At Progressive Revival, Paul Raushenbush takes the occasion of the Fort Hood tragedy to point out that American culture and media consistently treat “White, Male, Christians” as a normative individual identity, while members of other minority groups often feel pressure to distance themselves from acts performed by people who look or sound like them:
We who are White, Christian and Male (WCMs) should ask ourselves this basic question: When we heard about the Oklahoma bomber, Columbine, or the shooter at the Holocaust museum—all horrible crimes committed by WCMs did we think to ourselves—‘oh, this will reflect badly on me?’
The answer is no. Why? Because still in this country, White, Male, Christians are considered normative and therefore the range of WCM behavior, from very good to very bad, simply represents the wide range of human behavior. I know I have nothing in common with Timothy McVeigh and so does the rest of American society. Unfortunately, people of other races and religions in America do not have the benefit of recognition that there are very good people and very bad people among them. Instead, the actions of one person of a minority group reflects upon the reputation and sense of security and worth of the entire group.
This has to stop.
Read the rest of the piece here.