It’s an age-old problem. The words and actions of rearing adults can either bless or curse a child’s social development. Love and compassion or hatred and militancy can be passed from generation to generation. Historically, the philosophies of Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, and Pope Francis stand in stark contrast to those of Adolph Hitler or Osama Bin Laden. Child rearing can mirror a corrupted computer file: garbage in, garbage out.
All of this leads us to the case of South Carolina’s church shooter, Dylann Roof. As the debate over the Confederate Battle Flag on government properties continues, said flags are flying off of retailers’ shelves as if they were destined to be banned for private ownership. One must wonder how some philosophies can endure for 150 years.
Most of Roof’s victims were more highly educated and accomplished than he would have ever become in his lifetime. Yet, in his own mind, Roof’s racial heritage made him superior to his victims.
As in many cases of radical religious or political orders, the concepts of racism and radical ethnic purity can be passed down through successive generations with absolute impunity. The end result is the nurturing of social or ethnic strife, perpetuated by those who are oblivious to the damage they are inflicting.
Until society acknowledges the true genesis of Dylann Roof, propagandistic elders and forbearers will continue to derail the ideals that our collective consciences deem proper. Ultimately, it takes a village to raise a child.