In the wake of mass shootings in my home state of Ohio in Dayton and in El Paso, Texas, a familiar trope has emerged – mental illness as the culprit. First, let me say this – white supremacy is not a mental illness. It is an ideology based on hate. Depression is a mental illness. PTSD is a mental illness. Being an asshole isn’t a mental illness. It’s just part of who we are.
By now, you have seen this image or the videos of high school white boys from Covington, Kentucky forming a mob around native elders to mock them. The video went viral and has been the talk of social media for days. Twitter and Facebook served as the public judge and jury for the kids. Then came the backlash and the PR tour. The white privilege counter. The victimhood narrative. The story became both infuriating and predictable in how it played out with the smirking kid in the MAGA hat getting invites to national network news programs.
Who are you? No, seriously. Take a minute to attempt to answer that question. I know it’s not easy. Just think of a few sentences that may describe who you are. I’ll wait.
We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America. But the other basket […]