Saturday, June 20, 2015

First Reactions

On Wednesday, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC was visited by a racist bastard who shot down nine innocent people -- six women and three men -- who were there to do nothing more than worship God.

I will not name the son-of-a-bitch because these people get too much name recognition from the media as it is. Also, I don't want to participate in the silly fiction of saying "allegedly". Those bullets didn't materialize out of nowhere. I would much rather remember the names of those fallen:
The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41
Cynthia Hurd, 54
The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45
Tywanza Sanders, 26
Ethel Lance, 70
Susie Jackson, 87
Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49
The Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74
Myra Thompson, 59
You can read more about them at this article provided by NPR.

Since the jackass they have in custody confessed to it, we don't even have to engage in some twisted fantasy that this was anything other than a racially motivated shooting. But while we're doing that, let's not engage in the twisted fantasy that a racially motivated shooting is any more or less heinous than a mass murder for any other reason. If these people had been killed because of their religion, because of sex, or because they're Southern, it would be as despicable; and if it were for no reason at all, the cold chills should never stop.

This was a heinous act because it it was a mass murder of human beings. Good, kind, pious, generous, loving human beings.

I doubt that you, Reader, no matter who you may be, possess the argumentative skills necessary to convince me that the criminal murder of any one group of individuals has more or less intrinsic importance than the criminal murder of any other. Further, I seriously doubt that you have the argumentative skills to convince yourself of that, either.

Now much is being made of the "troubled racial history" of South Carolina, and to that end I'd like you to take a look at this and other photos of the aftermath.

A multi-racial, multi-ethnic, peaceful memorial service at
Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, SC
(image via

Where are the lootings? Where are the riots in the streets? Where is the nasty hatred that you mistakenly believe to be the hallmark of the South?

Seriously, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, as a South Carolinian born and raised: if you are from some other state in this Union, and you feel the need to open your mouth or raise a pen or click a keyboard and instruct me about the deep-seated racism of this home of mine, then do yourself a favor:

Shut up.

You're embarrassing yourself, and you don't even know it, bless your heart. I've lived elsewhere; I've seen your brand of racism; and I'm not fond of hypocrites.

I want you to look at the people in Charleston. Look at their behavior. Note that they did not have to be told not to riot or loot. Nor did they have to be told to mourn the passing of some very good people whose virtues are acknowledged by one and all save the sick bastard who shot them dead.

I would like you folks who believe you know better than we how to handle our affairs to look to yourselves and see how well you did. Look to Ferguson, Missouri.  Look to Baltimore, Maryland. Look to the unnecessary anguish, destruction, demolition, hatred, anxiety, and fear that comes from doing things your way. Then look at how the adjacent city of North Charleston handled a similar issue. Then let us do this our way. And pay close attention, please; because you really need to.

The families of the victims displayed outstanding moral quality by stating their forgiveness. I don't know if I could have done that so soon. But it was the killer's desire to start a race war, and the worst possible way to honor the fallen members of that church would be to provide it. With very few exceptions, you'll find that the response is to bring us together, not tear us apart. Instead of a race war this Sunday, Emanuel AME Church will reopen for worship.

I cannot adequately express how proud I am of the people of the city of my birth, and of the members of Emanuel AME Church in particular.

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