Death By Entitlement
He had a “hit list” and a “rape list”.
This revelation from the Dayton shooter should speak volumes to all of us. We have reached a time in our country where entitled White men feel so empowered that they feel they can kill anyone who doesn’t worship the ground that they walk on.
Entitlement is nothing new in this country. We were a nation founded on slavery that engaged in a genocide that wiped out all but 5 percent of the native population. We fought a civil war with half the population perfectly content to have those from the African continent be seen as property or, at best, 3/5 of a White man. For our first 300 years, we saw women as inherently inferior and unworthy of participating in our democracy. Up until 1954, we saw no problem in educating the races differently. And it wasn’t until 2015 where we decided that everyone was legally entitled to marry the person that they love. For 400 years and our first 43 presidents, White men had it pretty good in this country.
But after the election of Barack Obama, a large percentage of White men got scared. Some of them got scared because the man’s middle name was Hussein. Others were scared because he may have been a secret Muslim. Others still were scared because he may have been born in Kenya. But mostly, these White men got scared because this Obama fellow had a year-round tan that they had never seen before by someone in the White House. He represented something foreign to them. Foreign in his experience. Foreign in the way that he talked with his peers. Foreign in the way that he interacted with certain individuals of his own race. Foreign in the way that, for the first time, they were unable to see themselves in the President of the United States.
This lasted for 8 whole years.
During that time, this dark-skinned president did some things that were unsettling to many White Americans. He helped legalize marriage equality. He wore a tan suit. He talked about systemic racial injustice. He ate mustard on his burger. He ended the war in Iraq and brought home the majority of troops from Afghanistan. He saluted a Marine with a coffee cup in his hand. All of these actions earned the ire of Barack Obama on Fox News and all of then got roughly equal airtime.
But through all these changes that brought about more and more inclusivity, there remained a large segment of White America that was deeply disturbed by what they were seeing. This new acceptance of Muslims ran counter to what they had heard about all of them being terrorists after 9/11. This new acceptance of immigrants, especially Mexicans, ran counter to who they believed were stealing their jobs. This new acceptance of gays and lesbians ran counter to their long-standing notion that it’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. And this new acceptance of Black Lives Matters ran counter to the idea that the police would in any way do something that would not help the people they were sworn to serve and protect.
So, in 2016 they voted.
They voted for the guy who would restore America to what they believed it should be. A country where Mexicans were seen as rapists and criminals and would be kept out of the country with a big, beautiful wall. A country where we’d stop the Muslim invasion by banning them from our shores. A country where we’d use our military force wherever and whenever we needed. A country whose freeloaders wouldn’t be entitled to the health care. A country that wouldn’t allow the transgender folks to dilute our glorious military. A country where you wouldn’t have to apologize for saying ‘Merry Christmas.’ This is what they voted for in 2016 and this was the vision of the country they hoped to restore.
When that happened, when Donald Trump was elected, that was supposed to be the end of it. America was supposed to be great again. No more Mexicans or Muslims or queers in the military. A White, Christian nation, just as God intended.
But a funny thing happened over the last 30 months. Donald Trump’s promises failed to materialize. There was no big, beautiful wall. There was a Muslim ban, but they still could worship freely. There was a tax break, but it didn’t seem to help the average family. There was a transgender military ban, but it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference. Christmas was back in season but the country still had millions of people who for some reason didn’t celebrate the holiday. No, it’s almost as if what the president was saying was somehow not true and that simply couldn’t be the case.
And this caused confusion among the MAGA masses. Why hadn’t everything gone as Donald Trump promised?
So they began to listen more closely to his rhetoric. It wasn’t that he wasn’t doing enough or was breaking promises, it was that they weren’t doing enough. They had to work harder to fend off this infestation that was occurring in our country.
The Dayton shooter was an incel. He believed he was entitled to a world where he could choose who was part of his community and who would have sex with him. He believed this because the President acted in exactly the same way. The President of the United States took it upon himself to ban certain people from this country and the President of the United States admitted to sexual assault and has been credibly charged by over 20 women of committing this heinous crime. When somebody in a position of authority who you admire acts in a certain way, you want to emulate that person. For the Dayton shooter, his role model in creating a “hit list” and “rape list” was none other than Donald Trump.
At the end of the day, nine individuals lost their lives because an White man couldn’t handle being lied to. He couldn’t handle the fact that his own inability to connect with his community or with the opposite sex wasn’t because of some foreign invasion but because he had a shitty personality. But rather than take a long, hard look in the mirror, this individual found a kindred spirit in the White House. This White man murdered his own sister in cold blood and would have murdered dozens more if he hadn’t been killed himself. This White man was nothing but a coward but his cowardice was inspired by the figurehead in the Oval Office.
This is the world we now occupy. These entitled White men are now are now armed and dangerous and willing to kill for Donald Trump. They are his army, unorganized yes, but still very dangerous. They have easy access to military-grade assault weapons thanks to the NRA. They have online communities with sites like 8chan and the dark web. They have blueprints, thanks to excessive media coverage of each and every killing that takes place. And they have a complicit Republican Party, led by Mitch McConnell, perfectly willing to unleash more and more bloodshed.
These entitled White men are a dying breed. They know it. Donald Trump knows it. But they will not go down without a fight. As we’ve seen, they are armed and dangerous. We must remain vigilant. With over 400 years of entitlement, these White men will not simply give up overnight. They will fight until their last day for their vision of a country that hasn’t existed in over a century. But that hasn’t stopped them before and it certainly won’t stop them now. Like a cornered animal, they are desperate but it is in that desperation that they are most dangerous. It is up to all of us to weather this final storm and to emerge with a society where White entitlement doesn’t get you killed for being out on the street late on a Saturday night in Dayton, Ohio.
And it is up to us to call out the dangers of this White entitlement in the age of Donald Trump.
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