The act was racist. This was the confession of the white male perpetrator of the mass shooting in a church in Charleston South Carolina.
Many white politicians on the right have come forward to denounce that confession as untrue. They’ve decided to spin the perpetrators words, to make the white male voters who make up almost all of their supporters feel better about the incident. Why? Because reverse racism exists–something they keep pitching, but keep falling hard to the ground just off the tips of their fingers, because it is not true.
Presidential Candidates Rick Santorum and Jeb Bush reveal how unworthy they are to hold the highest office in The United States. If you don’t know, with the aid of a confession from the perpetrator that this was racially motivated–then you shouldn’t be running for president. Your ignorance of serious issues facing our nation precludes you. Or, perhaps, you don’t want to come down decisively. Your wishy-washy attitude precludes you.Or, perhaps, you’re willfully ignoring racism, like much of your party wishes to do. Your racism definitely precludes you.
The usual suspect that rears its ugly head in times of shootings has added their two-cents as well, blaming the victims of the shootings for not being armed. I guess the guys at this gun hobbyist club didn’t realize that racism dictates that the rules are different for people of color in regards to firearms, and if blacks should take to carrying weapons that the justice system will see fit to abuse them for being scary–another racist idea that refuses to die. Had the pastor (a senator) armed himself, which is against his faith, he still would have been blamed for the incident by these people, who would have labeled him a thug minister. Besides, guns are rarely fired in self defense. Most of the victims of shootings are children or blacks.
The new republic perfectly sums up what has fed this outcome. Our racial history isn’t back. It never left us. It is something we’ve never owned up to. It is something that we nod at begrudgingly and then pretend isn’t happening. It is something that whites whine about having to deal with while the deck is stacked in their favor. Whites cry about how hard they have it, but they’ve never had it black hard, and they can’t just switch skin and find out–though some have tried. There is always the comfort of being able to return to whiteness for whites.
Then there are those who understand the crime committed was an act of racial terror, then use the label of Mental Illness to excuse the act. This needs to stop. We need to unlearn a good many ‘old wive’s tales about mental illness. The young man was not mentally ill. Being a sociopath is a personality type, not a disorder. We live and work among them everyday. They’re functioning and contributing members of society. The difference is that they did not develop empathy–an emotional connection with the outside world. When mental illness is blamed for this act, two things happen: 1. the stigma of mental illness is doubled down. 2. the incident is watered down to a rotten shame. These two things stop the issue at hand from being dealt with. That is the purpose of it. The address of racism is too much for most people to deal with–for some reason or other, which I have difficulty understanding, but the block/refusal is there.
Racism is not a mental illness. So stop excusing the perpetrator of this act as ill. The Nazi regime was not dismissed from their crimes, which were cruel, out of control and unspeakable. Yet, we dismiss the same acts done to our own people by young white men who claim to be patriots as an arbitrary expression of an undiagnosed mental illness. In that case, we had best round up all those expressing racist ideology and pack them in Guantanamo Asylum and treat them. I know of another government who rounded up the infirm and those in asylums and had them executed as unacceptable members of society. The men of that government were sentenced to death after trials in Nuremberg. So we must know that attacking the mentally ill and those who are sick is not okay, right? Yet, we backhand them daily, by lumping animals like this shooter in with them. At best, they attempt to malign junkies–because all shooters are either hopped up or deranged.
Most people with mental illness are just trying to get through their day, and have no intentions of harming anyone–if they do, that someone is themselves. Stop calling the shooter mentally ill. He made a conscious choice. Planned the shooting for weeks. He confessed it was racially motivated. Calling him insane doesn’t wipe the blood off the hands of those who have fed him the hate–the straight up racists and the casual racists alike:
- South Carolina law forbids removal of Confederate flag from capitol—and it’s padlocked in place
- 14 #CharlestonShooting Tweets Show How the Media Covers White Terrorism
- Jeb Bush: A ‘tolerant country’ should allow discrimination based upon ‘religious beliefs’
- NRA’s Wayne LePierre Calls For The Next President To Be A White Man
- NRA board member blames South Carolina church murders on one of the victims
When you tolerate hate, you build violence. Intolerance of hate is not the same as intolerance of bigotry, though some right wing voters think there is irony in the left’s call to show no tolerance for bigotry. There isn’t irony there. Despising that which harms our nation, bigoted speech for example, is upholding the American way and in step with honesty and justice. In 2015 it is disgusting behavior to discriminate based on melanin, anatomy, or bank account. Yet, they insist they have a right–because that has worked out so well for us historically. The anti-intellectualism in this nation has built the mass shootings and groups like the GOP and NRA are inciting arming people to carry them out.
Do yourself a favor and read something that will teach you about it, especially if hearing that white society is racist upsets you:
- ‘We Can’t Hide’ From White Privilege And Structural Racism
- Why Poor Whites in Red-States Vote Against Their Interest
- Juneteenth: 150 Years Ago, Black America Got Its Own Independence Day
Then go devour some of the great books and wake your empathy and intelligence from the slumber of too much right wing noise and complacency. This country needs you to.