Craig Stephens Hicks’ alleged murder of 3 Muslims at UNC’s Chapel Hill brought about in the media a brief surge of euphoria as they finally had their hands on a bigoted white conservative in a red state (purple, actually) murdering 3 Muslims. They ran it incessantly, raising questions about the hatred in America and pointing out that Christians can be just as violent as Muslims —that is until it was revealed that Mr. Hicks was not only an Atheist, in the sneering Richard Dawkins category, but a progressive liberal, who, according to his wife supported gay marriage and the right to an abortion (two stances that have nothing to do with a person’s views on race) and killed the 3 people not over their religion or race but because of a long-standing parking dispute.
The story lingered for a day or two before quietly slipping from the media’s sight. Now, this story, like Giffords mass shooting, Aurora mass shooting, and the shooting of Michael Brown, provides another example of the Mainstream Media (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, etc.) jumping onto a story they believe fits their own worldview, quickly constructing a narrative around it, only to see it be revealed that said narrative is completely false or things are far more complex than they appear.
Now, two things:
First, the media only considers the murder of non-whites news-relevant if the shooter is (1) white and (2) carried it out because of race/religion.
Now, in feminist media circles there is a thing called the Bechdel test which looks at films and asks the following questions about a film: (1) Does it feature more than one female character, (2) Do they talk to each other, and (3) Do they have a conversation where they talk about something other than a man? Now, even many feminists have pointed out its problems as movies such as Das Boot, Name of the Rose, and Stalag 17 would fail the test. Even Mulan fails. But even I can acknowledge it does raise a point about how women are written even if it misses the mark entirely (well-rounded characters are the problem).
Anyway, there is a similar test involving minority characters that runs along similar lines: do their interactions, or, rather, does their existence solely involve whites.
And it seems, the news media is only interested interested in minorities if their actions involve whites. Or to be more specific, as far as the media is concerned it seems members of a minority , unless said member is President, only exists when they are victims of white racism. How progressive.
Second, notice how the shooter’s wife was immediately more concerned about him being seen as a racist than as a person who callously took the lives of 3 other people. Claire Berlinski summed this up well:
“Have we actually entered a universe in which it sounds exonerating to say, “My husband shoots people in the head over long-standing parking disputes, regardless of their race, religion, or creed?””
It appears we have. It seems we have made such a monster out of racism that it dwarfs all other evils, making it an elevation of one’s character to discover that he would shoot a person in the head over a parking dispute whether he was white, black, or an Auburn fan.
He may be a callous, cold-blooded murderer who kills people over trivial parking disputes but at least he’s not a bigot.
Perhaps it is because the Left prefers the evils it can understand. Racism as an evil is easy to “understand” because it can be so easily attributed to “close-mindedness” or, as is common on campuses these days, “privilege”.
But the more ancient and universal evils; those listed in the Old Testament as Pride, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, Greed, and Wrath are a bit harder to understand and, as such, the media prefers to avoid discussion of them. You see, they exist in the heart of every man, woman, and child, no matter how tolerant and accepting they are of people of other races, religions, and sexual orientations, as Mr. Hicks, displaying perhaps the ultimate dangers of Wrath, if his wife’s claim is to be believed.
And it is that existence that is the ultimate proof of the flawed and fixed nature of humanity that progressivism, with its utopian ideals and unconstrained vision for the world, denies.