In May 2014, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and wounded 14 others in a misogyny-fueled rampage in the town of Isla Vista, California, before committing suicide.
Shortly after the shooting, a film production company began making Del Playa, a horror/thriller film that appears to have been based on the incident. Producers are saying there’s no connection, but the Change.org petition disagrees.
Keep the lights on, California.
I swear I’m coming home to you.
Between the boys and the bullet wounds,
I forgot to keep the candles burning.
Keep your girls strong, California,
we all know about the tragedy.
Your boys drive sorrow and SUVs,
like to talk gunshots and leggy blondes,
like to talk murder with their camcorders on.
I’m sorry about the killers, Cali,
blood pooled in the summer heat.
I’m sorry about the lives we lost last may,
buried under bodies in the dawn of day –
but, California, please,
keep the lights on for me.
I swear I’ve got the words,
I just don’t know what to say.
A Vigil for the Victims of the 2014 UCSB Shooting |d.a.s
In my high school, we had this special area in our cafeteria set aside specifically for seniors that we called “senior tables”. Any time any underclassmen were sitting at these tables, seniors would immediately kick them out. The senior tables were this sort of rite of passage for seniors and every senior felt entitled to a seat at the table. Every senior knew that juniors, sophomores, and freshman did not “earn” their seat at those tables.
Now, I see this type of culture all around us. You may be thinking, “how is this relevant to our culture in any way, shape or form?” Well, let me tell you. Let’s all reflect on the Elliot Rodgers case: Elliot Rodgers was a half white, half Asian young male. Let us replace “seniors” with the wealthy white males of America. Let us replace “senior tables” with women. Let us replace “underclassmen” with the non-white or non-privileged males of America. Now, we have Elliot Rodgers, much like a junior in their last week of school who is, “basically a senior” so has all the rights that high school assigns to seniors. Rodgers thought that because he was basically white he deserved a beautiful woman more than any other colored male. Rodgers felt that he, himself, was essentially a senior (because he was a half white male) and thus deserved a seat at the senior table (a beautiful woman) while other underclassmen (non-white/non-privileged males) did not deserve the seat (beautiful women).
Now, let’s take a look at how fucked up this is.
This is fucked up because women are essentially being treated like an item that every white male automatically has entitlement to, regardless of what a woman wants, and completely disregarding that women are humans and not a “senior table” or an item that is to be earned by all wealthy white men. He focused on how women owed him something just because he existed. He targeted women as if it was their fault, as a whole, that he was a virgin. Next, let’s examine this idea of all wealthy white men. This is fucked up because Elliot Rodgers assumed that ALL wealthy white men had this perfect life full of luxury and beautiful women falling all over them. This, in itself is yet another fucked up stereotype. Rodgers assumed that just because a man was white and wealthy, he automatically had a better life than him. Now, let us discuss those males who were either not privileged or not white. Elliot Rodger’s view on this demographic is fucked up because he believed that they were inferior to wealthy white males, just as underclassmen were inferior to seniors.
Elliot Rodgers targeted women because he blamed them for his lack of sexual intimacy.
Elliot Rodgers targeted all wealthy white men because he hated that they had better lives than him; that they took what he thought he deserved.
Elliot Rodgers targeted non-white and non-privileged males because he thought they were inferior and that that should prevent them from having the life he wanted, yet it did not.
Elliot Rodgers targeted everyone. Elliot Rodgers was not just against women, not just against wealthy white males, and not just against non-white and non-privileged males. He was against humanity. It was a fucked up view of the world.
Yes, each of these demographics have their own problems, whether or not people want to believe it. Women do have problems that men will never understand. Wealthy white males do have problems that women and non-privileged/non-white men will never understand. Non-priveleged and non-white do have problems that women and white men will never understand. We ALL have problems that others will not be able to understand. So, let’s not focus on who has the bigger problem. Let’s not even focus on whose problems are more important. Let’s focus on not perpetuating these problems. Let’s focus on not perpetuating stereotypes. Let’s focus on listening to others and realizing that they have problems, too. As humans, we should not allow men like Elliot Rodgers to turn us all against each other. This is not a war between men and women, classes, or races. This is not a competition of who lives a harder life. We are all privileged in some way, aren’t we? You are lucky enough to be reading this post on a computer. You are lucky enough to be alive after an incident like the Elliot Rodgers shooting. See, we are all privileged in some way. We all have something that others do not have. Be thankful for that. After an incident like the UCSB shooting, we should be spending our time being thankful that we are healthy and okay. We should be thankful for those around us, even those who we desperately disagree with regarding politics, religion, etc.
Because if we listen to and love one another, it will lead to a world with more caring and less harming. I’m not saying this will solve all of our problems, but it might open our eyes to everyone else’s problems, too. Because, after all, everyone’s problems matter, even in the smallest way.
People defend Elliot Rodger, saying that it’s women’s fault for not giving the “nice guy” a chance.
Imagine if he was actually a nice guy. Imagine if he did not murder people just because he couldn’t get laid. Imagine if he did not feel entitled to sex or anything else. Imagine if he respected women’s right to choose who they want to have sex with, date, or be friends with, regardless of their reasons. Imagine if he didn’t blame women for rejecting him, but blamed popular social constructs that pressured him into pretending to be someone he’s not. Imagine if he hated pickup artists, not just because their advice doesn’t work, but also because their advice is sexist.
I bet that those same people who defend him would call him a white-knight mangina who’s desperate to get laid. But since he hated women and acted violent, and therefore conformed to exactly what was expected of him as a man, people defend him.
Mentally ill people are more likely to become victims of violent crime than to commit them. The issue is not that we should stop selling guns to people with mental health issues. We should stop selling guns to entitled white male assholes.
They are outraged that people had the nerve to blame their influence. This young man took to heart many of their philosophies. He was taught that if his perceived entitlement was not fulfilled, it justified his behavior.
I’m filled with such saddening disappointment. A huge wake up call was shot across the bow of all men, and many of us seem only concerned with deflecting blame.
This “outrage” post is stickied to the top of the forum. That is their top priority.
It does not occur to them that maybe their first priority should be to condemn this behavior–to say that using violence as a response to rejection is not okay.
Your mothers, your sisters, your daughters… they are frightened. Just saying “no” is a fearful prospect.
That is not okay.
But instead of worrying about them, all you seem to care about is not being blamed.
Top from left: George Chen, Weihan Wang, Cheng Yuan Hong
Bottom from left: Veronika Weiss, Katherine Cooper, Christopher Michaels-Martinez
How is it that I’ve seen pictures of the UCSB shooter so many times now, but not once have I heard anyone mention the names of the victims.
George Chen, 19, was studying computer science. He volunteered as a camp counselor and loved working with children.
Weihan Wang, 20, know as David, was studying computer engineering and was planning on starting a business with his friends. He was supposed to go to Yellowstone later this year for his 21st birthday
Cheng Hong, 20, went by James and was also pursuing a career in computer science. He was one of those people who are quiet, but friendly with a smile that could light up the room.
Veronika Weiss was a first year student at the university, only 19. Veronika took part in cross country, baseball, swimming, and water polo while at her high school. She was a very bright young woman and specialized in math academically.
22 year old Katherine Cooper was known as Katie. She was supposed to graduate that year with a degree in art history. Katie’s friends remember her for her outgoing and energetic personality.
Chris Michaels-Martinez, 20, was a lover of baseball since. He was studying English literature and was looking forward to the possibility of studying abroad in London. He also had plans for law school after his time at the university.
These victims were real people. They had families who have been left heart broken and friends who are left wondering why the world has to be so unfair. Remember their names, not the shooter’s.
People always identify and talk about the shooter giving them fame in these situations. Though they never seem to focus on the victims who are real people that lost their lives because of some crazy asshole. It’s kinda hard to watch because you can see how full of emotion he is and how much this destroyed him.
We’ve had 20 years of mass murders, throughout which I have repeatedly told CNN and our other media: If you don’t want to propagate more mass murders, don’t start the stories with sirens blaring, don’t have photographs of the killer, don’t make this 24/7 coverage. Do everything you can not to make the body count the lead story, not to make the killer some kind of anti-hero; do localize this story to the affected community and make it as boring as possible in every other market. Because every time we have intense saturation coverage of a mass murder, we expect to see one or two more within a week.