We, the survivors, need to look beyond the shock, revulsion and disgust of the acts committed by Dylann Roof, a criminally misguided, brainwashed youngster, if we want to ever rid ourselves from such events in the future.
Misguided — because who’s really on trial are the collective, warped minds who, for years, have been openly preaching hate and intolerance. Whether the murderer is put to death or let to continue breathing air, a right he forfeited, on trial are those who nurture such minds.
Educators, politicians, mental health professionals, religious leaders, newly elected presidents and, mostly, parents need to teach tolerance and diversity — and that “love thy neighbor as thyself” is not just another cliché. Our society needs to loudly, clearly and forcefully exclude racially motivated and hate-preaching groups from our mainstream midst if we intend to survive as a “cultured” society.
Amir Burstein, San Luis Obispo