Context: Because nothing exists in a vacuum.

It’s convenient to act like there’s not a broader context & pattern when “individuals” / lone wolves make attacks, whether it be racial, gendered, or whatever.

But if you don’t connect the dots between ostensibly isolated incidents — like the Santa Barbara shooting and the kid a few weeks ago who stabbed a girl to death for declining his prom invite — then you don’t see the bigger picture.

It’s convenient the write the individual attackers off as “mentally ill” (no matter how offensive that is to people with mental illness who’ve never harmed a soul).

But do we really now believe that people are “mentally ill” when they follow an ideology that re-aligns their definition of “right” and “wrong”? The Rwandan Genocide wasn’t a case of a whole population being mentally ill. It was the result of an ideology that made it “ok” to kill 800,000 people in a few months.

It’s possible to have totally warped views and still be perfectly sane from a legal and medical standpoint. It’s possible be sane and yet buy into a culture that tells/allows you to regard some people as subhuman.

Writing off individual attacks as individual events, when they are in fact connected by a worldview, ideology, or source incitement (whether a diffused or point source, to use the environmental science terms), is why attacks continue.

Bill Humphrey

About Bill Humphrey

Bill Humphrey is the primary host of WVUD's Arsenal For Democracy talk radio show and a local elected official.
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