WRONGFUL TERMINATION: CHRIS DORNER’S TERRIFYINGLY BANAL KILLINGSPREE
LAS VEGAS, NV: In the days after his lethal rebellion and violent death, ChristopherDorner has become many things to many different people: a one-man Alamo herowho died fighting the police state; a crazy black man who started murdering copsbecause that’s what crazy black men do; or a symbol of government oppression andthe militarization of America’s police forces. For some conspiracy theorists, Dornereven became a Manchurian candidate in an elaborate Big Brother plot to sow chaosand fear, so that Government Marxists could fill America’s skies with armed drones,assassinating gun-owners and freedom-lovers at will.But all this focus on Dorner’s spectacular ending has obscured the real story aboutwhat sent Chris Dorner over the edge: workplace abuse, racial discrimination, and alegitimate claim of wrongful termination. In a nation where workers have fewer legalprotections than workers in many developing nations, low-level employees likeDorner have few rights, little power and almost nowhere to turn. Ever since theReagan Revolution of the 80s, popular culture has neglected labor problems in favorof violent epic fantasies, even though more and more Americans suffered worseninglabor conditions in their own lives, privately and alone. Wrongful termination andworkplace discrimination are devastating problems for each and every victim, yetcollectively we’re infinitely more worried about police state fascism and gettingassassinated by armed drones, thanks to media and pop culture conditioning. Laborand workplace problems are considered boring, even embarrassing.Ever since “going postal” massacres first appeared in the public sector, in US postoffices in the mid-1980s, they have tended to follow a familiar script. The murderer“snaps” for no apparent reason; official culture blames it all on Hollywood or guns,never explaining why these workplace massacres only appeared in the mid-late80s; and later, as it turns out, there were a lot of reasons for the gunman to snap. If you profile the workplace that created the murderer, rather profiling the murderer’spsychology, you will often find a pattern of shocking workplace abuse and of top-down mistreatment of employees, culminating in the “going postal” rampage. Theconsequent killing spree will target supervisors, fellow employees, and anyoneassociated with the institution that the abused employee blames for having crushedhim (or her). The LAPD is a textbook example of one of the most abusive public sector employersin America today — and this context, along with the details of Dorner’s firing and hisappeals, are the real missing pieces in the puzzle.