What is there to say about this young man? I am simply speechless. It is hard to comment about a mentality which I find impossible to understand.
Our latest young killer, the latest in a line of killers stretching back to Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora and Newtown is an avowed “white supremacist” – little different from what we used to call klansmen – or nazis.
In this respect he is different from the other killers – the anti-social “loners” in black trench coats or he who dyed his hair red and called himself “the Joker” before shooting at the audience during the evening showing of “Batman”. Or the supposedly “brilliant” young man, the “skinny goth” who, before killing 20 children and 6 teachers, and his mother, dressed all in black, “ninja” style. This was life imitating art.
No. Our latest young killer was going to do something because blacks were “raping our women” and “taking over” – taking over in South Carolina where the Confederate battle flag still has not been lowered over the state capitol and where our young man drives on roads named for Confederate generals.
He would be right at home in a hood or at the Wannsee Conference – but thanks to the educational system in America today he wouldn’t know anything about the Wannsee Conference.
On Facebook, our killer’s profile is gothic dark, its singular politics racially suggestive.
The profile photo shows a skinny and pale young man, looking younger than his years, glum and menacing, in a swamp alone, his dark jacket bearing emblems popular with white supremacists.
They’re flags that flew over two African countries when they were ruled by whites, one from apartheid-era South Africa, the other from Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
Look at him. He is trying so hard to look bad ass; clenching his jaw, scowling. Trying so hard to look angry. In fact, he looks like a kid with real problems.
Our young man was going to do something about the black menace; so he killed 9 unarmed black people including 6 women who welcomed him to their bible study group. He did it after sitting with them; after they prayed.
Very brave. Very brave indeed.
The gaping wound in the body America is racism. It is there for all to see and is something we will not talk about. It’s not new. The wound has been festering for centuries.
In 1916 D. W. Griffith’s film “Birth of a Nation” was released and although controversial, became the biggest grossing silent film ever made.
President Woodrow Wilson’s “History of the American People” was quoted in the film to describe how Northerners and blacks were using deception and abuse of power to “put the white South under the heal of the black South.”
Birth of a Nation describes Lincoln as having undermined state’s rights creating an all powerful federal government in the process. It depicted Northern blacks and freed slaves as villains bent on destroying white civilization through abuse of their new-found power after the Civil War. The major villain of the film is a mulatto, a man of “mixed white and black race”.
Near the climax of the film, the white folk unite to save a town from “Negro anarchy”. Yankees and rebels unite again in the “common defense of their Aryan birthright.”
This kid could have written the movie script except that he is a high school drop out who spent too much time on social media, probably being influenced by one or more of the 18 white supremacist groups operating in South Carolina. After all, would you know where to get the old South African and Rhodesian flags for your jacket?
Our previous young killers, it could at least be argued, might be mentally ill. Finding our mass murderers mentally ill neatly solves all of our problems. We don’t have to address gun violence, social media, video games, bullying, the eroticization of violence, loneliness and isolation. Or racism.
They must be mentally ill otherwise he would be just like us.
We can’t seem to admit to ourselves that he is us. He is our son, the native son of 21st century America where we don’t care about anybody but us.
This is the “exceptional” society in which we live. We hear the cries of no one. We see the loneliness of no one. Most of us do not know nor care to know our neighbors living three houses away. It’s our dog eat dog, every man for himself country. We judge our communities by the quality of the lawns. And we live in constant fear – of “terrorists”, our neighbors, the “other”.
We don’t give a rat’s ass if people are hungry, children die of malnutrition, veterans are living in our streets, most of the homeless are schizophrenic, that people die because of a lack of health care, or that we have spent a decade waging unjustified war against a couple of third world nations and have killed millions of Iraqis and Afghans. Not to mention what we do elsewhere.
Our young killers are the symptoms of our societal illness.
The media and the toys, the politicians and Hollywood teach our children that real American heroes have no humanity.
When the lonely, isolated forgettable young man turns his guns on us, the ones we allowed him to acquire as is his NRA god-given right, why are we so surprised?
My sympathy to the families of those truly affected by this senseless violence. The rest of us can look in the mirror and take part of the blame.