What prompts me to write about Aaron Alexis is that Roissy (or whoever he has delegated Chateau Heartiste to, if that story is true; absent stronger evidence, I don’t buy it) has blamed Alexis’ Navy Yard massacre on racism. I don’t know whether Roissy actually believes this; he can be as paranoid as Richard Nixon, but he can also be a shitheaded racebaiting troll.
To be perfectly clear, I think he’s been spot-on about a number of recent white-on-black assaults and murders and about the subsequent sanitization of their racial angle by the mainstream media. Those cases have been very deliberate, very hateful attacks on completely innocent whites for no reason other than their race.
Aaron Alexis’ rampage was nothing of the sort.
Probably the closest Alexis came to racially motivated violence was in 2004, when he shot out the tires of a Latin American construction worker’s car in Seattle. The only bases I have to infer a racial motivation in this case are that the victim worked with the police through a Spanish-language interpreter and that there is substantial hostility towards Latinos in working-class trades in the United States, including construction. Some of the strongest hostility comes from blacks, who are more likely than whites to be in competition with Latinos for unskilled and semiskilled jobs. That said, there’s a good chance that the victim’s race played little or no role in Alexis’ motivation to shoot out his tires. Much stranger ideas were rattling around in his mind.
Roissy’s reference to Alexis as an “Angry Black Man” is an abuse of semantics. He was obviously angry, and he was obviously black, but his anger and his blackness don’t appear to have been related. Many blacks peddle racial grievances, some of them quite dubious; Alexis peddled Navy-microwaving-my-mind-so-I-can’t-sleep grievances. When he told the Newport, RI, police that he had to keep changing hotels because he couldn’t sleep, he didn’t blame Whitey; he blamed the US Navy and the team that it had sent to follow him. The Navy gets blamed for a lot of things by its personnel, but industrial vibrator goons squads are not usually among them.
This guy was totally cuckoo-bananas. My sweet lord of the nut harvest, his hopper runneth over. His complaints to roommates about discrimination (plausible, but also plausibly exaggerated to no end) and about being inadequately paid by the military contractor that employed him (the top ten contractors being so public-spirited that they’ve all been convicted of fraud on the government, so definitely plausible) had nothing on his extremely disturbed delusions about being microwave-vibrated all night by Naval goons who followed him from motel to motel.
The black criminal underclass doesn’t do nuts. If Alexis had tried to hang out with its gangbangers, he would have been discharged on grounds of nigga be wack, or maybe on grounds of go back to the Navy nigga you fuckin’ crazy. Vary the parlance as you like, so long as it’s crude, hostile, and racially inflammatory. Black underclass thugs are violent and evil, but crazy they are not. They are thoroughly sane. Even their grievances are not objectively deranged. It’s fallacious and self-serving of them to shift all blame for all of their hardships in life onto Whitey, especially if all they’ve done with their lives is hang around the hood, sell some dope, and do an occasional drive-by, but racism and predation on the poor exist. Racially biased structural impediments to lawfully getting ahead in the ghetto are a matter of perception and degree; three guys following Aaron Alexis around Newport to give him vibrations such as the Beach Boys never committed to song are not. (Although, come to think of it, and I’ve thought of it before, Brian Wilson and his music are hella weird. In at least one case, they’re also eerily topical to Aaron Alexis’ state of mind in Newport last month.)
The black underclass doesn’t do aviation electrician’s mate certificates, either. The black underclass doesn’t pursue bachelor’s degrees from Embry-Riddle. Aaron Alexis had a very serious temper problem and an arrest record, but his behavior was not of a piece with black underclass wilding. It was too idiosyncratic. It was too unique.
That’s an important thing to understand about the black underclass. The black underclass thug is very much a social animal. His milieu is conformist beyond what most whites can imagine. These thugs don’t think for themselves, and they don’t act on their own motivations. They defer to the sensibilities of the gangbanger hivemind, and they do their violence to impress their homeys, who are equally deferential to the same hivemind.
Alexis, by contrast, thought and acted on his own behalf. He didn’t give a damn what his homeboys would think of his deeds; he had no homeboys to impress. The same thing was true of Christopher Dorner: his beef with Evans, Quan, Tingirides, and the LAPD was entirely his own beef. Both of these guys, Alexis and Dorner, would have been regarded by the average black underclass gang as treacherously “white.” They were loners who marched to the beat of their own drummers. To the US Navy’s possible embarrassment, they were both veterans. Alexis had the aforementioned aviation electrical training. Dorner was a competent, if quite weird, writer, with a highly developed, if severely distorted, sense of right and wrong.
The average Florence Avenue gangbanger is barely literate and chronically unemployed.
Alexis and Dorner were strange birds, not ones to fly with the rest of the flock. Certainly not with a flock like that, in any event.
Race factored into their rampages, but not in the standard “kill Whitey” sense that predominates among the hard cases of the ghetto. Dorner apparently had some paranoid perceptions of racism, and Alexis may have. In both cases, however, the racial grievance-mongering was part of a long-simmering mixxy-uppy of broader workplace grievances, including batshit crazy ones in Alexis’ case.
Alexis was crazier than Dorner by a Georgia country mile. Dorner was petty, tightly wound, vindictive, and boorish about idiocy like “a man’s name,” but I wouldn’t be at all surprised that his main stressors were genuine and serious. His training officer, Teresa Evans, may well have kicked a handcuffed suspect in the face; no compelling evidence has been presented that she wasn’t what fucked Christopher Gettler’s face up. Nasty racial invective in police vans is also plausible enough.
Dorner’s argument in his manifesto that the federal consent decree governing the LAPD should never have been lifted strikes me as powerful evidence that he wasn’t just looking out for himself. I just have trouble imagining a hardcore ass-covering narcissist even thinking in such terms. That kind of argumentation is the polar opposite of the tautological appeals to authority that most bad cops use to deflect blame. As far as the notion of the LAPD having been thoroughly cleaned up by Bratton, Beck and the feds is concerned, consider that Bernard Parks, the none-too-clean-and-upstanding LAPD Chief during the Rampart scandal, is now a Los Angeles city councilor, and that a number of his similarly dubious contemporaries remain on the force. Remember, too, that it wasn’t even a generation ago that the Rampart scandal blew open after a very dirty cop named Rafael Perez was caught with his hand in the coke jar and turned state’s evidence on all his crooked buddies.
(While we’re on the subject of official corruption, Karen Garcia has made a disturbing case that Naval security investigators allowed Alexis to slip through the cracks because he wasn’t a political threat.)
Alexis and Dorner were not white-girl-bleed-a-lot racial murderers. Even if they had a bee or two in the bonnet about race, they weren’t out to get Whitey. Nor were they out to get Whitey’s close cousin, the Korean shopkeepers whose properties were pillaged en masse on the pretext of the Rodney King beating acquittals. Their killings were much more targeted than that. They were not motivated by an inchoate sense of constant racial discrimination, even if they perceived more discrimination than was actually the case. Dorner’s goal was to punish specific LAPD cops who he believed had done him wrong; Alexis was totally fucking nuts, but only about the Navy and its microwaving field teams. Neither of these guys was a generalized threat to the safety or welfare of Whitey. A dangerously large swath of the black underclass is.
For that matter, Dorner and Alexis did nothing that Timothy McVeigh or Andrew Kehoe might not have done. In fairness, though, the latter two gents would have found it awfully underwhelming to do their violence with mere guns.