I recently read an article that claims the underlying reason for the recent tragedy in Charleston, SC was due to “anti-intellectualism” and a “culture of ignorance.” The author downplays racism and violence, stating these “phenomena are directly tied to the nation’s culture of ignorance.” In the article, racism and violence are directly related to other social issues (such as not supporting the Big Bang Theory or human-caused climate change), in that all of these issues have the common denominator: “abandoned critical thinking.” After digesting the points in the article, I found myself in complete disagreement with the author’s main claim that “anti-intellectualism” is responsible for this tragedy.
The real reason for this tragedy is simple. The real reason for this tragedy can not be manipulated solely by critical thinking. The real reason for this tragedy goes far deeper than the cerebral cortex. The real reason is why racism, violence, and murder, or as the author refers to as “social dysfunction”, is not just an American history problem but a world history problem. The real reason for this tragedy is simply Hate.
Conversely to the above mentioned article, I will not go off onto tangents about politics and religion. The fact is this: a young man brutally murdered 9 other people, all due to his hatred. Why did he manifest such hatred? There are undoubtedly social, psychological, and even intellectual influences that helped develop and grow his hatred. However the core of such hate goes far beyond supra-tentorial or cerebral causes. Thus the reason it takes so much more than just critical thinking to dissolve hate from a person or society, and the reason why racism, violence, and murder have been present throughout human history.
However, just like the cause, the cure for this tragedy is simple. The cure, just like the cause, can not be manipulated by critical thinking, and it goes far deeper than the cerebral cortex. The cure is what heals and stabilizes humanity after a tragedy like this. The cure is simply Love.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Thank you, citizens of Charleston, SC, for exemplifying this principle to all of us around the world.
“Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all wrongs”, Proverbs 10:12.