Different Kind of Dumb

David Hogg is pontificating about the reasons for mass shootings in the US:

I think it comes down to reckoning with our history, and our history of white supremacy in the United States, and the fact that we live in a post-genocidal society, oftentimes that was orchestrated by the United States government and that, if we want to talk about mass shootings, we have to recognize the massive number of indigenous mass shootings that were committed by the United States government.

Yes, young people have always been completely dumb. I was probably not much better at his age. OK, I exaggerate but I was dumb, too, in my own way. But in my youth we had no way of forcing everybody to hear the idiotic ideas our unformed brains were generating.

Once again, I feel extremely sorry for this young man who apparently has no adults in his life who care about him and who’d help him not to make an idiot out of himself so publicly.

16 thoughts on “Different Kind of Dumb”

  1. Okay – I might be reading this wrong, but what’s stupid about Hogg’s position? (Besides the fact that he says that there have been “indigenous mass shootings,” which implies that indigenous people were the ones doing the shooting, when what he really seems to mean is that the American government committed genocide on indigenous people across this continent. Is that the stupid part? If so, I agree that he’s not saying what he actually means.)

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      1. Not much more recent, if you’re talking about the 1930s and 40s. US is late 19th century. My grandparents, within whose lifetime some of it was, talked about how sad even though they were of course on the winning side.

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        1. Holodomor and Holocaust are still way more recent and are having none of this kind of effect.

          I can’t believe we are seriously discussing the brain fartology of a mentally ill teenager.

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    1. Also, this particular kind of genocide – there’s no place except for the Antarctica where it didn’t happen. It’s the entire history of the world, every tiny patch of soil. One group displaces another group displaces another and another and so on. Americans aren’t exceptional in this, much as they like to think they are.

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      1. That’s the standard US excuse, actually: it’s natural to be a settler colonialist, fight the Indians and hold slaves, etc., everyone does it but we’re the best at it!

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      2. But isn’t there a sense here among average Americans that what America did in western expansion (let alone colonization) is completely no big deal, whereas in other nations with more modern genocide (say, Germany), there seems to be a collective sense of guilt about the Holocaust? Am I wrong? I didn’t know much of anything about killing off indigenous people in America until I was in graduate school. I had to have understood all those people didn’t just disappear, but I’d never been taught that they were victims of genocide — not like the Holocaust.

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        1. People don’t commit mass shootings because of genocide or slavery in the 19th century… or just because guns aren’t hard to get.

          They commit mass shooting because they’re crazy, and as I put it once “crazy people + guns = bad”

          The questions is “Why are there so many crazy people in the US?” and the answer has precious little to do with historical sins of the country.

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          1. Cliff wrote: “The questions is “Why are there so many crazy people in the US?” and the answer has precious little to do with historical sins of the country.”

            Personally, I think the craziness in America is due to unfettered capitalism. I think a lot of people want to fill the holes in their lives with “stuff,” and it never works.

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              1. So why is US more crazy in this way, then? Marcia I think is talking about materialism / the expectation that having things cure emotional pain…

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        2. This is the impression I have, yes. Here we’re taught to be collectively proud of these things — they Had To Be Done whereas the Holocaust was a bad thing (but it’s considered bad largely because we decided to go into the war against Germany — otherwise it might be just considered an Error, not an Evil). We did learn about the genocide in school but in the culture at large it’s no big deal / good / necessary — you know? You’re armed against those Indians and you shoot.

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          1. That was true decades ago. Today’s students know nothing about anything but they know the entire litany of how Americans are super duper evil and genocided everybody. Hogg was taught according to the same public school curriculum used everywhere.

            These students, gosh, their eyes go dead the second you move one inch off the topic of how extraordinarily evil the US is. Because that’s the only narrative they were taught and nothing else sounds familiar.

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  2. Not having grown up here, though, it’s hard to realize how much we idealize this, though. Our identity is that we shoot. You get so much of this via popular culture early on.

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  3. It’s absurd to call colonial British/American treatment of the so-called Native Americans (who were also immigrants — they just got here first) “genocide.” If the white colonists had wanted to kill those primitive innocents off, they’ll all be dead.

    They were simply displaced to make room for a technologically superior Western scientific culture that was spreading its advanced civilization across the globe. North America is a gigantic continent with plenty of empty spaces, and the Indians had plenty of room to move out of the way.

    As Clarissa says, this isn’t the history of the United States — it’s the history of the world. And if those of us on the winning side don’t feel the slighted guilt hundreds of years later, can anyone explain to me why we should?

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