David Sirota went on MSNBC yesterday and pointed out that no one really wants to profile American mass murderers, because most of them are white men—the only group that "our political system avoids demographically profiling or analytically aggregating in any real way," because white males hold a privileged position in our society. His comments enraged the conservative media; he was accused of "injecting divisive racial politics" into the discussion about the tragedy in Newtown. But that furor just proves how desperate the conservative movement is "to preserve its White Victimization Mythology," writes Sirota on Salon.
"In this mythology, the white man as a single demographic subgroup can never be seen as a perpetrator and must always be portrayed as the unfairly persecuted scapegoat," Sirota writes. "In this mythology, to mention truths about societal double standards—truths that are inconvenient or embarrassing to white people—is to be targeted for attack by the right-wing media machine." But Sirota isn't saying we should start profiling white men, though he says the conservative media would have you believe that's what he wants. He just wants it acknowledged that the only reason we're able to have "tempered and nuanced conversations" about what could have contributed to the shooting—as opposed to blaming one demographic group wholesale—is because the shooter was a white man. Click for Sirota's full column. (Read more Connecticut school shooting stories.)