Posted on June 7, 2019

Most Mass Shooters Are Black

Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, June 7, 2019

A city engineer killed 12 people in Virginia Beach last weekend. DeWayne Craddock resigned from his job Friday morning and then shot up his workplace, killing his boss and other co-workers before the police killed him. His motive is unknown.

Mass shootings are often national news and prompt warnings about the dangers white men pose to the country. The Virginia Beach shooting was different. The shooter did not fit the angry white man stereotype; he was black.

Whenever there is a mass shooting, we are likely to hear about “toxic white masculinity.” After the Parkland, Florida, school massacre, Stony Brook University sociology professor Michael Kimmel said white men’s “aggrieved entitlement” may be responsible. Sky News asked, “Why are white men more likely to carry out mass shootings?” The article didn’t answer the question, but it did call shooter Nikolas Cruz—who is Hispanic—a white man.

After the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, CNN took the same view: “White men warn the public about vicious Central American gangs invading the United States, even though white men have committed more mass shootings than any other group.” The writer accused white men of projecting their violent impulses onto non-whites.

Media portrayals and assumptions are wrong. Mass killers are not disproportionately white—any more than serial killers are. Craddock is more representative of the typical mass shooter than an angry white man.

Virginia Beach, Virginia: People stop to pay their respects to those killed in a mass shooting. Eleven city employees and one private contractor were shot to death by engineer DeWayne Craddock. (Credit Image: © Jeff Moore/ZUMA Wire)

A 2016 New York Times report found that around 75 percent of mass shooters in 2015 were black. The report defined mass shootings as incidents with four or more dead or injured. The Times noted that most of the “high-profile massacres” were by white men, while the vast majority of shootings that did not get wide coverage were committed by blacks. These included drive-by shootings and other routine acts of violence in “economically downtrodden neighborhoods.”

The actual percentage of black mass shooters was probably higher than 75 percent. The New York Times reported that “nearly half of the cases remain unsolved,” and its figures were based only on assailants who were identified.

Mother Jones has a mass shooting database of 112 incidents. Fifty-five percent of the shooters were white and 18 percent were black. The Mother Jones database is often cited to show whites are the majority of mass shooters, but it shows whites are still underrepresented and blacks are overrepresented as perpetrators.

Mother Jones and The New York Times reach different conclusions on racial proportions because the Mother Jones’ definition of a mass shooting is narrower: One gunman kills at least four people in a public place. Mother Jones makes some exceptions: It includes the Columbine school shooting, even though there were two gunmen. Mother Jones excludes gang violence and other criminal activity, which also helps explain why its data are so different from those of the Times. It is almost as if the database were deliberately designed to include white shooters and exclude black shooters.

The two most recent shootings in Mother Jones’ grim database were committed by black men. One is the Virginia Beach shooting, the other is a massacre that occurred at an Aurora, Illinois, manufacturing plant in February. Gary Martin shot up the plant after he was fired, killing five co-workers before he was shot by police. Martin had warned a colleague that he would go on a shooting spree if he lost his job.

The Mother Jones definition of mass shootings leaves out other recent shootings almost certainly committed by blacks: A week before the Virginia Beach massacre, one person was killed and nine were wounded when a black block party in Chesapeake, Virginia, was engulfed in gunfire. An April shooting at a West Baltimore cookout left one dead and six injured. A 2017 gang-related shooting at a Little Rock, Arkansas, hip-hop club left 28 injured.

One surprising omission from the Mother Jones database is the 2017 Antioch, Tennessee, church shooting. A black man, Emanuel Samuelson, shot up a majority-white church before an armed parishioner tackled him. Mr. Samuelson killed one woman and wounded eight other people. He was a lone gunman not involved in gang activity who targeted a public place, so he should have been in Mother Jones’ database.

Mr. Samuelson shot up the Burnette Church of Christ Chapel because he wanted to kill at least 10 whites in retaliation for the 2015 Charleston church shooting, in which a white man killed nine blacks. Last month, Samuelson was found guilty of first-degree murder and 42 other counts, including civil rights intimidation, and sentenced to life without parole.

Mr. Samuelson is one of many black shooters who wanted to kill whites. In July 2016, Micah X. Johnson killed five Dallas, Texas, police officers and wounded several others. “The suspect said . . . he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” then-Dallas police chief David Brown said. Johnson was associated with black nationalist groups.

Just a few weeks later, Gavin Eugene Long killed three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Long was a black nationalist who had written a book declaring white people inferior to blacks. His manifesto called the shooting a “necessary evil” in the fight against police oppression.

Omar Thornton shot and killed eight co-workers at a Manchester, Connecticut, beer distillery in 2010. Thornton’s family claimed it was because of racism in the workplace. Before he turned the gun on himself, he called his family to say, “I killed the five racists.” All of Thornton’s victims were white. Police found no evidence of racial discrimination at the distillery.

Jamaican immigrant Colin Ferguson killed six people and wounded 19 in a 1993 shooting aboard a Long Island, New York, commuter train. Mr. Ferguson’s lawyers claimed he was motivated by “black rage” against racist whites and that he could not be held criminally liable. He had long raged against whites and called for revolutionary violence against them. None of his victims was black.

DeWayne Craddock killed several blacks in his Virginia Beach rampage, so he may not have been motivated by hatred of whites, but he was no outlier. By any sensible definition, most mass shooters are black.