American PSYCHO: How our nation produced Dylann Roof

America, it seems, is being ripped apart piece by piece. It began as a way to get votes, getting votes means winning elections. Winning elections means gaining power. And gaining power is of course the ultimate goal. Power means riches and grandeur for the winning team, it means attaining your agenda, it means achieving the utopia your team or you dream of.

So, how do we achieve this political “win?” Well first we have to define each part of the whole by dividing this whole into smaller groups and assigning names and characteristics.

So we divide them (the population) by income (rich, poor or in between); we identify the political groups (Right, Left and Independent); we segregate the age groupings; we identify the gender characteristics; sexual persuasion and then from these larger group divisions, we “micro-target” even further to fashion messages that are unique to each and every group — even if we have to lie because it’s just a “white lie,” and it can’t hurt anyone, right? You decide…

Let’s discuss the first division, that of political parties. George Washington, in his farewell address stated the following:

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

We have witnessed this in our own midst. One party fighting against the other making untrue statements regarding the history and intent of the other in order to gain power.

The second division is that of race. Quite frankly, I have never seen race relations so raw and so negative as during the past few years. The Charleston shooter left a “manifesto” as his explanation for the massacre that he was planning. I read it more than once. And especially certain sections, because my mind just has to satisfy itself with some sort of explanation, either sane or insane for anyone committing heinous things. NO, it does not excuse his behavior, however, the thought of someone killing a vast amount of people after sitting with them in a church without some sort of reasoning, whether the reasoning is sane or insane, is worse than anything. It makes this act random. Random anything is unsettling, at least for me.

So, I read his journal. The first thing I will say is that we are bombarded 24/7 with the media and government stirring the racial pot. Everything and anything involves race. The police are painted as racist, every social institution is racist, common expectations of discipline are racist, school and job tests are racist, one political party is racist, one cable station is racist, certain newspapers are racist, America is racist, the prison system is racist, dolls can be racist… it seems as though race has become the national pastime.

So along comes this really, really deeply disturbed person by the name of Dylann “Storm” Roof. A young man who did two or three unsuccessful ninth grade stints before dropping out of school to do “God only knows what” while apparently staying high as a kite.” Here he was under-educated and full of impotent rage, his journal starts out as such:

I was not raised in a racist home or environment. Living in the South, almost every white person has a small amount of racial awareness, simply because of the numbers of negroes in this part of the country.

I really have not seen nor heard the term “negro” in such a long time… but I digress. He felt after reading the Trayvon Martin proceedings that George Zimmerman was correct in what he did. He then googled “Black on White Crime” and then apparently was floored by the number of these cases that go unreported in the newspapers. He then goes on to say that black people seem to be racially aware from birth, then describing them as “lower beings” or at least that is how he feels that most white people view black people. He also feels that white people are unjustly made to pay for slavery even though most of the whites in the South never owned slaves. He somehow deduces that blacks were happier under the mantle of slavery since their low intelligence (he misrepresented IQ), impulsive nature and predisposition towards violence are a result of the massive amounts of testosterone in their loins. He also did not see the reason that George Washington Carver was so celebrated because he was the “first “n-word” to be able to open a peanut.”

Let me make this clear; the image of a violent black man is a powerful tool. And it is used with frequency. Twice, my husband ran against a white opponent. One tried to paint him as a member of a violent motorcycle gang and the other, funded by his father, created a cartoon of my husband punching white women. A local radio host added the “sexual twist.” These are potent images and are used to influence people in the most nefarious manner. We see it and say nothing. So, some of the same people calling for the “stringing and hanging” truly promulgate, promote and believe these images.

Dylann Roof also resented every history lesson taught to him that portrayed white people as bad people or villains. (For example, Christopher Columbus who once discovered America is now portrayed as a rapist) He hated what he referred to as “race mixing” and gave the anecdote of a horse and a donkey breeding a mule, which is an inferior creature. Having left school in the ninth grade robbed him of the second biology class that would have introduced him to DNA. All humans belong to the same species, so basically all human DNA is the same.

What is not generally realized is that a huge proportion of people
who would generally regard themselves as ‘white’ have at least one black ancestor in the last four generations (as demonstrated by random sampling of DNA in the population). Being simply ‘black’ or ‘white’ is based on only a tiny number of genes concerned with skin color. In most cases, skin color is also linked to a number of other genes which determine other characteristics – blood type, nose shape, etc but these are not fixed just to the skin color genes. More overall variation could be found, for example, between a white, blond, blue-eyed Icelander and an olive-skinned, brown-eyed Greek both of who would regard themselves as ‘white.'”

(That Biology 2 class in the 11th grade might have been a key to opening up some enlightenment. )

So, who cares Angela? Let’s “string him up!” He is a racist! Hang him high. This was the hew and cry of every news station this morning. “Kill him, he is the only one! AND if there is another, then kill him too!” One radio host said he doesn’t even need a trial! Just shoot him!

Will we ever ask ourselves the origin of his middle name “Storm” which happens to be part of the name on many of the white supremacy websites? Nope, the “journalists” just want to string him up and hang him high.

I am grateful for the legal system, which should never be a mob system. Yes, this man deserves to be punished, but in order to clear up the problem, to cure the “sickness” we have to realize that this crime, no matter how horrific is simply a symptom of what is happening to our youth. This “man” is 21 years old. I have several sweaters that I still wear that are 28 years old and a jacket that is 30.

Some of his pictures show him stomping on the American flag and burning it. Was this not a “challenge” by a black student, with one lovely young black girl dancing on the flag for the world to see? What is happening to make young people hate this country so much?

Our youth and others with not so inquiring minds might digest racial demographic marketing of messages in ways much different than intended. You see, they are often so removed from the concept of political twisting and power that they digest a kernel (often the wrong kernel) of the information which allows them to take it one step further, and further and further to the point of-madness…sometimes madness that brings us the following statement by Mr. Roof:

We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.

And we know what happened then.

But thankfully not all kids. The teenage children of Sharonda Singleton, one of nine people shot dead by Dylann Roof, had one statement to give: ‘We forgive him.” And the little children led us in this instance — they are not much younger than the shooter. Sharonda did good, God Bless her soul.

What happens to Dylann Roof is up to the legal system. What happens to our society is something that the “grown folks” will have to take care of — that is after we get over the screeching of “string him up,” “hang him high” and other various and sundry useless phrases. The sickness runs deep and this one is uniquely American and only we can cure it.

[Note: This article was written by Angela Graham-West]


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