Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Usual Warning Signs

This profile of James Fields, the 20-year old Nazi-fanboy who allegedly murdered Heather Heyer and injured at least 19 others, is chilling in that there were obvious warning signs that this young man was headed for violence--because he was already performing violence:

In a report sourced to police records, the newspaper said that wheelchair-bound Bloom called police in Florence, Kentucky, at least nine times starting in 2010 seeking help with her sometimes violent son.

Soon after graduating high school in 2015, Fields joined the U.S. Army but left by December after failing to meet training standards, the Army said in a statement.
What kind of person physically assaults his disabled mom? What kind of person seeks out a profession that involves firearms and violence but displays no aptitude for the actual working parts of the job description? A person with a fuse easily lit in a tiki-torch atmosphere.

I've covered this before--Elliot RogersIsmaayil Brinsley. James Hodgkinson.  (There are others, but these posts stand out in my mind.) Sometimes you know someone is liable to hurt masses of people because they already hurt people, often women, they already associate with.

This violence ideation was apparent with Dylan Klebold, who dwelt upon Nazis, and Eric Harris, who dwelt upon all kinds of things, but also a dehumanized image of female sexuality.

They all failed to see people as just...people. So they resorted to violence against people. There was no understanding what the humanity of their victims even was.

There are warning signs. They just look an awful lot like our culture. We separate people by race, creed, gender, religion. We objectify people based on what they can do or can't do for us. And we depersonalize them by creating narratives about them based on our ignorance, not based on our curiosity about the Other and how those who are not ourselves even live. And I include myself in that "we". Trying to break out of that othering, dehumanizing, and situational dealing with other people is a struggle everyone deals with. But we don't talk about it intelligently, if we talk about it at all. And those who don't sort it out within themselves, do violent shit, because they never learned that people were people. And none of us are fucking special. We just live, bleed, try to get by, and hopefully find other people who will love us for our difficult and unspecial selves.

But we don't need to be special to have earned the right to live. We are all here. It's all we have. It is all we need to have. I don't understand how it eludes anyone that human beings not yourself have their hereness to justify their existence, and that life is not cheap, but a daily struggle for air and water and calories, and room to move and think and be, but it is the basic principle on which I think any kind of reality needs to be based--the other is not unlike you in uniqueness and rights. They like you are physically capable of suffering and can be injured, get sick, fear death, deserve love. And this is the best part of them, and you. Because it makes it incumbent upon us all to see one another for what we are.

Be fearless enough to love and be loved, be ready to hold back your worst until you've seen your fellow human for their best. And if their best is Nazi shit, well, I guess, bust them up until their asses get fixed. Because that way is a sunken place and nothing any good can come out of.


mikey said...

It is important to understand the difference between killers and murderers. People like Audie Murphy, Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon have something inside them that made them lethal. But they also had the same kind of moral compass that we expect humans to have. People who use violence against unarmed humans are the other side of that coin - the lethality without the courage or humanity.

There is a long history of humans killing humans, going back millennia. But there are two categories of killers - those who kill in service to their fellows, and those who merely choose to kill their fellows...

Thomas Ten Bears said...

To kill in service is to choose to kill.

Vixen Strangely said...

I think there is a distinction there--I'm by no means a pacifist. I don't think in terms of an absolute, but in the sense of multiple iterations of "would you rather..?" and consider that that in self-defense, in the defense of the victimized, in defense of the nation--to protect others from harm, there would be instances in which violence has been necessary. There's arguments, I guess, about the tolerances society can bear with respects to actual killing--is it possible that a person can be capable of actions so inimical to society that they have to be struck off the rolls of the breathing, or is merely removing them from society enough? for example, but I am not really at issue with the type of person for whom efficient killing is possible. It's the person for whom is probable, even maybe unavoidable. And I can't even say I know for sure if they are born that way, or if some accident of nurture turns them into disaffected, highly rage-prone and dangerous individuals. But I see a definite pattern with them that strongly suggests that violence is learned.