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Dianna E. Anderson @diannaeanderson
, 16 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Hi Friends.

With the National Walk Out, and ongoing arguments about how we can somehow prevent school shootings by “being nice to the bullied kids,” let’s talk.

Let’s talk about Columbine.
Unlike ALL of the current High School students in America today (yes, it’s been that long), I remember Columbine. I was 13, and just finishing 8th grade.
The media narrative that swirled around Columbine was intense—we’d not really had a mass shooting on that scale, and because it was a shooting accompanied by a failed bombing, a lot of people sought explanation that couched it in stereotypical HS cliches and cliques.
Instead of being placed within the narrative of ongoing tension and attacks from white supremacist separatists that plagued the 1990s (with the 1995 Oklahoma City attack being at the forefront), Columbine signaled the start of a brand new narrative—one sympathetic to the killers.
The shooters were outcasts. They were bullied. They were victims of a high school clique system that saw their love of violent video games and Marilyn Manson as freakish and worthy of bullying. They wore weird long trench coasts to school—the media dubbed it “Trench Coat Mafia."
But this narrative is a false one: Eric and Dylan weren’t outcasts. They weren’t considered losers. They didn’t target popular kids. They weren’t seeking revenge for being bullied.

They were actually following in the footsteps of McVeigh and his predecessors.
They wanted to bring the entire American nation to its knees. They were inspired by the infamy and media circus surrounding the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Note that Columbine happened the day after the 4yr anniversary of McVeigh’s attack.
The plan, as numerous sources point out, was not originally a school shooting. The plan was to blow up the school, but they wired the bombs wrong. Instead of exploding the entire cafeteria and killing nearly 600 kids, the bombs just created smoke and confusion.
The guns were back-up, to pick off survivors, not the primary method of attack. But when the bombs failed, they went in shooting.
Media from the time and for the years after dove after the idea that Eric and Dylan were loners and outcasts, that they behaved in ways that would have been easily identifiable had we just known what to look for.
But, as tired and predictable as it’s become, the “signs” are not being outcasts or loners or goths.

The signs are much more obvious and yet we’re very unwilling to confront them: they are the white supremacy, the misogyny, the inability to take no for an answer.
The false narrative of Bullied Kid Shoots Up School has stuck around immensely since Columbine—once that narrative entered the common lexicon, we were basically lost.

What should have been seen as in the vein of white separatist terror was instead a brand new pearl clutching.
Admitting that the Columbine shooters were popular kids who wanted to be famous through death might have made us confront our own biases as a society far quicker. At the very least, it would have nipped this idea that bullying kids is the problem.
(and you can guess where this thread is going). This is the genesis of the brazenly ridiculous #walkupnotout bullshit adults—adults who remember Columbine—have been saying. That if Eric and Dylan hadn’t be outcast—they weren’t—they wouldn’t have shot up the school—they still did.
Don’t make today’s children responsible for reinforcing a narrative that’s simply not true. Columbine wasn’t about bullying. It was about white supremacy and infamy. No amount of “being nice to the outcasts” will prevent THAT.
We adults who remember the horror and terror of that day have a responsibility that we’ve shirked by diving into our “it’s about bullying” narrative.

It’s not about bullying.

It’s about white supremacy. It’s about violence. And it’s about guns.
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