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On the Charleston S.C. Massacre and the Deeper Roots of Ignorance in America

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My good friend Penny Lundquist just posted a link to a Psychology Today article by secular humanist David Niose entitled "Is Anti-intellectualism Killing America". It holds anti-intellectualism and a "culture of ignorance" partly responsible for the racially-motivated murders of nine Black churchgoers in Charleston, SC by 21-year old Dylann Roof. And it holds this culture responsible for the death of reason itself in America as well.

Interesting. The idea of a culture of ignorance got me thinking in two directions: about the factors that contributed to Dylann Roof's homicidal mindset and about those that underlie America's broken system of political discourse.

Thinking about all this, I decided that before discussing anything I needed first to come to terms with the idea that something - anything - may be killing America. This notion is discomfiting: it locks one into the narrow dualistic box that America is either being killed or it is not. Heck, that&#…