A Quick Note About Elliot Rodger, and My Imperfection of Opinion

While some were friendly in pointing out that maybe my thinking was a bit faulty (on my post yesterday), others were not so nice. I should have expected it when I commented on something as emotionally-charged as the Elliot Rodger killings.

Yes, I agree I am no expert on mental health that I should be able to tell if someone has a mental issue or not. It was purely my opinion at that moment in time. But, after reading his manifesto (Elliot Rodger, My Twisted World), I can be an open-minded enough person to say I could have been wrong, that yes, maybe he was dealing with some mental distress along with his obvious misogyny, racism and entitlement issues.

My irritation yesterday when I wrote that post was the media always automatically assuming that someone who would do such a crime, who was white, rich and privileged was mentally ill. When they report on a black man doing a drive-by, he is a thug, a brown man is a terrorist.

I’m not going to say any more about Elliot Rodgers because I don’t think he deserves any more attention than he is getting.

Instead let’s focus on those poor humans in California who died by his hand and the issues that this whole mess brings into the limelight like the way women are treated by men in our society (if you are on Twitter, please read the tweets in the #YesAllWomen hashtag. It’s both horrifying and enlightening), gun (and in this case, knife) violence and the stigmatizing of the mentally ill.

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UCSB Candlelight Vigil

 

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3 thoughts on “A Quick Note About Elliot Rodger, and My Imperfection of Opinion

  1. It’s so frustrating that we even have to deal with the speculation. It doesn’t matter if he was mentally ill or not – the speculation implies the assumption that mentally ill = dangerous, out of control, and violent. It takes the responsibility away from the individual and onto the illness. It implies we have no agency, and that our illnesses make our decisions for us. And usually, the speculation is rooted in the belief that anyone who commits any terrible act *must* be mentally ill. It sends us the message that mentally ill people are responsible for all atrocities, and implies that is reasonable to fear us, distrust us, and isolate us.
    *sigh*
    Sorry for the rant. Your response to the response you received is extremely patient and gentle and I have a lot of respect for that. It’s hard to hear these things and not just go into hiding; your ability to handle this in such a way is impressive, and serves to demonstrate why the fear of “the mentally ill” is irrational.

    • My first reaction to negative comments is to go into hiding and doubt my own intelligence. I figured I would just write what I felt, no matter what people are going to say.

      I follow you now and on Twitter.

      Thank you for the wonderful comment. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks these things.

  2. I had read Elliot Rodger’s manifest and I was shocked at how much he seemed to think that having a ‘beautiful blonde girl’ would solve all of his problems and that it was just something that he expected life to provide for him, without him having to work for it. He never understood how people like others mostly for being themselves and real and not trying to copy others styles and desperately trying to fit in. He did not understand how he needed to learn how to love himself first in order for anyone wanting to love him. Because love comes with being someone and being someone takes a lot of time and effort. In his mind, wealth is a key to attracting people. Wealth attracts a lot of people for the wrong reasons. The ones who are truly interested in you will be admiring you for how you got there not for what you got. He should gave worked for the admiration he so craved.

    After reading his manifest as well as a few newspaper articles I concluded him to be very low in self esteem and extremely socially awkward.

    I should probably mention that I am female, in my early thirties, I am blonde, so 10 years ago I may have fallen into his ‘blonde girl’ category.

    And then I saw his video. And I must say, I am gobsmacked. Obviously he is not saying anything in the video that I had not already read in the manifest but this guy is seriously not unattractive and even though his eyes are full of hatred in the video, he seems like someone quite interesting as a person. I do think he comes across quite confident and not like the loner that he portrayed himself as in the manifest.

    Of course, having a girlfriend would not have solved his issues permanently and obviously he was very very ill. But what a sad place this guy must have been in and how unspeakably awful he thought that this is what he had to do.

    What a heart-breaking tragedy. My heart goes out to the victims of Elliot Rodger and their families.

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