It is dangerous to discount the actions of this racial terrorist by calling him mentally ill. When white Americans commit crimes the perpetrators are exceptions to the rules of decency and when blacks commit crimes the perpetrators are said to evidence a broader pattern of violence and criminality. This racial terrorist is a thug. He is a violent criminal who decided to perform a heinous act on people who he used as proxies to terrorize the larger community to which those people are connected. Calling him mentally ill is an attempt to avoid addressing (not just discussing, but addressing) the processes in American race relations that produced him both at an individual and systemic level.