Caitlyn and Dylann: Two Incomprehensible and Unrelated Events

The incomprehensible events I speak of are the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina and the emergence of Caitlyn Jenner from a lifetime of being the wrong gender.

The shootings, by Dylann Storm Roof, 21,  took place at an AME Church in Charleston on Wednesday, June 17th. The shooter entered the African Methodist Episcopal Church during the evenings prayer study with murder on his mind and a loaded Glock .45 in his pocket. He sat there for an hour listening to the prayer study before shooting.

I’ve been to AME church services and I can’t think of a more serene, loving, all embracing atmosphere than an AME church during a prayer study. The attendees are devout Christian people who believe in Christian principles. Dylann was the only white person there. The survivors at AME have found love to forgive Dylann, I wonder how he deals with that!

His motivation seems to be virulent racism. I simply cannot understand that, nor can I understand how Roof would think that he would accomplish anything beneficial to his point of view by entering this church and killing nine people. There is no comprehensible benefit anywhere, to anyone,  and none for him as he would probably die because of the act either by cop or by execution after trial.

For Dylann Roof there must have been a benefit and he seems coyly serene in his incarceration. I’ve known virulent racists in my life. One, a fellow from Emporia, Virginia, was so hateful that he refused to turn a door knob if a black man had touched it before.  I often wondered where his racism came from. I think it came from  the boys at the drug store in Emporia who spewed hateful stuff to this fellow. He bought it all, and when he gave evidence to his vengeance, he was only thinking of the boys at the drug store in Emporia and how proud they would be.

I think Dylann is like this fellow from Virginia. His motivation is misguided approval from those from his youth who taught him wrong. As he sits in jail he will think he did something, but all he did was show how stupid he and those like him really are.

As for Jenner, I just find it incomprehensible that a man discovers that he’s really a woman at his age and acts on the feelings/thoughts. I think what was done here, the drugs, implants etc. took tremendous bravery. Still, it is incomprehensible, especially in that Jenner’s fame is due to athletic success as 1976 Olympic Decathlon Champion. It takes male attributes, especially testosterone, to win such events and his 23 year marriage produced six children, another male activity!

So what was the motivation for this incomprehensible act. For Roof, it was easy, for Jenner, confusing. In thinking about this, I keep going back to the Wheaties Box in 1976 that showed Gold Medalist Jenner in a track shirt, but with long hair! His features are finely drawn and his body lean, not over muscled. Maybe we were all missing the feminine side of the decathlete then only to be made aware of it after the athletic career, six children, the twenty-three  year marriage and the looming prospect of old age, that side was allowed to emerge. The thought of spending an entire life as a male when the feminine had been trying to emerge for half a century was too much.

So Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner, it seemed so straight forward it must be honest. For me it is incomprehensible, but I’ve never faced Jenner’s reality.  Nor can I relate to Dylann’s stupidity, although I’ve seen it before.

It’s an amazing world. We are lucky to live in interesting times.

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