Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mental Illness and Charleston

By now you know about the massacre in Charleston, perpetrated by someone reported to be adorned with white supremacist symbols [Update: It's clear that the killer was not wearing such symbols at the church, but on a separate occasion].

The temptation, especially from racism apologists, will be to explain away the violence by focusing on mental illness.

Let me say this - I don't care about the killer's diagnosis. I care about who inspired him to act. Who got him the weapon (we know this I believe). Who suspected and said nothing. And what we're going to do next. Meanwhile, the confederate flag flies high as a  symbol of South Carolina.

There may come a day to discuss the disability lens of this story. Today is not that day.

3 comments:

Peter Hentges said...

I find myself thinking that white supremacy doesn't happen in a vacuum. To my mind, any such organization this person belonged to should now be investigated as a terrorist organization.

(Minor correction: I don't believe he was wearing the flags of white separatist/supremacist African states at the time of the shooting. I didn't see them in the security cam photos anyway.)

David Perry said...

Hence "reported." I'll wait and see what we know in 2-3 days from now.

Peter Hentges said...

Very fair. I didn't read carefully enough and conflated your statement with the photo that was passed around showing him clearly wearing those flags.