by Cathy Drummond
The family of Monsey stabbing Suspect Thomas Grafton blames mental illness. According to the Washington Post, the family of alleged suspect Thomas Grafton says he has a ‘history of mental illness.’ The family goes on to state that the Suspect has no ties to any known (Hate) groups that the Family is aware of.
The Hanukkah Day stabbing in Monsey, NY first appeared to be a part of a string of anti-Semitic activity. Anti-Semitic activity which has recently escalated. But according to the family of the alleged Suspect in the Hanukkah stabbings this was not one of them. In an emailed statement issued by the lawyer of the Suspect’s Family, the Lawyer asserts that the Suspect has a ‘long history of mental illness and hospitalizations.’ But no history of Antisemitism that the family was aware of.
In a published study on violence and mental illness, Researchers point out possible correlating factors likely to increase the presence of both violence and mental illness in an incident. Psycho-social factors. Certain Psycho-social factors which may impact the individual overall state of mind. Psycho-social factors such as aggression fueled by feelings of fear, anger, frustration, and injustice. Environmental factors such as where one may have grown up, also contributing greatly to this. The study also identifies Biologic factors. Or Genetic factors which may demonstrate a propensity toward violence in the mentally ill. However, there is still no proven direct correlation. Other factors which may impact the potential for violence in the mentally ill is vast.
The study goes on to surmise that a (combination) of factors will play a role in aggression and violence in the mentally ill. The study points out that “Mental illness may increase the likelihood of committing violence in some individuals, but only a small part of the violence in society can be ascribed to mental health patients.”
The Hanukkah Day stabbings have revealed one thing, however. There is violence in this country. Albeit not formally described as Hate Crime. The stabbing of the five Hasidic Orthodox Jewish Worshipers is tragic. Communities of every sort are grappling with some form of violence and even hate. The Hanukkah stabbings were barbaric to say the least. But it reveals the stigma which has been attached to certain groups. Especially when is assumed that it was a crime of hate. And not one of simple violence. If there is such a thing as (simple) violence. Only time will prove which is which. Whether the Hanukkah Day stabbings were a Hate crime as first suspected. Or a Crime of violence by a lone mentally ill individual.