Expert: Blaming Norway Massacre On Video Games is “Racist”
In my post on the rash of people blaming video games for the Norway massacre on Tuesday, I made the following point:
When something unspeakably terrible happens, people grasp for any kind of explanation that makes sense of the situation. This is entirely understandable, since the vast majority of us do not sympathize with, nor even understand the mindset that turns someone into a murderer. This problem is worsened when the murderer looks and sounds like we do.
Regarding the game-blaming game, I had considered adding that we rush to find external causes for terrorist violence committed by white men, frankly, for the same reason that missing white woman syndrome exists. Racism. We dehumanize brown people and seek to do everything possible make excuses for white people. I wish I had made that point because, as it turns out, I wouldn’t be the only one drawing that conclusion. Forbes has published a revealing article for which they spoke to clinical psychologist Christopher Ferguson. Ferguson is fairly blunt in his estimation of the situation:
I know it’s a little controversial to say but there’s a certain type of racism in place with these killings,” said Ferguson. “When shootings happen in an inner city in minority-populated schools, video games are never brought up. But when these things happen in white majority schools and in the suburbs, people start to freak out and video games are inevitably blamed. I think that there’s a certain element of racism or ignorance here.
The dropping of the r-word is probably going to piss some people off, but it’s true. No one blamed flight simulators for the 9/11 attacks. No one claimed that the Taliban were influenced by movies or heroin or whatever. But then, we have no trouble laying the t-word down anytime someone commits actual terrorism but doesn’t look like us. And it’s especially true here. Before Breivik’s identity was known, the word ‘terrorism’ was freely bandied about. The vast majority of media commentary assumed without evidence or reason that the attacks were committed by Muslims. The second we learned who the killer was? Sh*t like this happened.
Honestly people, the guy has a manifesto that explicitly describes his political goals. He committed violence to further those goals. And he has ties to known terrorists. If that’s not a terrorist, then the term is meaningless.
Anyway, you can read the whole thing, which is quite interesting, on Forbes.