Target: Roger Ailes, CEO of FOX News Channel
Goal: Stop referring to every mass shooter as “mentally ill.”
In the wake of the tragic mass murder in Charleston, South Carolina, newscasters and pundits have been clamoring to call the perpetrator “mentally ill” or “crazy.” The sad fact is that this pathetic husk of a human was not crazy, he was merely filled with hatred and delusions placed in his head by white supremacists. These news stations must stop giving him, and all others who commit mass violence, an easy out with “mental illness” and stop insulting those who truly struggle with it.
It is easy, and far more pleasant, to assume that someone who commits a massive, violent crime is simply broken, that it was a freak occurrence that won’t happen again. It is more difficult to come to terms with the fact that many of these deranged individuals (who are most often white men) are not mentally ill. They are simply corrupted by hatred that is easily found on the internet and constantly spewed on network television by a system that is still inherently biased towards white men. Misogyny and racism are not mental illnesses, they do not spring up in nature and they are not in the DSM V; They are taught and reinforced over countless years until they explode in a violent massacre.
The racist perpetrator of the Charleston shootings planned his crime out well in advance. He knew what he was doing, he knew who his targets were, and he knew why he was doing it. He was not schizophrenic, he was not bipolar, he was a hateful murderer. To call him anything less would be to excuse his behavior and insult those who truly struggle with mental illness. Please sign the petition below to demand that FOX News, the quickest to defend this piece of garbage with exculpatory language, stop referring to him as “mentally ill” immediately.
Dear Mr. Ailes,
I am writing to you with sadness and anger in my heart over your network’s treatment and coverage of the tragic mass murder in Charleston, South Carolina. Not only have those on your network tried to obfuscate the issue by claiming it had nothing to do with race, they have continually claimed that the perpetrator, who I will not name out of respect for his victims, was simply “mentally ill.”
It is convenient to use mental illness as a scapegoat for racism and misogyny in U.S. culture. It’s something that people readily believe and it helps to soothe some of the fear that people feel after tragedies. After all, it’s much easier to accept that someone has a mental illness than it is to accept that your entire culture is biased to the point where this type of thing has become a common occurrence.
I am writing you to demand that you tell the truth. I demand that you report that this murderer was just full of hatred that was fostered by a system that is inherently biased towards white men. Don’t continue to insult those who truly struggle with mental illness.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Peterslowman