Again we see the ugly face of racist violence scarring our nation. A young white man entered a historic black church, sat through the service, and then created a bloodbath. He was there to deliberately and intentionally kill African-Americans because in his words African-Americans were “taking over our country.” We know those words because he decided to let some live so that they could tell others of why he did it.
Our love goes out to all those grieving today. I wish we had a way to make all the hatred recede and wither away. I wish I could say that this would be the last time we will see such horror. It certainly won’t be. Unless we are committed to making serious changes in our nation’s policy of easy access to guns this will continue unabated. The gun used was a birthday present for his 21st birthday.
This type of violence will also continue unless we as a nation address the systemic continuation of racism. It has been a plague that erodes the ideals which we so often claim as our own: the ideals of equality and justice for all. This struggle will continue and we must address it in all of its manifestations. The potent symbol of slavery and racial injustice, the Confederate flag, must be removed from the South Carolina state building. The Charleston church massacre is another reminder that we have serious work ahead that must be addressed.
Read CFT President, Josh Pechthalt’s statement on the South Carolina tragedy.