If you are not familiar with the crash of Germanwings please check out this article, “Co-pilot deliberately crashed Germanwings plane“.
The following are excerpts from Identities.Mic entitled, “Everyone’s Trying Really Hard Not to Call the Germanwings Co-Pilot a Terrorist” by Zak Cheney-Rice. Cheney-Rice explains that crimes committed by White people are not viewed or explained the same way as crimes committed by People of Colour. It is in our criminal justice system that the privilege of having White or light skin is glaringly obvious, but our rationales dismiss it because we have centuries of cultural conditioning to fall back on. No one is blaming anyone. Acknowledging the privilege that White or light skin gives you is a positive thing. It allows you to help dismantle the severe systemic racism in our cultures and to challenge your own personal biases that WE ALL HAVE. Awareness and acknowledgement are a good thing. We can’t hide from the truth any longer. It is uncomfortable to realize but it must be realized. But, I can only speak about the privileges I have because of my White skin so this article can explain the rest since it is their story.
Note: Comments may be censored if deemed to be racist, or inappropriate in some way. Some comments may not be responded to depending on my comfort level or overall comfort in speaking about an experience that is not mine. I am also completely aware that many of my readers have other oppressed identities such as being a cis woman or having a disability. Having White or light skin can still be a privilege in those groups and I say that not to diminish the suffering and discrimination that has been experienced but to again challenge you to become aware of the barriers that society has put in place for People of Colour, especially when there are multiple oppressed identities.
“White people can’t be terrorists…Disturbed? Yes. Mentally ill? Probably. A troubled outcast? Of course. But “terrorist”? That term is reserved for a special type of person, someone with brown skin, a foreign-sounding name, roots in the Middle East or North Africa and a progressively anti-Western Internet history — probably typed in Arabic…Terrorists, we’re told, are Muslim. And if anything happens to disrupt that notion, we have a really hard time explaining it.”
“Breivik [massacred of 69 children at a Norway summer camp in 2011], was, by definition, a terrorist. Yet here are some of the terms the media used to describe him: “Radical loser.” “Lone ‘crusader.'” “Angry fantasist.” “White supremacist.” “Terrorist” was rarely mentioned, if at all.”
“People have avoided applying the “terrorist” label to Lubitz, largely out of uncertainty, which is fair. We don’t know if it’s true. But history suggests that, were he a killer of any other shade, we’d be far less generous with our reservations. White killers get the benefit of humanization. We explain their existence through their broken dreams, their struggles and their afflictions. It’s part of why Muslim killers are consistently presented to us in mug shots, or why black victims — like Michael Brown, who never killed anyone at all — are presented as scowling, threatening “thugs.””