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Mental illness is a very serious matter. But it stigmatizes those with genuine mental illnesses to claim that hate crimes that are perpetrated by people socialized into racism are done by individuals with a mental illness. It is part of the dynamic that leads to claims of any crime perpetrated by a Muslim being called terrorism while those mass murders committed by white men being referred to as mental health issues. White Americans are being socialized into racism and lisogyny. When they commit crimes it is not because they are mentally ill, it is because we live in a culture that makes it acceptable to commit acts of violence against women and people of color. Mental illness is serious and should be treated as such, but hate should not be excused as an anomaly of an individual when it is systemically perpetuated.

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