The Conversation We Won’t Have

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Dylann Roof appears more evil than disturbed. Perhaps he had mental health issues. But at some point we just need to call him evil. White supremacy and segregation are evils. He appears to have believed in both. People who believe in white supremacy and segregation do not have to suffer from mental health, but do in all cases have to be evil.

As Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said yesterday, evil is real and the government is not going to legislate it away.

But in typical fashion, the conversation immediately became political. The state of South Carolina, controlled by Republicans, elected an Indian American Governor and put a black man in charge of the congressional district from which the first shots of the Civil War were fired. They then elevated him to the United States Senate. Both are Republicans.

The state has moved on. But, of course, cries from the left were all about the state’s racism. Race hustlers picked it up for political gain. Fox News and the GOP were attacked. Governor Nikki Haley was blamed. I dare say online and on leftwing television programs, most every person and idea on the right-of-center was blamed more than Dylann Roof.

The President and others went immediately to gun control. There does appear to be an issue with how Dylann Roof got his gun, but some reporter actually tweeted that it is easier in this country to get a gun than to get food. I suspect the reporter has never actually tried to purchase a gun. How Dylann Roof obtained his gun is a question, but the fact is South Carolina has tougher gun rules than most states in the Southeast.

The facts do not matter though.

Yet again we have a twenty-something white male loner or semi-loner who got a gun and decided to kill people. In most cases we have found that the mass shooter was mentally disturbed. In this case, it looks more and more than Dylann Roof was just a servant of an evil that says some of those created in the image of God are better than others or that some people are not created in the image of God at all.

As a nation, when these things happen, we never have the conversation about real evil. We also never have the conversation about mental health. For that matter, we don’t have honest conversations about why some kid in Minnesota or Alabama would want to go join ISIS and kill their fellow citizens or why some kid would want to join neo-nazis or a gang.

Instead, we descend into partisan conversations where everything is political and neither side can concede or acknowledge the other’s points. Everyone and everything gets blamed while ignoring the actual person who killed.

I realize now why that is. I realize why we will never have the conversation we should have.

A society that looks at a 65 year old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and “a new normal” cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good. Our American society has a mental illness — overwhelming narcissism and delusion — and so cannot recognize what crazy or evil looks like.

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Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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