Wednesday’s tragic murder of nine black parishioners in Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church by a 21-year-old white man wanting “to start a civil war” is weighing heavily on the hearts of all of us. We cannot begin to understand the grief felt by the families of those lost or the Charleston community. But we can speak about what we do know. This was a racist committing a racially motivated murder. This was another tragic example of how guns too easily fall into the hands of dangerous people. This was a terrorist act.
Here is a round-up of the columns and news that we are reading and talking about. We hope they foster and inform your conversations, reflections, and actions too:
1. Jelani Cobb in The New Yorker: Murders in Charleston. “We have, quite likely, found at 110 Calhoun Street, in Charleston, South Carolina, the place where Columbine, Aurora, and Newtown cross with Baltimore, Ferguson, and Sanford.”
2. Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic: Take Down the Confederate Flag—Now. “Moral cowardice requires choice and action. It demands that its adherents repeatedly look away, that they favor the fanciful over the plain, myth over history, the dream over the real. Here is another choice. Take down the flag. Take it down now.”
3. Jeff Duo in the Washington Post: The legal loophole that allowed Dylann Roof to get a gun. “Dylann Roof, the man accused of a shooting spree that left nine people dead at a historic black church in Charleston on Wednesday night, should not have been able to get a gun.”
4. Jamelle Bouie in Slate: The Black American Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate but Doesn’t. “Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of emancipation, it’s a celebration of our commitment to make it real.”
5. Jennifer Mascia in The Trace: Charleston Area Faced Gun Violence Spike Before Church Shooting. “Nearly eight out of every 10 killings in the area last year involved a firearm.”
6. Dan Wasserman’s editorial cartoon in The Boston Globe:
CREDIT: Dan Wasserman
And be sure to check out the latest news and opinions from our partners at ThinkProgress:
1. Judd Legum: NRA Board Member Blames Charleston Victim For His Own Death. Seriously.
2. Ian Millhiser: When John Roberts Said There Isn’t Enough Racism In America To Justify The Voting Rights Act. It’s a sordid business, this divvying up the amount of racism in the United States to decide whether Congress is allowed to enact laws intended to fix it.
3. Jack Jenkins: How The Charleston Shooting Is Linked To The Confederate Flag, According To A South Carolinian. While the Confederate flag is certainly about heritage, it is and always has been about hate.
4. Kiley Kroh: Charleston Victim’s Son Addresses Media On The Baseball Field. “Love is always stronger than hate. So if we just love the way my mom would, then the hate won’t be anywhere close to where the love is.”
Wishing you a safe and peaceful weekend.