Thursday, June 25, 2015

Murders and Mental Illness

I've been listening with sadness to much of the discussion surrounding Dylann Roof and the murders at Emmanuel AME church.  More than once I have heard people refer to him as insane, comment about how "sick" his actions were, or describe his actions as those of a crazy person.

I want to say this as clearly as I can.  Dylann Roof's actions were not due to mental illness.  He is not crazy.  He is not sick.  He is evil and his actions were evil.  To identify him with those who are mentally ill does great disservice to those who truly are mentally ill and places them under suspicion that they do not deserve.  If murdering 9 people equals mental illness then what does mental illness equal?   If we can label this person as "sick" and then lock him away and forget him, what do we do with the truly sick people in our communities and even in our own families?

Please, please, please, do not call this evil young man crazy or sick or mentally ill... he is not.  And those who are mentally struggle enough with their illness that they do not need to be branded with suspicion of being murders.

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