Charleston

Hello dear reader(s)!

Of course you have heard about the Charleston shooting last night.  You have probably heard all sorts of narratives about the motives of the shooter, you have probably heard his past history, you have probably heard Fox News trying to frame the attacks as an attack on faith as opposed to race with absolutely all evidence pointing otherwise, including the opinion of law enforcement that they usually seem to hold so dear until it doesn’t serve their agenda.  So what could I possibly have to say about this terrible act of racially motivated domestic terrorism?

Well, I got a couple of things.  The first one, is that last night’s events have really shown me that some of the people I once knew are now people I no longer want to associate with in any way, shape, or form.  I am going to be cutting down my “friends” list by a few people today because I realize that they are in no way the people I once knew when I could count them as friends.  Those people usually weren’t the best of friends anyway.  I got accused last night of race baiting and perpetuating racism by reading and speaking the truth about the attack, the history of the church, and the racist, terrorist piece of shit and his supporters.  Race is a construct, but racism and violence are not.  I could say that I don’t see race, I only see people, and that all sounds great, but that doesn’t mean that assholes shooting people in places all over this land do not see race.

Right now, people are trying to defend this person and say he never spouted racism.  He just “had that kind of Southern pride”, “strong conservative beliefs”, and “made a lot of racist jokes”.  Tell me again how making a lot of racist jokes isn’t spouting racism?  I don’t care where you live in this country, if you are proud of your ancestors for fighting and losing a war to leave the Union over the cause of treating other people as property…that is fucking racist.  That’s it.  There is nothing else to that.  That Confederate battle flag is not a symbol of people defending their homes, it is not a symbol of states standing up to a tyrannical federal government, it is a symbol of 1% of the Southern population who owned slaves, convincing the rest of the Southern population to go to war with their own country in order to CONTINUE TO TREAT PEOPLE LIKE PROPERTY.  And to this day, that is how many black people in places all over the nation are being treated.

The other thing that concerns me is that in the coming days you will almost certainly hear the mainstream media rushing to say this terrorist, white supremacist, waste of skin was “Mentally Ill.”  His lawyers will likely attempt to argue for compassion or possibly even acquittal due to “mental illness”.  And for many people, it won’t be a hard sell.  One would think that someone who could open fire on innocents must be mentally ill.  Only that is not how it works.

There is no ICD code for racism.  Do you know why?  Because racism is an evil, not an illness.  By arguing that every violent, sadistic, threat to national security is mentally ill only serves to increase the stigma around valid, genuine mental illnesses for which people are seeking treatment.  If you have a mental illness, I urge you to try to tune out the media when they start to frame this persona as mentally ill.  Continue with your treatment, and know that while you may have a rough time on occasion, you have never shot innocent people for being different.  Mentally ill does not equal evil, and conversely, evil does not equal mentally ill.

To the good people of South Carolina, I ask you not to be scared.  Not to let this domestic terrorist win.  Get to the polls, vote out the assholes who prosper politically by pitting people against each other.  Get rid of the assholes who are proud of a heritage they should not be proud of.  Read about the Birmingham church bombing, and then try to learn the lessons of what happens when white supremacists are allowed to terrorize other races.

Finally, if you see your local wanna-be militia, your terrorist sleeper cells living among you; demand that your government and law enforcement treats them as they are. They aren’t militias to protect your freedom from tyranny.  They are murdering thugs who train to terrorize and intimidate.  Murdering terrorist groups that threaten the very government that allows them to parade around in their stupid camo gear with AR-15’s slung over their shoulders.

ISIS doesn’t have shit on a white racist with a handgun.

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Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

30 thoughts on “Charleston”

  1. Geez. We really are on the same page today! This was really well-written. It’s sad that they say people like this are mentally ill just because people are too scared to label him as racist. I think sometimes there’s a stigma on people who are actually mentally ill and this isn’t fair to them because it does nothing to lift that stigma.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am a fiscal conservative living in South Carolina, and I am a frequent visitor to Charleston. It is known as the “Holy City” for a reason, and it is a city with a beautiful soul, full of good people who believe in love and tolerance. It is a city that will not allow the media (be it FOX, MSNBC, or CNN, all equally skewed in their poor attempts at what they refer to as reporting) to twist its story into anything other than what it is. It is a city that will rise up, come together, and heal through love. I have not heard anyone here say this was anything other than a racist attack. Racism is not limited to one political party or the other. I do agree that this is pure evil, and I hope it is not labelled as mental illness as that would be a grave insult to people dealing with mental illness.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure that I dished anything out. I commented on the resilient, loving spirit of Charlestonians. I agreed with you that this atrocious hate crime should not be marked as being the result of a mental illness. I also pointed out the bias of three mainstream media networks. I see that you felt compelled to unfollow my blog. I am sorry to see it, but I continue to wish you all the best. Karen

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  3. The shooter didn’t learn this kind of thinking and behavior just from his friends. I’ve been wondering what kind of parents he had and what kind of behavior was found acceptable in his home. I mean, he looks like a child that hasn’t even grown up yet. Racism and hate aren’t something we’re born with, it is learned and taught by those around us, perpetuated within families and communities every single day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on aghostdancer and commented:
    I think this is important. It highlights just what the media does to play a part in the stigma of mental illness and is why so many maybe don’t seek the help they need.

    Patients with mental illness are by a great magnitude more likely to hurt themselves than anyone else. This only compounds the suffering and isolation.

    I feel sorry for those who died. But this like every mass murder has little to do with mental illness and more with hatred.

    Go read it, he’s awesome and this article is spot on, even for Josh who has many great postings this one is one that grabbed me and yelled SHARE ME!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Josh, I agree with you. I do believe this hatred is taught, by parents, the social environment, talking heads that stoke divisiveness for profit, and haters. The fact that this killer had emblems of the Confederacy and “Rhodesia” sewn into his jacket, by the tender age of 21, and his father gifts him with a gun for his birthday, said it all to me.

    We seem to have a hard time admitting when we are wrong. We always have to cast about for a rationalization. It is time for the adults in this country to grow up and deal with this kind of pathology and not look for a way absolve ourselves of having created and perpetuated a society where this keeps happening, at a disproportionate rate to other “civilized” cultures.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, I am glad you are hopeful. I’m trying not to be cynical, but I remember a time in the mid-90’s when I honestly thought things were improving. The regression lately just kind of gets to me. And it is distinctly possible that things weren’t getting better than, I just wasn’t as exposed to it.

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  6. Once again, we have compelling evidence that beliefs have consequences. When these consequences are created, motivated, and are consistent with the root beliefs, far too many people who assume they are showing tolerance and respect for the right to believe then excuse the beliefs from being the causal factor. This is a dodge, a cop out, an excuse from linking the cause with the effect.

    We see this dodge carried out all the time. In this case, acting on strong racist beliefs and repackaged as some kind of strange ‘illness’. We see this with people who harm children in the name of dysfunctional parental religious belief but repackaged as piety. We see this with men who attack women in the name of dysfunctional misogyny repackaged as ‘boys being boys’. We see this with ISIS recruitment in the name of dysfunctional Islam repacked as ‘radicalized youth’. Far too many of us go along with the idea that these actions are not really related to underlying dysfunctional and harmful core beliefs that should not receive proper criticism in the name of ‘tolerance’ and ‘respect’ but are merely the unfortunate result of ‘a few bad apples.’

    It’s not the apples that are rotten; it is this bizarre attempt to keep legitimate criticism and responsibility from deserving beliefs. The question is, how many of us really have the intellectual integrity and courage to dare to criticize this widespread acceptance and tolerance of what are demonstrably pernicious beliefs and stop going along with their replacement of narratives based on fictional repackaging?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ” it is this bizarre attempt to keep legitimate criticism and responsibility from deserving beliefs.” -Simply brilliant. Absolutely, 100% dead-on. That pretty much sums up everything. Thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! But hardly brilliant; I think this point should be rather obvious but it seems remarkably opaque to some people. They just don’t see it, I think, because it goes against their notion of being a tolerant and respectful and nice person who believes in the repackaged narrative. No one wants to see him- or herself as credulous and/or gullible but more of us should realize that there’s something amiss when 80% of us think we’re above average drivers. Some of us have fooled ourselves and, as Feynman said, we’re the easiest person in the world to fool. The trick is being okay with ‘un-fooling’ ourselves.

        There are a few other dodges commonly used and that are of great concern. The first is what I call the Snowflake Dodge, in that people who are offended think the offensive whatever must be at least removed if not made illegal. Sure, it’s easy to criticize, say, an Islamist who demands the retraction of something found offensive in order to then pretend violence and murder is justified. It’s quite another to patiently try to explain to a student or dozens and dozens of student groups at hundreds of universities that banning something found offensive is the same unprincipled act. And acting on that belief harms all of us.

        Daily, I read of this group or that at various educational institutions demanding special treatment to keep anything offensive away from their delicate sensibilities. This often comes repackaged as a loss of ‘safety’, as in someone doesn’t feel ‘safe’ going to a school that has invited a controversial speaker, or taking a graphic novel course that contains – gasp! – graphics deemed offensive. And the typical mewling solution is to get special consideration from those cowards and idiots in authority accompanied by an equal loss of freedom not just to speech and expression but to the ‘offending’ whatever.

        Another typical dodge is to repackage anti-enlightenment behaviours and actions that victimize real people in real life as permissible… as well as due a special exemption from criticism… if presented as ‘culture’ or ‘tradition’. The victimization – beyond the people negatively affected, of course – goes even further and assaults the very notion of what is true. And this dodge repackages what is true for everyone everywhere all the time with the notion that everyone and everything has its own special ‘truth’… so we cannot criticize what is personally ‘true’, now can we, without seeming to attack the character of someone (what gets lost in this translation is the intention to criticize the bad idea). In this way, the bad idea being criticized for its negative effects when acted upon morphs into a personal attack against the identity of the person holding that pernicious belief… which then makes the person him- or herself repackaged as the real victim if they can’t do as they believe they should and continue to harm others! This is the go-to repackage for most religious folk and championed ad nauseam by such stellar talking heads at faux News. In spite of having four churches for every school throughout the US, its religious population are presented as ‘victimized’ every year by various kinds of ‘wars’ carried out by ‘militant’ atheists and ‘strident’ secularists and ‘immoral’ humanists who become so simply by daring to speak out and criticize the incursion of state-sponsored faith into what is supposed to be a secular public domain.

        Repackaging is an industry that produces lies and deceit and misrepresentations that more us need to stop buying into.

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