I fully disagree that mental illness had anything to do with Dylan Roof killing nine people in a Charleston church.
People want to write off this level of hatred and harm as some kind of ‘crazy’, but the scary and more realistic truth is that- this isn’t crazy…. This is the world we are in because this is what we are teaching and learning…. and those in a position to change the dialogue are often the ones who benefit from it being so skewed.
I struggle with this because I do have a mental illness….. If I were to hurt someone- my illness is in no way a reason.
I have been the victim of incredible abuses because of my illness- but never has it once been the topic of conversation unless someone is trying to explain away bad behaviour of others.
I think it is possible for others to cause significant harm without having a mental illness- because they are entrenched in ideologies that don;t recognize other bodies as human. This isn’t a sickness- it is ideas that are learned, trained, and taught….
I bet he would never attack white bodies in this way- which tells me he isn’t delusional or a sociopath with no empathy- he literally thinks he did right, not because of mental illness, but because of a world that often agree’s with him, through media, laws, policies, economics, etc…. Is every cop who kills a black person, mentally ill? Is every lynch mob member mentally ill? No…. It isn’t an illness to be ignorant, dangerous, and privileged.
He is dangerous in the way all people who hold privilege are dangerous- he thinks there are literal separations of humanity between white bodies and poc’s. He just took it to a deadly extreme that most people want to separate their personal bigotry from.
I think it is important to understand it isn’t a mental illness- cause it is everywhere. It isn’t abnormal either, but it is just written off as mental illness so people don;t have to look at their own complicity and the ways in which they have allowed this to happen.
The upside is- if this can be recognized, over time, it can be unlearned.