Prof: ‘White privilege’ behind many mass shootings, parts of the Tea Party

Timothy Dionisopoulos
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A professor from a public university on Wednesday claimed mass shootings, such as those in Newtown Conn., and Aurora Colo., are often the effects of jilted “white privilege.”

A U.S. flag hangs over stockings left as a memorial for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, along a fence surrounding the Sandy Hook Cemetery in Newtown, Conn. (Adrees Latif / REUTERS).

Robert Jensen, who is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin, also suggested race-based alienation is a motivating factor behind some parts of the conservative Tea Party movement.

“Why are the men who commit mass murder disproportionately white?” Jensen asked rhetorically. “My guess is that it has something to do with the sense of entitlement that most white people feel.”

“When the world doesn't deliver what those men feel they deserve, violence is seen as a reasonable response,” continued Jensen.

Jensen made that claim in an interview with talk radio host Kathleen Wells which was published on the liberal news site, The Huffington Post.

In a separate interview with Campus Reform on Thursday,  Jensen explained that while jilted privilege may not necessarily be the spark for massacres like Newton or Aurora, it can be part of a much deeper motivation.

“I wouldn’t even use the words causal or connected,” he said. “We’re talking about the underlying political moral framework within which people take certain kinds of actions.”

Jensen went on suggest the same feelings of discontent may be a motivating factor for some members of the conservative Tea Party.

“Do people who have a sense of entitlement and feel that society is not delivering to them what they are entitled to ever react out of resentment and revenge?”Jensen asked. “A lot of the Tea Party rhetoric seems to have that tone to it.”

“Does that mean that I think the Tea Party caused the mass shooting?” he asked.  “No, no that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about looking for themes in contemporary society and looking for patterns and trying to understand what those patterns mean.”

Follow the author of this article: @TimPDion

Timothy Dionisopoulos

Timothy Dionisopoulos


Tim Dionisopoulos is a reporter for LI's Campus Reform and works as a communications editor in LI’s Campus Leadership Program.

Tim has been with LI's Campus Reform since the summer of 2011, and his stories have been cited or re-posted on the Daily Mail, the Drudge Report, Fox News, and other national media outlets.

Tim graduated in 2011 from Providence College in Rhode Island where he was politically active on campus and in the community.


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