Dylan Roof, a right wing extremist, slaughtered nine people in an historic black church in South Carolina. This hateful deed puts an exclamation point on the report from the Department of Homeland Security that right wing extremist terrorism is every bit as much of a threat in America as Islamist extremist terrorists.
We always seem to want to explain away right wing extremist violence as expressions of mental illness, whereas we want to explain Islamist extremist violence as an expression of a murderous ideology. I think it is time to realize the the right wing terrorists are also acting out murderous ideologies. And, indeed, both right wing and Islamist violent extremists have some pretty serious mental problems. I believe what they have in common is the paranoid fear that they are losing the world they think should be - some sort of Islamist fantasy or some sort of right wing fantasy - and they see themselves as brave soldiers out to right the terrible wrongs of the modern world which they see as plunging into an abyss of darkness.
And, in a way, they are right. The world is changing, and changing very fast. The extremes of masculine chauvinism, of hyper masculine purity that subjugates all that is feminine, or "impure" from a religious, or racist, or sexist bigotry are dying. We no longer live in a world where everybody is just like us. We no longer live in a world where tough, ruthless men run everything.
And that is a good thing. The days of brutal Islamism are fading away, and a reform of Islam is happening, despite the violent reaction against it. And, in the West, the days of hyper-masculine domination are also fading away. Hooray for the rest of us!
Lost, frightened souls are the ones doing the violence. I believe that their violence trying to stop the world's evolution are actually signposts that the path of the future is moving away from their fantasy worlds and into a world of much more balance and harmony.