by Alex Symington…….
Looking back three and a half years ago I finally had to admit we have gone collectively insane as a country with the passive acceptance of the Newtown, CT massacre of twenty toddlers and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. With that nightmare I had thought, well, finally the nation will come to its senses and at least make it harder for crazy people to get a hold of weapons of mass murder. Nope. Other crazy people we elected to office dug in their heels and said the rights of gun owners trump the rights of six year olds to go to school and live to come home to their parents. Other crazy people on the board of the National Rifle Association reluctantly admitted, yes, it was sad all those kids died, BUT if the staff had been armed all would have been well. Plenty of crazy to go around.
Today we are living in that classic asylum run by the inmates. Rather than pass common sense gun legislation the sad sick crazy truth is support for gun control is waning even in the face of overwhelming numbers of gun deaths since the Sandy Hook massacre. Did I mention twenty first graders were literally cut into pieces by Adam Lanza’s Izhmash Saiga 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun, his Bushmaster Model XM15-E2S .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle, his Glock 20 10mm semiautomatic handgun and his Sig Sauer P226 9mm semiautomatic handgun?
Our insanity continues to manifest itself in ways I could not have imagined even a decade ago. In Charleston, SC we witnessed the mass murder of nine African-American parishioners at a bible study meeting carried out with a semi-automatic handgun. Will this change our descent into madness? Nope. Like Sandy Hook and every other abomination previous to Sandy Hook, the crazies will slither out of the woodwork and deflect blame, rationalize, point fingers elsewhere and generally do everything in their power to fabricate excuses for their insanity.
Not to be out-done in the crazy department, ex-governor of Texas, Rick Perry decided Obama was the problem because the president was “taking advantage of the tragedy for political reasons” and claimed the president is seeking to “take the guns out of the hands of everyone in this country.” Really?! Were all the guns confiscated after Sandy Hook or any of the last umpteen tragedies? Nope. Perry went on to work his base into a lather by saying, “This is the MO of this administration. Anytime there is an ACCIDENT [yes, he said that] like this, the president is clear: He doesn’t like for Americans to have guns, and so he uses every opportunity, this being another one, to basically go parrot that message.”
Don’t fret, Rick. Forget-about-it, we love our guns! According to the Small Arms Survey, “…With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States is home to 35-50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns.” That is some serious gun love, bordering on, dare I say, crazy? Approximately thirty two thousand plus Americans die every year from gun suicide, murder, accident and what is euphemistically called “legal” gun death. The gun death toll is fixing to surpass the auto fatality numbers this year for the first time. Let’s get something straight. People with guns kill people. OK? People with semi-automatic guns with thirty round clips kill lots of people. OK?
The Charleston massacre is a new hybridized Amero-centric brand of insanity; mass murder with a gun that is racially motivated. Enter the crazies. In this case the vile protectors and defenders of mass murder by firearms, the second amendment (the only amendment) NRA worshipers are now joined by right wing racist neo-Confederates. Lindsey Graham, Senator of the Confederate State of South Carolina, the first state to proudly secede from the Union in 1860, has told us, “No, this murder spree was not racially motivated, but was an attack on the Christian faith…” Oh, Lindsey, you have definitely jumped the shark with this twisted lie.
Dear, dear Lindsey, that young white thug, Dylann Roof, told his victims, as he was pumping them full of bullets, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” I don’t think he was referring to Christians. He also told investigators he had researched the church and targeted it because it was an “historic African-American church,” and he wanted to spark a race war. Again, no mention of Christians, but plenty of hate for African-Americans.
Lyndsey has since retracted this absurd interpretation of Dylann Roof’s motivation to kill the nine people attending the bible study that had also been supported and repeated by FOX News and other racist apologists desperately flailing around in damage control central. Graham has also changed his defiant mind on the Confederate flag being “who we are” and has joined with Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley and all of the other republican presidential hopefuls in proposing removal of the offensive flag from the state capitol grounds. Even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day.
Keith Brekhus of PoliticusUSA expressed a very compelling analysis of our penchant for the double standard of perceptions by white America pertaining to white behavior and the behavior of non-whites. He explains it this way, “Whenever a white mass shooter goes on a killing spree in the United States, media reports invariably turn to labeling the murderer as a mentally ill lone wolf, thereby removing his crime from any cultural context. The same luxury of course is not afforded Islamic terrorists or urban black gang members, whose crimes are automatically associated with the unique pathology of the Muslim faith or of African-American culture.”
Brekhus goes on to say, “Labeling a racist killer as mentally ill is a form of white denial that absolves the majority white culture of any collective responsibility for the actions of its members. It also forestalls any discussion of the crucial issues that the killing spree brings up, like institutionalized racism, gun culture, and perverse expressions of masculinity.” The continued denial of these pathologies is the root cause of our collective mental illness and tacit state sanctioned violence.
Addressing the racist environment that Dylann Roof was raised in, Ta-Nehisi Coates, editor at Atlantic Magazine posited this, “Roof’s crime cannot be divorced from the ideology of white supremacy which long animated his state nor from its potent symbol—the Confederate flag.” Coates sums up the culture of state sanctioned/institutionalized race hate with, “Moral cowardice requires choice and action. It demands that its adherents repeatedly look away, that they favor the fanciful over the plain, myth over history, the dream over the real.”
On a personal note, to illustrate the deeply ingrained and all-to-common denial in white American perception, an otherwise intelligent white friend of mine told me that a flag, the Confederate flag, is just a piece of cloth and people should simply ignore the imagery and leave it in the past and move on. Wouldn’t that be nice? The problem with that sweet notion is what happened in Charleston last week and what happened to Freddy Gray in Baltimore three months ago, and what happened to Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO last August and on and on and on. How is it possible to move on and forget the past when it is still very much here and painfully present? Denial equals insanity.
More from other sources…