Drop the labels.

“The woman’s motive was unknown, but investigators said they believe the woman may have been mentally unstable.” -NBC News

And we have it once again – blaming violence on mental illness. A woman was shot and killed with her one year old child in the car after having tried to breech a Capital barrier. Again the specter of the “frightening mentally ill” is raised.

Has anyone thought that the woman could have acted our of frustration or powerlessness or anger? Has anyone suggested that for only a brief moment she acted irrationally, as humans sometimes do? No. Instead we go right to seeing a person as mentally ill. We believe mentally ill people respond with violence whenever they need to solve a problem.

We can’t accept the fact that we are all flawed people; we all struggle, we all become frustrated and angry, we all sometimes solve our problems in a wrong way. But we are also all people who love, who do kind acts, who care for others. It’s easier to label and blame a group than it is to search for answers.

Deliver us from the mentally well, from the self-righteous, from those who choose not to think beyond hurtful labels.

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2 Responses

  1. When this news story broke, I felt awful for that woman and especially her child. I can’t say I know the exact, honest details of what happened, considering I only know what the media and news has reported, but I can say I believe her getting shot was extreme and unnecessary at the least.

    I’ve been in situations where I felt so powerless or angry that I acted like what some people would call a “crazy person”. Never something that extreme, but all people can be irrational and have emotions or moments of weakness that get the best of us from time to time. It’s human nature. Do I think what she did was out of line? Yes. Do I think that justifies her getting shot or automatically makes her mentally ill? Definitely not.

    Great post that will hopefully make people think about difficult situations they’ve been put in and their judgments of others.

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