Mental illness is a far bigger threat than fake Nazis

Pundits, politicians and the social media chatter class have carried on endlessly about the torch carrying morons in Charlottesville. But few have mentioned how mental illness is too often a factor in events that become national tragedies.

James Alex Fields Jr., the man accused of driving his car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others, may be a racist and a white nationalist. But, more importantly, he is mentally deranged.

Here’s a snippet from a Chicago Tribune piece out last week:

Late in his senior year of high school, James Fields Jr. was excitedly mapping his future, hoping to join the Army right after graduation. Although his political and social views ran counter to American values – he much preferred authoritarianism and the racial purity dogma of the Third Reich – Fields looked forward to soldiering in democracy’s most powerful military.

That’s how Derek Weimer, his favorite teacher in 2015, remembers it.

Then one day in that spring semester, Fields told Weimer that the Army had turned him down for a reason related to his psychiatric history, Weimer recalled this week. Weimer wasn’t surprised by the rejection, he said, because Fields had confided to him a year earlier that he suffered from schizophrenia and was being treated with drugs to control his illness.

Fields had a history of violence against his mother, and reports indicate that it was so extreme that she called police on him multiple times when he was a high school student. One of the calls came after he’d threatened her with a large knife.

In other words, the man who allegedly rammed his car into protesters in Virginia was a ticking time-bomb– and he has more in common with the mass murders responsible for some of recent history’s most terrible tragedies than the many of the marchers present on either side in Charlottesville.

Yet the mainstream media continues talking about the situation as though Field’s actions were planned by the factions who planned the march. And somehow continues claiming that the president must denounce racism in America because of the man’s actions.

Fields doesn’t represent racists, Nazis or white supremacists. He may have, thanks to a weak mind, been more susceptible to their warped messaging than more reasonable humans– but for a responsible national news media, that’s where the relationship should end.

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