Tuesday, July 7, 2015

South Carolina, I Am Not So Forgiving. .

I was as shocked and stunned as all Americans to turn on the news about the nine people killed on June 17 by a young maniac during Bible Study at chur
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Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church click here to read church history.
I was as shocked and stunned as all Americans to turn on the news about the nine people killed on June 17 by a young maniac during Bible Study at church. Since then, I have diligently watched the news, listened to the pundits, and appreciated one of President Barack Obama’s best speeches ever as all have tried to address this tragedy.
The politicians went political – raising again the ever-present gun control and mental illness debates that spring to the forefront after such tragedies – and several of the victims’ families offered public forgiveness to the 21-year-old White murderer Dylann Roof.
I see a lot wrong with the discussion. Particularly, I am not there with the forgiveness of the murderer. I am not that humanly, spiritually, or religiously developed or matured. Instead, I am angry, hurt and afraid.
I thought the raw hatred of Blacks by Whites, which is at the heart of these shootings, had diminished. The politicians, the preachers and the pundits discuss everything but the hatred of racism. But the truth is that some people just virulently hate people who are different.
Dylann Roof’s mind, his history, his lessons, his views on race are sick and twisted, yet he wrote a manifesto saying that he was not raised in a racist home. Read the manifesto for yourself; it is the writing of a sick young man.
He wrote, “The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that (George) Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words ‘black on White crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.
“The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on white murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on white murders got ignored?”
Dylann Roof absolutely, unashamedly, and without doubt killed nine people in church. It was an act of racial terrorism, an attack of racial violence. He killed innocent people who were studying the bible in a historical Black church.
He said clearly that Black people must be killed because they were raping White women and had taken over the government, clearly referring to President Obama and other Black elected officials. He clearly had a hatred for African Americans, Jews and Mexicans and he methodically sought out a historical Black church to carry out his murders.
In the name of White Supremacy, this young man was on a mission to kill Black people because he had become “racially awakened,” as he described himself. His manifesto states his rationale, simply that “Niggers are stupid and violent.”
The Church of Mother Emanuel. . .
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Dylann Roof- click to read manifesto
The Black Church has always been the target of White hate, so Dylann Roof was making a point. The church in which he made his sick, twisted statement was no ordinary church, but one of historical import to African Americans. It is the oldest A.M.E. church in the South and houses the oldest Black congregation south of Baltimore.
One of the founders of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, at 110 Calhoun Street in Charleston, South Carolina, was Denmark Vesey, a slave from the Virgin Islands who planned a major and infamous slave rebellion in 1821. His plan was thwarted in 1822 before it could take place, and during the controversy the church was burned down by White Supremacists.
It rebuilt and operated until 1834, when all Black churches were outlawed in Charleston, but continued worshiping underground until 1865 when it was formally reorganized after the end of the Civil War. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark_Vesey
The church was destroyed again in 1886 in an earthquake, and the present edifice was completed in 1891 under the direction of Rev. L. Ruffin Nichols. After they passed, the bodies of Nichols and his wife were entombed in the base of the church’s steeple.
Killer Dylann Roof targeted Mother Emanuel Church for its historic symbolic value, just as the Ku Klux Klan did when it chose the 16th Street Baptist Church to bomb in Birmingham in 1963.
Many of the civil rights protest marches that took place in Birmingham during the 1960s began at the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church, which had long been a significant religious center for the city’s Black population and a routine meeting place for civil rights organizers like Dr. Martin Luther King. KKK members routinely called in bomb threats intended to disrupt civil rights meetings as well as services at the church.
It is important to note that in the week since Dylann Roof’s killing spree – tied for the largest mass murder at a house or worship in United States history – a string of nighttime fires has damaged or destroyed at least six predominately Black churches in four southern states, according to the Atlanta-based civil rights organization the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Arsonists started at least three of the fires, while other causes are being examined in the other fires, the investigators say. So another specter from America’s violent racist history is again rearing its head – setting Black churches ablaze.
The Confederate Flag And White Supremacy. . .
Bree Newsome removing Confederate Flag
The public conversation on the tragedy started with gun control, mental illness, the Confederate flag and somewhere spattered in is the ugly face of racism, but Whites are confused and cannot lead the conversation. The question is why?
When does White accountability for the injustices, discriminations, unfairness, lynchings, racial crimes, and the like come into the conversation? When does the talk turn to the White horrors , the atrocities of the Deep South, the crimes of burnings and killings that no one was convicted for?
When does the conversation address the concepts of perceived superiority and inferiority? When does the notion of “privilege” come up? The President said in his speech, we talk about race all the time. And we do. But what do we say?
We don’t talk honestly; we talk at best politely, we talk around, we tell stories, we speak to the embarrassments, we even talk about the horrors, sometimes. But we don’t dare speak to the White accountability for the Black disrespect and mistreatment.
America was built on the backs of slaves. Whites became rich from free hard labor, overwhelmingly that of Black folks. Our history is what it is, and that is the essence of the Confederate flag.
We wave a flag still at the State House in Southern states symbolizing White superiority, while we still struggle for equality at every single level in American society, even as we have a man of color in the White House. Even with the advances, there are injustices.
Whites are just really beginning to hear what Blacks endure in daily living in America, from the lack of opportunity to discrimination at every level from experiences as simple as catching a taxi on a busy street.
The pundits fear the discussion with those who can articulate it the most and who have spent lifetimes fighting for racial justice – they are sometimes called race baiters by those same pundits. But the talk shows dare not ask Minister Louis Farrakhan, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, or Father Michael Pfleger their real thoughts on this crime. They might not express forgiveness.
The murders of the innocent people in Mother Emanuel Church will probably result in the Confederate flag being removed from the state capitol of South Carolina. A Black woman climbed the capitol pole recently and personally removed the flag. Of course she was arrested.
The flag is maybe dead, even as those who still fight for it are fighting for a continuing vision of White supremacy. The Confederate flag is an embarrassing symbol of what this country has been, and depending on what side you’re on, it becomes a question of heritage or legacy. That flag looks vastly different from the perspectives of the slave master and the slave.
How Did He Kill Nine People in Bible Study?
Rev. Clementa Pinckney
The death of nine people killed at Bible Study by a deranged young White man raises unanswerable questions. How did the stranger come into the Bible class in the first place? Are we so welcoming as church people or Black people that we don’t recognize the disguise of the enemy and the one who comes to harm?
He was a stranger and he was welcomed. His eyes were off. Wasn’t someone suspicious as to why was he in the church at that time? After all, this wasn’t open Sunday service. Where was the fear factor, where was the curiosity factor, where was the suspicion factor? How could he sit among people who were friends and extended family members and not be suspected of at least strangeness? I don’t get it.
I have discussed this with friends of the church and ministers and I am told that his welcome in the church is typical of the southern hospitality nature. I am not southern and do not necessarily recognize this gentile behavior.
So then, how did this lone individual shoot and reload his weapon five times with healthy, able people standing watching him commit murder? Why didn’t somebody jump him, slap him, hit him with a chair or the like? Were they so extremely passive that their instinctive fight from the gut was totally eliminated?
As America has lived through the presidency of the first African American, racism has been on the rise. Policemen are killing young Black men in the street, shooting them down like they are on a hunt.
Gun control is an issue, indeed, and we need to do something about it with laws and legislation. But we also need to look racism in its ugly face and do something about it as well.
You cannot go to the Bible Study class and kill people in the church and be forgiven. All are not of the forgiving spirit. I cannot bring candles, balloons and stuffed animals to the scene of the crime and forgive the killer. It is too overwhelming.
No, I am not suggesting riots or fighting in the streets or burning or looting, but not all will look the killer in the face and say I forgive you before the murdered loved one is buried. The hurt, the pain, the agony are real.
I wonder why these people were killed? They were killed simply because someone hated them. Without even knowing them.
We cannot be so docile as to say we as a people forgive. People are frightened, people are confused, and we should beware and stand tall and borrow a page from Jewish history to proclaim, “Never Again.” When does it stop? Enough, damn it!
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