Public News (Houston) - - FRONT PAGE - Com­men­tary by Bart Pearston [email protected]­lic­new­son­

The en­tire con­cept of race is a so­cial con­struct cre­ated in the Mid­dle Ages when more ad­vanced Euro­peans en­coun­tered less ad­vanced cul­tures. It was eco­nom­i­cally ad­van­ta­geous to de­hu­man­ize them for both con­quest and profit such as the slave trade. That un­godly de­vel­op­ment has haunted this coun­try since be­fore its birth.

Grow­ing up in a cul­ture war en­vi­ron­ment in the 60’s, I read hor­rific re­ports of lu­natic cult mem­bers called the “Man­son Fam­ily” who were at­tempt­ing to start a race war that he had been pre­dict­ing prophet­i­cally that didn’t hap­pen. Charles Man­son claimed the Bea­tles were send­ing him “mes­sages” through their mu­sic, es­pe­cially “Lit­tle Pig­gies”, “Lucy in the Sky with Di­a­monds”, and “Hel­ter Skel­ter”. He uses heavy drugs and anti-estab­lish­ment rhetoric to con­vince them. The wealthy celebri­ties in Hol­ly­wood were seen as the op­pres­sors whose mur­ders would cause such alarm that the white peo­ple would over­re­act and start the war prov­ing him cor­rect.

Last week in Charleston, SC, a high school dropout with a his­tory of ar­rests and drug abuse shot and killed nine peo­ple try­ing to start the same race war. His pri­mary mo­ti­va­tion was based on re­cent events in­volv­ing Fred­die Gray, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin. His para­noia that “blacks were tak­ing over the world” is very much dif­fer­ent from Man­son’s.

It is depressing that level of so­cial dis­trust trust in govern­ment and law en­force­ment has re­turned to those of the tur­bu­lent ‘60’s. To those who have read Man­son’s biog­ra­phy, “Hel­ter Skel­ter”, it is clear that the emo­tional dam­age grow­ing up in such dys­func­tion is dan­ger­ous to our so­ci­ety. Is the break­down in the Amer­i­can fam­ily be­com­ing epi­demic? How a fa­ther could pur­chase a 45 cal­iber hand­gun for such a so­cial mis­fit il­le­gally is be­yond me. he has later has changed his story to Dy­lann’s buy­ing it him­self il­le­gally. Ei­ther way, the ex­ist­ing gun laws were not en­forced. We live in a cul­ture where laws are rou­tinely ig­nored. A re­cent report showed an 86% drop in work­place hir­ing of un­doc­u­mented em­ploy­ees in­spec­tions. These type of things ex­ac­er­bate the lack of con­fi­dence in our govern­ment but to me are not the big­gest con­cern. Sure we need more re­spon­si­ble pub­lic ser­vants, but what about re­spon­si­ble par­ents?

I never thought I was nor­mal, never tried to be nor­mal.

-Charles Man­son

The par­ents of those in­volved in Columbine, Sandy Hook, Charleston, McKin­ney, Ferguson, and Bal­ti­more show the real cri­sis. I first was taken back by the com­plete lack of aware­ness of James Holmes, Dylan Kle­bold and Eric Har­ris’s par­ents in their sons’ ac­tiv­i­ties and at­ti­tudes. Dy­lann Roof just seems to be log on the fire. To fix so­ci­ety, we need to start ad­dress­ing our homes. What cur­rently passes for “nor­mal” is the prob­lem.

Bart Pearston

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