Massive Texas biker gang shooting gets soft coverage, but we shouldn't be surprised
Nine dead. Eighteen injured. Nearly 200 arrested.
But apparently, not much to see here.
Looking at the media coverage of the May 17 mass murder among Texas motorcycle gangs, you would get the impression that it is not a big deal.
Rival gangs started shooting at each other, and at the police, outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. Police described the scene as “gruesome.”
If the Texas biker gangs were black, the media would be on this thing like white on rice. Yet even though they were armed, because they were white, they were treated as human beings, with dignity.
As ThinkProgress reported, many of the gang members appear to be not only white but a number are white supremacists with Nazi SS tattoos and patches. Just for reference, under Hitler, the SS, or Schutzstaffel, served as the Nazis’ elite paramilitary force and one of the most powerful units of the Third Reich. The SS ran the Nazi police state, the concentration camps and the death squads that went around Europe exterminating people on sight.
Although it was a mass murder scene with armed gangs who were firing on police, these murder suspects and presumed participants in the bloodbath appear to be hanging out, chilling and holding tight, just getting some fresh air. And the cops didn’t seem to be all too concerned.
State and local police were there, to be sure, but where were the tanks, the teargas, the stun grenades, the Tasers and the other treatment usually reserved for peaceful black protestors? These white bikers were not hogtied and rounded up in paddy wagons. Most of all, no one is calling these white criminals thugs or gangbangers, as such language typically is reserved for young black men, including unarmed black men who are shot and killed by police. Rather, they are called “motorcycle clubs,” which suggests a harmless, recreational purpose, as in getting together on the weekends to ride bikes together, maybe paying a membership fee, perhaps even getting involved in the community and donating to the charity of their choice.
Nevertheless, the FBI calls these gangs “serious criminal enterprises.” And this massacre is being called one of the worst gunfights in Waco’s history. But you would not know that looking at the pictures coming from Waco.
So, where’s the outcry from the media? Where is the 24-7 news coverage from Fox News and the drumbeat of condemnation of white criminality from conservative mouthpieces?
The fact is that the vast majority of mass shooters are white, and white criminals straight out of a massacre are treated with more respect than black victims such as Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown or Freddie Gray. For example, the media depicted James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting suspect—on trial for killing 12 and maiming 70—as a brilliant science student, complete with suit and tie. And remember that Holmes, like so many other white mass murder suspects, manage to get out alive.
Moreover, society has decided it will tolerate white gun violence, as the Second Amendment and all this “open carry” mess was really meant for whites to protect themselves from blacks, whether slave revolts back in the day or the black boogeyman today. And if a black men dares to exercise his right to open carry a weapon in public, he is arrested.
Meanwhile, in Texas, policies that advocate for gun extremist backwardness and expansive gun rights are on the front burner, with a bill under consideration that would allow licensed gun owners the right to open carry in most public places, except for businesses whose regulations are against it. Cities were unable to opt out of the unfettered open carry legislation. It sounds outrageous, but remember, this is the state where Republicans are scared the big black man (that would be President Obama) is planning a military takeover.
And no one really thinks the Waco gangland shootout will have any impact on Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) signing the bill into law.
Yet, obviously there is a problem here, if Waco is any measure. But since the alleged perpetrators are not black, and they are not ISIS, we can say that boys will be (white) boys.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove