8 Things You May Not Know About Elliot Rodger’s Killing Spree
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The killing spree in Isla Vista by Elliot Rodger has grabbed the nation’s attention like no other news story in a long time. But there are many facts about Rodger that the media has botched, as well as serious questions to ask that don’t have easy soundbite answers. We compiled this list to try to elevate the public conversation.
1. He’s Not White
There have been many headlines like this from Salon.com, White Guy Killer Syndrome: Elliot Rodger’s Deadly Privileged Rage, or a popular story here on AlterNet: Yes, Elliot Rodger is 'White': What the Santa Barbara Shooter Can Teach Us About Race and Masculinity. But there’s a problem. Rodger wasn’t white. He was bi-racial.
As Jeff Yang writes on Quartz.com, “after seeing him consistently described as fitting the ‘typical mass shooter profile’ of a young, mentally disturbed white loner, I realized that both the conventional news and much of social media were making a profound and possibly important error. Because if you’re Asian, a single look at his picture is all you need to realize that Rodger was not white.” Yang continues:
"A little research exposed what should have been obvious: Rodger is the son of British-born filmmaker, Peter Rodger, known for assistant directing The Hunger Games, and Lichin “Chin” Rodger, a Malaysian Chinese nurse for film productions who met and befriended Hollywood royalty like Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas (whom she briefly dated), and, of course, Rodger’s father. His 141-page manifesto is filled with passages describing his bi-racial identity and how it played a deeper and darker role in Rodger’s pathology than anyone has been discussing."
And those are not the only clues he left.
2. Not White, But Elliot Rodger Was Overwhelmingly Racist
A lot has been written about his misogyny, which fills his manifesto, and how his rage at women fueled his rampage. But Rodger made no secret about how he also hated the men that women chose over him, especially when they were not white.
In January, Rodger went to a pick-up artist bashing website (PUAHate.com), now taken down, and responded to a person who identified himself as an Asian male, who wondered if wearing a particular type of shoes would help his chances with white women. Rodger replied, “Shoes won’t help you get white girls. White girls are disgusted by you, silly little Asian.” The other man then posted what he said were photos of himself with a white woman. Rodger dismissed the photos as fakes and added, “Full Asian men are disgustingly ugly and white girls would never go for you. You’re just butthurt that you were born as an Asian piece of shit, so you lash out by linking these fake pictures. You even admit that you wish you were half white. You’ll never be half-white and you’ll never fulfill your dream of marrying a white woman. I suggest you jump off a bridge.”
Rodger’s racism went beyond his put downs of Asians. “How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me?” he wrote in his manifesto, one of many examples of such jealousy. “I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more.”
3. What About Three Murdered Asians?
Much of the killing spree coverage has been focused on his rage at women, especially blondes. One childhood friend, a blonde, who is now a model, was scapegoated by the sicker elements of the mass media as being somehow responsible for his rage. But his first victims were three University of California, Santa Barbara, students—young Asian men stabbed in Rodger’s own apartment. This part of the murder spree remains mostly unexamined, and is probably a key to understanding how the whole horrible mess came about. The fact that his first three victims were all Asian, and all stabbed to death, is notable, criminologists have said, citing the enormous amount of rage involved.