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:
This 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.
I 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:
Or a slightly more simplified version:
The 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:
And 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.
Especially when considering South Carolina’s history of bigotry and racism….
The only thing that should be accepted is to call this act what it is:
Next, we can certainly expect the ever-present NRA to speak up in defense of the guns.
But 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….
There 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:
“God Protect Us. Please.” The picture that he shared was this one:
I 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:
And 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: