Nathan Allen: The Enemy Within
But he had a PhD!
Last weekend Nathan Allen, a 28-year old resident of Winthrop, MA, went on a rampage during which he executed two Black people; he was later shot dead by police.
The Daily Beast advised us, “Newlywed Nathan Allen is a shooter we should all study because his violent race hatred seemed to come from nowhere — concealed beneath all his layers of apparent decency.”
The Beast thinks we should be thrown off either by the fact that Allen was married or that he was a newlywed, as if either is an antidote for hate.
Allen had a PhD and the press reacted as if a certain level of educational certification prevents racism, a conclusion which is ignorant to the point of despair.
The local district Attorney there has stated that Allen made “anti-Semitic and racist statements against Black individuals.”
The U.S. politics of the Right have played a key role in green-lighting white supremacy and racist behavior against Blacks, Jews, Asians, etc.
And Allen’s mayhem is not a one-off. There is the 2019 Poway synagogue shooting where the nice white kid, Jonathon Earnest, (also being schooled in health care,) does the white-supremacist-rampage-thing.
The widespread availability of white supremacist and anti-Semitic writings and the absurdly easy access to firearms are contributing factors but that’s not the full story.
To do what Allen, Edwards and others have done, you need to have internalized a profound sense of personal grievance down to the level of DNA.
Since all humans have and act on tribal associations that is not an adequate explanation.
You must believe that the world has wronged you, or been especially unfair to you.
Next, you must attribute that unfairness to specific groups of people.
It is victimization run amok where all personal responsibility is forfeited and others bear the blame for inertia, failure and disappointment.
Allen’s PhD can be viewed as a red flag. Staying in school can be an escape from adulthood and the avoidance of life’s trials. Was he incensed at his lack of professional progress after a taste of life in the real world?
Learning to accept defeat and the apparent unfairness of the world and to find a new path forward, one definition of resilience, may be the best asset we will ever have.
The cruelest irony is that Allen executed Ramona Cooper and David L. Green, an Air Force Staff Sergeant and retired state trooper, respectively, either of whom could have taught him much about tenacity, resilience and reserve.