based on Tweet by @MaryTylerMog
Mental illness alone didn’t prompt Elliot Roger and Dylann Roof to take innocent lives. Both killers had a worldview, a rationale, and a target population. Roger did it because he hated women, and Roof did it because he hates black people. But hate isn’t a mental illness — it’s an ideology. Misogyny and racism aren’t unique ideologies of lone men — they’re deeply entrenched, pervasive cultural systems that shape the worldviews of significant populations. Because Roger and Roof are both products of larger systems, neither man’s violence can be dismissed as the singular action of an unstable person.
I’m glad to see people getting on top of the dialogue and framing what happened at Emanuel AME as what it is: a racist hate crime and an act of domestic terrorism. While some part of me understands the calls to refrain from politicizing — people are dead; families and communities are mourning — it seems impossible because the massacre at Emanuel AME was political.
Dylann Roof intended to make a political statement. After he was caught, Roof told investigators the same thing he told friends over the past six months — he wanted to start a race war. Refusing to acknowledge his intent denies the existence of racism as a political issue, and depoliticizing racism wont make it go away.
Using a racist hate crime to talk about racism is appropriate. Using this particular massacre to talk about gun control is understandable (since a gun was used to end nine people’s lives). But calling it an “attack on faith” to promote the myth of Christian persecution is inexcusable.
Inexcusable, you say? Cue Fox News…
Yesterday on Fox & Friends, the humanoid trio of styrofoam packing peanuts feigned concern and framed the attack as one on Christians. They spoke to Bishop E. W. Jackson — a black man/minister/failed politician/conservative commentator — who cautioned against assuming a racial motivation, instead pointing to imaginary faith-based motivations for violence against Christians.
Jackson wants to arm congregations (with actual fucking firearms) in preparation for faith-based hate crimes. Seriously. I’m not making this up. If it weren’t Fox News, you’d think it was satire…
Video above (3:57); Full transcript available on DailyKos.