The synagogue terrorist is “a victim of America”. Suuuure he is…

As one might, perhaps, have expected, the maniac who attacked five people with a machete in New York turns out to be a victim himself, if you believe his family, friends and pastor.

A man charged with hate crimes for a machete attack on Hasidic Jews at a Hanukkah party in New York is not a terrorist but rather a victim of mental illness and America’s failures, according to family friends.

. . .

Thomas’ pastor of 10 years, Reverend Wendy Paige of Hudson Highlands Cooperative Parish told reporters that he is “not a violent person.” Rather, she said, he had simply been let down by “U.S. systems.”

“Grafton is not a terrorist, he is a man who has mental illness in America and the systems that be have not served him well,” Paige said, according to the New York Post. “I have been his pastor for a long time and I have seen him, he is not a violent person, he is a confused person.”

Paige, who spoke down the block from Thomas’ home, where he lives with his mother, seemed to be responding to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling the attack an “act of domestic terrorism” during a visit to Monsey on Sunday morning.

The pastor said Thomas has suffered from mental illness for more than 20 years and has been in and out of hospitals for treatment. She did not say whether he had been diagnosed with any condition or prescribed medication.

Taleea Collins, a friend of Thomas’ mother, said outside the home that Thomas is “a lovely person.”

“Grafton has always been a loving, loving man towards me. He calls me ‘auntie’ sometimes,” she said. “He’s just a lovely person. I’ve never seen him be violent, and I know that he suffers from mental illnesses.”

“He’s not a terrorist he’s a loving loving man, with a lot of creativity and just a wonderful spirit,” Collins added.

. . .

The New York Police Department said Thomas fled the scene of the crime and doused himself in bleach in an attempt to destroy the evidence. Officers found him on Saturday night covered in blood in Harlem, about 30 miles south of Monsey. They arrested him and booked him in the Rockland County Jail, where he is being held on $5 million bail.

There’s more at the link.

I leave it up to the reader to decide whether a mentally ill “confused person”, who is “a lovely person” and has never been known to be violent, and who is “a loving loving man, with a lot of creativity and just a wonderful spirit”, can “douse himself with bleach in an attempt to destroy the evidence”.  That’s not the act of a troubled man – that’s the act of someone who has a pretty good understanding of how to neutralize DNA evidence.  What’s more, according to other reports, this may not have been his first anti-Semitic attack.  Nazi propaganda was found in his room.

Unless and until communities stop their willful blindness towards such evil in their midst, and stop blaming “the system” or “America” or “the man” or whatever, and start putting the blame where it’s due – on the perpetrators of such acts – we will get no further in stopping them.  This communal refusal to accept reality is something I encountered as a prison chaplain.  You’d have a man sent to us with a multi-decade sentence, for crimes that were among the most evil and vicious imaginable, yet his family – even his wife and kids – would insist that it couldn’t have been him, he wasn’t capable of such a thing, he didn’t have an evil bone in his body, and so on ad nauseam.  This, after solid, undeniable evidence (including DNA, sometimes) proved conclusively that he had committed the crime.  They absolutely refused to believe the evidence that any rational person (including the members of the jury) could not possibly reject.

What’s more, many such criminals know how to put on an act with those they want to deceive, while displaying naked evil to those about whose opinion they don’t care.  I’ve seen inmates playing with their kids, making nice with their wives, as happy as could be – yet that same inmate, on coming out of the visitation room, could turn around and beat up or stab another inmate, then curse and scream at the officers trying to stop him, and even threaten me for not allowing him extra privileges (that had to be earned, and were not a right).  I’ve described a number of them in my book on the subject.  It’s sobering reading, to those who’ve never encountered the sewer-like underbelly of America’s criminal class.

So now the citizens of New York will have to pay for this scumbag to be incarcerated in a high-security prison for (hopefully) the rest of his life.  That’s a few million more taxpayer dollars down the drain.  Meanwhile, other anti-semitic thugs are getting their start in criminal life by being set free without bail, thanks to new lenient pre-trial detention guidelines.  I hope the people of New York feel safe as they watch their authorities play a politically correct game with their lives . . . because some of them are going to be the victims when the authorities make a wrong move.




  1. Years and years ago, I dated a woman who had mental health issues. I thought that I could deal with them. I talked to a mental health professional, told her that I thought that deep down the woman was a good person, and the evil things that she said and did were not really who she was. This professional responded with one of the best pieces of advice that I have ever heard:

    "Her condition is a part of her. They are not two separate things. You either accept her with the understanding that her mental problems are part of who she is, or you do not. What you can't do is expect that she will ever exist without her flaws."

    The evil that he has done was caused by the part of him that cannot be separated from the rest of him.

  2. Alternatively, he didn't douse himself in bleach. It was done by red-hat wearing Trump supporters who shouted 'This is MAGA country'. Oops, wrong place, wrong decade.

  3. Of course he's a victim. He's converted to islam, which is a permanent victim status.

    He should be a victim of lead poisoning. At high speed. Multiple times. I'll volunteer to victimize him.

  4. No apologies or excuses for this dirtbag. He apparently committed these acts, motivated by hatred of Jewish people. However, one thing that bothers me is Cumo's call for legislation to make this kind of anti-semitic attack "Domestic Terrorism." The perpetrator allegedly violated numerous laws including multiple counts of attempted murder, multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and various hate crimes. How is making this activity "more illegaler," going to prevent these attacks in the future? The perp was apparently sane enough to know right from wrong, but he persisted in his attacks regardless of potential consequences. Somehow, I don't see him thinking to himself, "I'm gonna get my machete an' kill me some f***ing Jews. Oh, wait. If I do that I'll be charged with domestic terrorism, I better not."

  5. Meh…their ALL upstanding citizens,and full of fun – n – games untill the machetes come out… This country needs more cutlery control, that's the ticket…. 😡😎😠

  6. Mental illness is far more widespread in this country than we acknowledge, if you count such conditions such as addiction and PTSD. Very few of that number are unaware of their actions and the harm they causes others. For most of them, the damage they do is mostly to themselves (which affects family and friends, of course). Not being able to feed an addiction is the impetus of a lot of crime.

    More importantly, most people can or could be helped. The pharmacopeia is rich and varied. We fall short in the US on counseling; therapy is way more expensive than pills. But there are very few who are not cognizant most of the time

    "It's not his fault" that he was born with some form of mental illness. True. But that doesn't mean he isn't responsible for his actions, if he knows they are wrong. Which he clearly did.

    As for friends and family who defend these perpetrators, part of the denial is the unwillingness to face their parts in the crime: the family who knew of his illness but didn't get him help. Friends who knew of his sudden interest in the Nazis. Denial is much easier than owning your own mistakes.

    I hope he gets the help he needs while he serves his time.

  7. Therapy can help, but the person has to want to change. Even then the track record is poor. Prison chaplains do better, in my experience.

    AZ Corrections had a director that went the therapy route, attempting to lower the recidivism rate. She tripled the spending on psych branch for three years, taking the money from every place she could. The rate went up instead, and she was replaced after a series of problems caused by not enough CO's and maintenance.

  8. I have some experience with mental health and the service consumers – a PC term for the crazies. My next door neighbor is crazier than a sack of cats and gophers, but when she's properly medicated you'd never know anything was wrong with her – which is very deceptive, because there is something wrong. The lady doesn't have all her breakers closed, and due to a massive screw up between the pharmacy, the doctor, and the insurance company she broke her moorings a while back. Once she got back on her meds, she was okay again. She's built like a jockey, which is somewhat reassuring, but just give that jockey a hammer and a violent rage and see what the toughest reader here thinks about going a few rounds with her while you are empty handed and off guard. Nice thought, huh?

    This machete wielding shotgun target should have been dropped the second after he pulled that machete. He wasn't, which is a real shame. But then there's that shooter in Texas that got dropped at 50 feet with a head shot, so maybe people will look and start learning.

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