Still Mad About South Carolina? You Are Not Paying Attention (or helping)!
This is not about HR. (It’s bigger than that)
Last week, we all saw the horrible tragedy in South Carolina, where 21 year old, Dylan Roof, a white male, went in the a historical black church during Wednesday night bible study and opened fire, killing 9 people and wounding 3 others. The gun belonged to his father. It has been reported that he told the police that he wanted to start a race war. He also said that black people had taken over the world and something had to be done for the white race. Hmpf.
Am I mad?
I had no less than 8 phone calls from friends last week who asked me how I felt about what happened. See unlike most or many, I do not spill my feelings all over social media (Facebook and Twitter). I was sad but I was not mad. I didn’t want to riot. I did not want to vent. Some of my friends were surprised at how relatively calm I was about it. You see to me, much like the Boston bombings, Sandyhook and the movie theatre massacre in Colorado, we can’t stop ignorant people from doing terrible things. Some people are just lost.
Just because this happened in a black church didn’t make me more upset. Hold on, before you grab your pitchfork and call for my head, wait a second. My grandmother introduced us, as children, to black churches, just like the one that Roof attacked. I grew up in black churches just like that church in which he killed those innocent people. As an adult, I joined a church just like that in Columbus, Ohio by the name of Mt. Olivet Missionary Baptist Church. I love those churches. Anytime someone attacks a place of worship, be it a Mosque, a Temple, a Cathedral, or whatever the case, it’s disgusting and hateful, however those places are just as vulnerable as any other place. Attacks on schools are worse, in my opinion, but that’s just me.
What I wanted to happen was something extraordinary and it totally has. Have you seen the response by the people of South Carolina? The Mayor and Governor came out immediately against this cowardly act. The community, (black, white and everything in between) praying together, worshipping together, helping each other through this difficult time.
The Governor has also spearheaded a movement to remove the confederate flag as a state flag. The support has grown and this will happen. Other states like Mississippi is also calling for a removal of the confederate flag.
Wal-Mart, Amazon, ebay, Sears, and K-Mart have all dropped confederate flag items from their stores. And Valley Forge has stopped making any and all confederate flag merchandise.
That’s how you beat this thing! Not by jumping online to rant, vent or add more hate to the ecosystem (we have enough of that) – plus it only makes you feel better (or a moment) and simultaneously look worse.
When I heard about the shootings, I wanted to hug and kiss my nieces and nephews. I wanted to pray for a better world for them. I prayed South Carolina would not riot and protest in the streets. I wanted to see that there are good people in the world. And that’s exactly what happened.
So this little ignorant punk with a gun wanted to start a race war, but he actually started a movement of love that we haven’t seen in a very long time.
I’m not trying to tell you how to feel – do you! But every time I turn on the news or look at the latest, South Carolina is not mad, they are moving on. Not forgetting – no, not forgetting but remembering the lives of the ones lost and celebrating the nation’s positive outpouring of love.
To the victims, families of the victims and friends; I hate that this happened. There is no “but” or “however” to that statment, I hate it. I just hope you know your loved one did not die in vain and they are heroes to me!
Senator, Reverend Clementa Pinckney
Daniel L. Simmons
Reverend Depayne Middleton