There is a profound sense of shock permeating across the nation as African-American church-goers and casual observers grasp the improbability of the new reality: You are not safe in the Lord’s house, rather, you are a target of home-grown white terrorists who are fueled by bitter hatred that the country had the temerity to elect, and subsequently re-elect, its first African-American president.
And so, in a cowardly act akin the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where four little African-American girls lost their lives in 1963 at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, white terrorist Dylann Roof unleashed a barrage of bullets on unsuspecting church-goers in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday night, June 17. Roof came to the church, asked for the pastor by name, sat through the one-hour Bible study session before rising to his feet and methodically shooting the stunned worshippers, hell-bent on exacting revenge for the prominence of African-Americans.
“You rape our women and are taking over our country,” he allegedly stated, “You have to go.” He reloaded his gun five times, ignoring the pleas of his terrified victims.
“I’m here to kill black people,” he allegedly said, after informing one of the survivors that he spared her so that she could “tell others” what he has done. An angry President Barack Obama did not hold back as he expressed frustration with the spate of gun murders.
“I have to make these announcements too often,” President Obama said, as he revealed that he had “friends” who were killed at the church, referring to the church’s pastor and state senator the Reverend Clementa Pinckney. While for some it is easy to ascribe mental health diagnosis for Roof’s diabolical act of terrorism, he has embraced the tenets of white supremacy and black hatred for years, according to reports.
And, like the New York Times described African-American victim Michael Brown when he was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson last summer, Roof “was no angel,” having been arrested at least three times in the past for an assortment of crimes including drug possession and trespassing.
As Conservative politicians hasten to categorize Roof’s action as that of “a lone gunman” they absolve his parents and community from taking action against his well-documented, previously expressed hateful thoughts and actions.
The searching pain, torment and loss of security that comes from terrorism in a place of worship, the bedrock of the African-American society and culture is indescribable. The sense of anguish is further exacerbated by Roof’s smirk as he walked past the media throng, secure that because of his whiteness, he will be spared death at the hands of police, despite committing a despicable act of terrorism, whereas unarmed African-Americans are routinely brutalized and murdered by police officers merely for existing.
As reports surface that Roof is being held under suicide watch, the attention is shifting to his emotional state rather than his deliberate act of terrorism fueled by his desire to ‘start a race war,’ as his friends disclosed to the media.
If we are not safe in our sanctuaries, our places of worship and praise, then where are we safe? It is no secret that a very large segment of the American community is blinded by racism and rage due to the election and re-election of President Obama, which has fueled increasing acts of brutality and terrorism to assuage their racist views. Roof, despite his various acts of criminality, was given a gun by his father in April as a birthday gift, according to his uncle. This for a high school dropout who has espoused murderous thoughts against a race of people, simply because of the color of their skin.
Our hearts are broken and our mourning will continue for a long time but as difficult as it maybe to believe, we have to cling to the biblical intonation that despite the nights of mourning, “Joy cometh in the morning.”–OnPointPress.net.