Consign the sociopath and terrorist to oblivion

I recoil at seeing photographs of the smirking white racist who gunned down nine African-Americans in a Charleston church last week.

His actions, like those of so many other mass-murderers and terrorists, were directed not just toward his victims but toward us, the public.  His actions were calculated to command our attention.  This low-life left a manifesto explaining the influential effect he hoped his actions would have.  His motive was to show up society.  When journalists give this despicable creature publicity, they fulfill his perverted and malevolent dream of glory.  They realize the image of what, without us, he could never be.  Perversely, they grant the craven narcissist celebrity.

Society and the media should shun and ostracize actors who terrorize and assail society.  Coverage of their actions should be bland: imageless, minimal, and uninteresting.  The pronouncements, images, and names of terrorists and sociopathic killers should be consigned to annihilation, as beneath our acceptance or recognition.  Let their names and deeds be publicly recalled only to the extent required in the justice system.  Cast them into an acid bath of oblivion, consign them to social death, silently and without a second thought.

The virtuous stance of the victims’ families is far more worthy of our consideration, far more sensational, and fuller of the power that inspires our awe.

2 responses

  1. I agree with you some. The animal that committed that heinous crime is the lowest of the low, a real scum. However, acts of such a horrid nature done in the U.S are, thank goodness, very, very rare. Their occurrence in the States makes it very newsworthy to the public. . . . The many acts of mass murder in the mid-east are pretty much blips on the media screen–except when a name/person/cause is pin-pointed. Then I agree that very little coverage of the person/act should be done. Too often the PBS Newshour and other major media sources devote way too much coverage to the animals that commit these mass murders.

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    • I would make a distinction between covering the crime and giving publicity to the criminal. Showing some restraint when it comes to republishing the photographs, Facebook pages, and words of people who commit hate crimes or crimes against society is more appropriate than retailing these things. Let’s be honest: this is done because crime is a source of sensational interest, not because it serves any higher purpose. On the contrary, it gives something positive to the perpetrator of such crimes that should be denied.

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