Thursday, June 18, 2015

Racist Attack on Black Church in Chareslton SC

You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go."
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

The mass killing that took place in Charleston SC last night is more than a hate crime that the media seems intent on making it.  This was a racist attack, a conscious act to instill racist terror on a whole population as the KKK historically has.  And while the public knows very little about the suspect it is clear that is racially motivated.

The individual, Dylann Roof, a 21-year old man from Lexington SC was finally apprehended late this morning. He entered the church and sat with the 13 people in there for about an hour before murdering nine of them, six women and three males including the pastor, Clementa Pinckney who was also a state senator, the youngest black person ever elected to the SC Legislature.  He backed a bill to legislate police officers to carry body cameras after the shooting of an unarmed black man, Walter Scott by the police.

Roof left three survivors telling one of them that he let her live so that she could describe to others what he’d done. He said he come to kill black people. This is not simply a “hate” crime, it is an act with the intent of terrorizing an entire community.  Some of the people at the church tried to appeal to him and he responded telling them that, "I have to do it. You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go."

The flags you see on Roof’s jacket in the image are the flags of two racist regimes, South Africa and the former British colony of Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe.  According to Reuters, Roof is described as a "quiet and soft-spoken" and said that is father recently gave him a .45-caliber gun as a birthday gift. Can someone be that disconnected from their children or is his father of similar views? It’s hard to imagine one wouldn’t know anything at all about their child’s state of mind or political views.

As I follow this story I can’t help thinking about the interview I saw by Sean Hannity of one of the young girls from the McKinney Texas pool party incident and her father. Hannity is a disgusting animal and as he usually does he defended the cops and crudely attacked the black teenagers the cop was abusing. Hannity is a racist and like all racists he is anti-union and anti-worker no matter what their religion color or ethnic background.

Hannity and others like him play a dirty role in stirring up fear, primarily among the white working class, not of the corporate elite and the 1% for whom Hannity is a mouthpiece, but against people of color, gays, immigrants.  Hannity's role is to play the divide and rule card for the 1% as much as possible.  A whole host of racially fused TV personalities like Hannity are not fooling people when they claim to hide behind the term conservative.   We all know some conservatives but the term has become a cover for racist, or in some cases fascistic views plain and simple. People like Hannity don’t have the courage to be what they really are.

I am sitting writing in my local coffee shop and many of the people I have spoken to never heard about this until this morning.  Everyone is stunned by the horror of this event and the absolute cruelty of it, sitting with the people for an hour before murdering them.

It is not uncommon for many different people to enter this church as it is one of the most historic and oldest black churches in the country.  Here is some information about it.  In the meantime we can all share in the grief the relatives of the slain must be experiencing and must commit ourselves to standing against racism in all its forms.

  • The church sits in an area of Charleston densely packed with houses of worship and well-preserved old buildings
  • Congregation was established in 1816
  • African-American members of Charleston's Methodist Episcopal Church formed their own congregation after a dispute over a burial ground
  • Also known as “Mother Emanuel"
  • It's the oldest AME church in the South
  • It's also one of the oldest African-American churches in the United States
  • It was involved in the Underground Railroad, according to The Washington Post, which calls it a "symbol of black freedom" (
  • The newspaper also reports that the church's prominent speakers include Booker T. Washington (1909), the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (1962) and Coretta Scott King (1969)
  • It has the most seats of any African-American church in Charleston
  • It was burned to the ground at one point, but rebuilt; it was also destroyed by an earthquake
  • The church hosts a Bible study in its basement every Wednesday evening

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