him as ‘a normal kid,’ a ‘typical American kid’ and ‘a smart kid’… I hope the coverage won’t fall back on the typical narrative ascribed to white, male shooters: lone, disturbed or mentally ill young men failed by society. This was not an act of just ‘one hateful person.’ It was a manifestation of the racial hatred and white supremacy that continue to pervade our society, 50 years after the Birmingham bombing galvanized the civil rights movement.”

And Alvarez discusses reports that Charleston murderer Dylann Roof illegally possessed and used prescription drugs that can sometimes lead to extreme agitation or violence.

Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs.’ Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’? (Washington Post, June 18, 2015)

Dr. Manny: How prescription drug abuse is helping to fuel violence in America (Fox News, June 19, 2015)