On June 17th, 2015 Evil walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and murdered nine African American parishioners.
On June 12th, 2016 Evil walked into the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida and murdered 49 men and women, and injured more than 50 others.
On December 14, 2012 Evil walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School and wiped out the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators.
This past weekend Evil walked into a McDonalds, took an 18-year old man with special needs and tied him up, kicked him, beat him, yelled at him, slashed him and forced him to drink toilet water while streaming it live on Facebook.
CNN host Don Lemon in discussing the Evil that took a young man with special needs and brutalized him had this to say:
“I don’t think it’s evil. I don’t think it’s evil…I think these are young people, and I think they have bad home training.”
While “…bad home training.” may be an apt way to describe the failure of four young people to have the empathy necessary to grasp the pain and suffering they were inflicting on another human being, it was Evil that committed their acts of violence.
Evil is their name.
Evil isn’t new. It’s been with us since the beginning of humanity.
The loss of one Evil man or woman has never been the end of Evil in the world.
Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro and countless more before them, and countless more after them are evidence that the death of one does not result in the end of evil.
David Wong writes in John Dies in the End that “Son, the greatest trick the Devil pulled was convincing the world there was only one of him.”
To call Evil by its name doesn’t require one to believe in God, or the Devil or whatever iteration of both one might find compelled to embrace or reject.
It does require one to take a position that despite the reasons behind the heinous acts one commits against another human being there must be a name for those acts.
This isn’t an ideology. It’s not a philosophy. Nor is it a measure of relative horror committed against one or more than one human being.
I don’t care about the name of the person who commits an act, or acts, of Evil. It makes no difference to me that his or her name has been printed in the newspaper, heard on the radio or seen on the television.
Whether it is the dramatic photo of a single gunman taking the life of a Russian Ambassador or a terrorist wiping out the lives of innocent people in Paris or Istanbul or the deliberate murder of the people of Syria by that nation’s own President – there is Evil in the world.
Misunderstood youth. Aggrieved employee. Angry motorist. Jealous husband. Petty tyrant.
Whatever narrative one wants to create to explain the “trigger” that took the life and lives of human beings long before their time can never justify a conspiracy of silence that refuses to call Evil by its name.
Don Lemon is not alone in his broken radar that is incapable of identifying Evil.
Evil is Evil.
Can one commit an act more Evil than another Evil act?
Of this, I am not certain.
But, I am certain that one can commit multiple acts of Evil.
Evil inflicted on one or one hundred or one hundred thousand will never be Evil if no one act of Evil cannot be called out for what it is.
Failing to call Evil by its name brings political correctness in our world into focus when each expanding act of horror begins to numb our outrage, our fear, our disgust – our courage.
The world needs more people to have the courage to call Evil by its name.
Not because Evil is the greatest threat to humanity.
The failure of Good to call Evil by its name is humanity’s greatest threat.
There is Evil in the world.
Call it by its name.