David Mandel
Chief Executive Officer, OHEL Children's Home and Family Services

Oblivion for Murderers

Ismaaiyl Brinsley is a nothing.

He is the least important person in a New York City of nine million people.

He should be buried in an unmarked grave deep below the bedrock of the Hudson River.

Yet this persona non grata has captivated and frozen New York City media, politics, and its citizenry.

Our culture in-want of the “free everything,” has not embraced the reality that deranged men with a criminal background in possession of legal firearms will kill innocent people. It is wholly immaterial if they are clinically diagnosable as psychotic, sociopathic or paranoid.

They have demonstrated a resolve to kill: children in school, shoppers in malls, and passengers on mass transit, drivers on highways and brave policemen while on patrol. They kill, transform lives and communities. We search their psyche for rational as if blaming the inequity of mental health will erase family and societal scars.

Mine is not a call for gun control.

The arms race is not being won by the US, Russia or Iran. It has already been won by unstable mindless people such as Brinsley and his like-minded who kill police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.

By killing these two brave men he assaulted the soul of all New Yorkers.

A discourse on race relations in New York and the nation has now taken center stage.

Colleges and Universities can cancel their classes on sociology and human behavior. Students need only to take to the streets and observe our people and culture at its worst and soon hopefully at its best.

Families and communities torn apart by hurled invectives at whites, at blacks, at elected officials, at the mentally ill, at police officers, at those who support police officers, at those who oppose police officers.

The golden rule has changed to. You’re wrong I’m right let’s fight.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley could not have been more successful at creating a stampede had he screamed Fire in a pitch dark Yankee Stadium. He sought fame on Instagram and with passersby that he was about to commit a heinous act.

To the suicide bomber the act of screaming Ali Akbahr is not only pledging allegiance to a wrong-headed god it is as much about drawing attention to themselves.

They want their Andy Wahrhol 15 minutes.

Oblivion may be the antidote.

The media can be enormously helpful by not reporting the name of these murderous attackers.

Their photo should not be shown anywhere. Their family members should not be interviewed. They should not get a moment of airtime, nary a word in print nor any virtual space.

They should be buried anonymously in the ocean floor. Their name should be forgotten forever. Let the narcissist, the attention seeking maniac and the obedient fool know that while their cowardly murderous acts may not be forgotten they immediately will be.

As we praise the lives of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos we sentence Ismaaiyl Brinsley into oblivion, an infinity just punishment.

About the Author
David Mandel is CEO of Ohel Children's Home and Family Services. For more than 50 years, Ohel has provided a safe haven for those suffering in the community. Ohel cares for more than 17,000 individuals in the New York metropolitan area and across all communities offering a broad range of mental health services including outpatient counseling, trauma, anxiety, eldercare, respite and housing.