What Twitter Taught Me About The Charleston Shootings

Last night, nine people died while worshiping in church. The church was Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the oldest black congregations in the country. An unknown man, described as a white man in his early 20’s wearing a hoodie, went into their Wednesday night prayer service, prayed with them for a bit, and then stood up and started shooting people. There are multiple reports that one of the people who was murdered–or assassinated–was South Carolina Senator Clementa C. Pinckney. Senator Pinckney was also the pastor of the church. It is a church was an amazing history. This is his picture:
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.05.09 AMThis post is from Twitter from a news anchor named Preston Phillips. People have known this for a while now, but it turns out that if you want to really know about a current news story, Twitter is where you go. Especially if that news story is about and act of terrorism committed against people of color.
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.14.05 AMScreen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.31.17 AMI can’t imagine Fox”News” pulling away from coverage if it had been a 9 while folks that had gotten murdered by a person who looked Middle Eastern…. A frustrating sentiment that was echoed often on Twitter with pictures like this one:
B9o2PXxIcAAa5b2Or a slightly more simplified version:
B9mtPQTIgAAfeUZ.jpg-largeThe terminology that people use matters. Without knowing anything about the killer, there were references to him being “disturbed” and “mentally ill.” But as Broderick Greer points out:
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.25.31 AM

A disturbing reality for so many people, that leads to questions like these:
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.14.17 AM

But then….
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.49.17 AMAnd then, after this horrific act of terrorism, some leaders and people in the media started voicing concern about the possibility of violence coming from the African American community…. It seemed like there was more concern about quelling any impending rioting than there was about finding the man who killed all those people.
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.42.13 AM

Especially when considering South Carolina’s history of bigotry and racism….
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.02.05 AMThe only thing that should be accepted is to call this act what it is:
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.14.58 AM
Next, we can certainly expect the ever-present NRA to speak up in defense of the guns.
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.33.37 AMScreen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.04.22 AMBut if 20 first graders getting murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School weren’t enough to stir people’s consciousnesses into action, I doubt 9 black folks at a church will do it….
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.57.14 AMThere was anger and outrage and sadness and fear on Twitter as I spent hours reading people’s response, but what really stood out to me was the weariness that people were feeling…. Just a tiredness. Story after story…. Then these four words from Questlove Gomez made me just lose it:
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.53.42 AM“God Protect Us. Please.” The picture that he shared was this one:
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.54.03 AMI had never heard of Denmark Vesey before. You can learn more about him HERE. Last night’s act of domestic terrorism took place 193 years and one day after Vesey’s plan for “The Rising” was discovered and stomped out. You may have noticed that I used a lot of Shaun King’s tweets in this. That’s because he’s awesome. You should FOLLOW HIM. Here is another of his about tweets about Denmark Vesey:
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 3.31.16 AMAnd one more for good measure…. This one is not from last night, but it is every bit as true and important as when he wrote it. God help us. I’ll leave you with this:
Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.19.35 AM

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7 Responses to What Twitter Taught Me About The Charleston Shootings

  1. Cece says:

    Love this posting. Thanks and yeah Shaun King IS awesome!

  2. It’s very odd that there is no coverage of such an horrific event. I would disagree that the media ignores acts of violence against blacks by whites, however. Even the excessive force in the pool incident was a week of news and editorials etc. In our current climate, I would guess they more likely are not interested because the victims were black Christians rather than black Muslims or something. Or maybe there is some investigative reason they haven’t given this the attention it warrants and they will be all over it today. I haven’t looked at the news yet. For these families though, I would think they would appreciate more prayers and less coverage. Sometimes it seems like we forget about the families needs and are more concerned about promoting an ‘issue’ or ’cause’ at the expense of their suffering. They are people first, news second.

  3. mihipte says:

    What the &%#$? Praying with the victims for an hour before shooting them might be the sickest thing I’ve ever heard of.

    I have so much more rattling in my head, but some of it’s unclear and this isn’t the right time for the rest of it.

  4. Jennifer Owens says:

    A great documentary called Orwell Rolls in His Grave helps explain why media chooses to disappear during times like this. I highly recommend it. It’s dated, but poignant even now.

    Great post! I love that last quote from Shaun. So very true. If we all just thought for a minute, “What would I do?” or “How would I feel?” there would be a radical change of the status quo in this country. But just like Fox News who wants to bury its head in the “It’s actually the Christians being persecuted” sand, we all choose to ignore the real issues and therefore they go unchecked and unchanged.

  5. Pingback: Judge Reveals Real Victims In Charleston: Dylann Roof’s Family | The Boeskool

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