In the past, mass killings were considered something African Americans didn’t do, and much of the reason for that assertion was tied to the heavy influence of religion in the black community. But today, the black community has been divided by progress, generational change, and dramatic reductions in racist events in American society.
Now, we have black men who don’t have religion in their lives, yet deal with a still-high-level of day-to-day racism, but without a “coping mechanism.” The result: actions like the one Aaron Alexis took, and allegedly over not being paid for work, or LA Police Officer Chris Dorner, who went on a killing spree of his own years after being fired from the LAPD.
There have been three times in my life where I wasn’t compensated for work, or my pay was delayed by about a month. In each occasion I never considered taking the actions that Aaron Alexis carried out. I just checked on the issue, lived cheaply, made payment arrangements, and waited. Not Aaron Alexis.
The question is what to do, and the answer is simple, but some will not like it. We need to bring religion back into our lives, and at all levels, regardless of race. But religion, or a rediscovery of it, must be the prime conversation among blacks, regardless of community. It’s not mental illness, because racism itself is a mental illness: it’s the lack of basic ways of dealing with the crap society throws out, and combined with the presence of too many guns that’s the problem.