Why Most Mass Murderers Are Privileged White Men

               “Every killer makes his pain another’s problem. But only those who’ve marinated in privilege can conclude that their private pain is the entire world’s problem with which to deal”

                The article, “Why Most Mass Murderers are Privileged White Men” by Hugo Schwyzer evinces a few key points that Stuart Hall explains in his passage, “The Whites of Their Eyes”. The main point addressed by Schwyzer in his article is the ideology of racism and more specifically the ideology of overt racism as described by Hall. When a murderer is discovered by the media they first look at the murderer’s ethnicity. If the murderer is any race but Caucasian the media portrays the murderer as having suffered psychological problems due to their race or religious practices on top of them being sick or evil. However if the murderer is Caucasian the media just classifies them as sick or evil and that is why they killed, no other reason. In my experience this classification of murderers is evident in all sorts of media. When a reporter writes an article or does a segment on a TV station about a murderer, if the murderer is white they don’t delve into any racial or cultural problems they might have experienced to turn them into such a monster but when the article or report is on a minority the reporters along with psychologists and the entire audience tries to understand why they did it, what in their culture or racial background caused them to become a homicidal maniac.

Another point that Schwyzer makes in his article is that of the privilege ideology. This exact ideology was not mentioned in Stuart Hall’s piece but it still addresses some of the points he made about ideologies in general. Mainly how these ideologies come to be inherent in ones everyday activities. One of the suggested reasons that most mass murderers who are Caucasian do what they do in a public place is because they are privileged. They see the area where they kill as theirs, whether it is a movie theater or a college campus. The quote above is from the article and means that the murderer feels like their own problem is society’s problem and they need a public solution. While I have not personally experienced the privileged killer’s ideology, I have experienced the privileged ideology itself. I have noticed that many people, no matter what race or religion they are, who feel like the world owes them something. They are overly rude, inconsiderate, and have a massive superiority complex. Not all Caucasians act as privileged as described in the article and many don’t go on killing sprees, and many minorities do act privileged and some do commit crimes because of this ideology.

The main point I got from this article and Stuart Hall’s piece is that ideologies are inherent to our behavior. They are the reasons for our actions even if they are not thought about. They may not always be exactly why we do what we do but they influence the why as well as the where for our actions.

To me the author took an extremely direct route when writing this article. I appreciate how direct the author was. If he hadn’t just come out and made his point about the “White Man’s Privilege” nobody would take the time to notice what is going on. It would escape unnoticed and would continue until someone else decides to bring it up. I think the author’s point in being so direct was to get people to take notice and to start conversations about it. Because the author is white himself, it also supports his argument. If he had been some other ethnicity, the audience would have taken the article as a racist piece and wouldn’t pay attention to it or its points.

CSI: Criminal Justice and the Media


To summarize the episode of CSI, we open to a few boys shooting craps on the street. A man and his wife get out of a nice car and begin walking to an apartment complex. After entering the complex there is a shot and the man is killed. The crime scene investigators get there and begin to collect clues. After processing some of the clues the investigators then accuse a neighborhood kid of killing the man; however he said he only found the guys wallet and didn’t kill him. Next, the investigators accuse the man’s wife of having him killed by her con ex-boyfriend that she’s having an affair with. There wasn’t enough evidence to arrest them for murder yet. After further digging, the investigators find traces of cocaine and go after the wife again. When they catch up to her they find her trying to pass cocaine to her sister. After capturing both of them the investigators finally get the true story from the wife. Her sister had gotten in trouble with some drug dealers who had used her to store some cocaine. She had to replace the cocaine or they would take her daughter. She took too long to deliver and the drug dealers kidnapped her daughter. She brought the wife in to help her and they had gotten the cocaine and the wife had wrapped it as a gift for the sister, but when she was delivering the presents to her sister with her husband they were held up, her husband killed, and the cocaine was stolen. The police put it all together and finally arrested the murderer and thief, the sister’s husband, and the daughter was returned safely to her mother.

The article paints a short history of crime television and of CSI itself. It describes the cultural aspects of the television show CSI and gives examples how CSI portrays the police as the moral authority. It also explains how CSI combines both forensic science and criminal fiction/drama to paint a more realistic picture of police work.

The episode of CSI supports the points brought up in the article. One of these points is how the show portrays the police as the moral authority. In the show CSI, the police always capture the correct criminal albeit after a lot of digging through evidence and sometimes accusing the wrong people at first. Another way is how the police give people the benefit of the doubt as with the case of the kid they accused who had only picked up the murdered husband’s wallet for the money but who returned the money. Another point that is evidenced by the actual show is the combination of forensic science and drama that paints a realistic picture of crime. In most shows the cops just arrest people however in CSI we see some of the particular issues the police have to deal with before getting to an arrest. However, in the show the data always adds up and an arrest is made fairly quickly, but in actuality it could take weeks, months, or even years for the data to get back and for some time after that before it’s even made sense of. By then the trail goes cold and some criminals get away which is what doesn’t happen in the show CSI. Slowly as the article points out the show CSI is portraying the police as helpful authoritative workers who have lives just like everyday people. It is slowly destroying the negative image that many cultures have of police and the criminal justice system in general even though the images aren’t totally correct.