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Professor Blames Mass Murders on ‘White Male Privilege’

Spoiled, frustrated, disconnected white males who feel ignored or marginalized take their anger out on society through mass murder, argues a Pasadena City College professor in a line of reasoning some expect to grow in popularity on college campuses in the near future.

Pasadena City College professor of history and gender studies Hugo Schwyzer told National Review Online this week that he believes many crimes, dating back to John Hinckley’s attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, are caused in part by “frustrated white male privilege.”

In recent years, according to Schwyzer, mass murders have increasingly been committed by “white males from bucolic suburban settings” who may be experiencing a form of cognitive dissonance; having been told “the world is supposed to be your oyster,” these young men are “miserable in the midst of abundance” and feel “powerless compared to everyone else around them.” …

In the wake of the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., Schwyzer wrote, “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. This is why, while men of all races and classes murder their intimate partners, it is privileged young white dudes who are by far the likeliest to shoot up schools and movie theaters.”

And Shwyzer is not alone. A 2010 paper by SUNY sociology professors Rachel Kalish and Michael Kimmel argues that “the culture of hegemonic masculinity in the U.S. creates a sense of aggrieved entitlement conducive to violence.”

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