‘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 fulfil your dream of marrying a white woman. I suggest you jump off a bridge.’
‘How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves.’
My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger
Elliot Rodger (B. 1991) is an example of a mixed-ethnicity person brought-up exclusively within the dominant culture of the White parent. This reality is invariably a recipe for disaster defined through a varying scale of dysfunctionality (possessing poles of ‘socially acceptable’ eccentricity, to ‘socially destructive’ insanity). Elliot Rodger’s British father – Peter Rodger – is a successful and very wealthy film director who has worked on the Hunger Games, as well as other features. His mother is recorded as ‘Li-Chen’ – a woman of Chinese-Malaysian descent – who first came to the UK to work as a nurse in the movie industry. Before marrying Peter Rodger, Li-Chen had a relationship with George Lucas. Despite being looked after by his Chinese mother and grandmother as a young child, Elliot Rodger was nevertheless brought-up within the middle class world of White privilege. He had a stream of ‘nannies’, went on regular and expensive holidays around the world, lived in exclusive and large houses, and attended British public school before his family emigrated to live in the US when he was around 6 years old. Once settled in the US, his life of bourgeois privilege continued unabated – attending elitist educational establishments and having his every whim catered for. During that time he subconsciously ingested the implicit tenants of White racism which were to blight his life and contribute toward his mental illness. As a non-White person living in a White world, he experienced White bourgeois culture in a ruptured and contradictory manner. Whereas White people implicitly accept the myth of their own racial superiority without question – premised upon the pseudo-science that all other races are inferior – those of mixed-ethnicity live in the contradictory world of being ‘White’ on the one-hand (and ‘included’), and ‘non-White’ on the other-hand (and ‘excluded’).
This is the exact opposite to the ‘internationalist’ or ‘multicultural’ principle which seeks an ‘equal interaction’ between different ethnicities in a neutral and mutually re-enforcing political, economic, social and cultural space. As a consequence of his monochrome upbringing (with only a nodding acquaintance with Chinese culture), Elliot Rodger experienced his White and bourgeois privileged existence as an eternally ‘rejected’ outsider. His Chinese ethnicity became not something to be proud of, but rather something immensely ‘negative’ in his mind, that constantly reminded him of the fact that he was not ‘fully’ White. This was his perceived and fundamental ‘first’ failure that he never possessed the insight to understand. As his father lived the life of a jet-setting film maker, Peter Rodger was never at home, meaning that son was continuously in the presence of women. Just as his father (who was absent) managed to successfully secure an ‘exotic’ bride, Elliot Rodger became obsessed with women to the point of delinquent narcissism and misogyny. As a Chinese outsider viewing his own White life, he was able to clearly ‘objectify’ his privileged upbringing, mistaking material possessions and wealth with biological and emotional ‘attractiveness’. His ‘self-hatred’ (for being ‘Chinese’) was palpable, and resulted in him giving vent to White (Eurocentric) racial prejudice – the very same prejudice that had made his life a misery through excluding him psychologically from full inclusion within his own privileged class. Having read his words and watched his videos, I am of the opinion that Elliot Rodger was a self-hating ‘gay’ within a community that followed a strict heterosexual narrative. Rather bizarrely, he hated women for not being amorously attracted to his ‘gayness’. Ironically, his gayness, which was designed to attract men, was clearly designed to repel all female interest. He also ‘hated’ being culturally ‘attracted’ to Chinese people, as it reminded him of his ‘Whiteness’, even though he thought that Whiteness was superior to Chineseness. Neither Elliot Rodger, his father or his mother possessed any obvious class consciousness or progressive political ideas. Elliot Rodger was brought-up in a Eurocentric and monochrome cultural environment that excluded the possibility of any other way of viewing the world. Where he should have been ordering his thoughts and distinguishing the correct path for himself, he decided to externalise his inner feelings of alienation and ‘kill’ people that he thought were responsible for the emotional turmoil he felt. Watching the videos, Elliot Rodger is obnoxious and self-absorbed – but so is the bourgeois class that spawned him. He did nothing positive with his privileged life other than moan and complain about every issue that contradicted how he felt the world should be. He is responsible for his murderous action, that is not in doubt, but he is also the product of a highly exploitative White culture of privilege premised upon wealth, which his Chinese mother accessed through marriage. Within this marriage there was no ‘equality’ of cultural worth, only institutional greed and self-indulgence. Elliot Rodger turned-out to be a mass murderer and a useless human being, but these facts should not distract us from an objective assessment of the socio-economic conditions that created him. On May 23rd, 2014, in Isla Vista, California, Elliot Rodger (22) killed six people (three stabbed and three shot) and injured fourteen others, near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara. Three of the murdered victims were of Chinese ethnicity, as were around four of the injured. When police officers approached his care, he shot himself in the head (taking his own life).