On the evening of June 18, 2015, a young white male decided that he had the right to walk into a historic Black church in Charleston South Carolina during Bible study and gun down in cold blood nine innocent people who were worshipping there, because, in his words, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
Twenty-one-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, who has posted pictures of himself wearing a jacket adorned with the Confederate flag and the flags of racist regimes in Africa, calming walked into the Mother Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest African-American church in South Carolina, sat down in the pews for a few minutes, then stood up and opened fire on the churchgoers. He fled the church immediately after, but was caught on Thursday afternoon and put into custody. The chief of police of Charleston, as well as many other public officials, immediately classified this heinous incident as a hate crime, but the President of the United States of America did not.
I love, respect, and admire Barack Obama. I support him and his policies the majority of the time. I understand what he goes through as the most disrespected President ever, and the fine line he has to walk as the first African-American president. But this time, Mr. President, you blew it.
On Thursday afternoon, the President made a statement about the Charleston Massacre, one of the largest mass shootings in recent times. I wanted to hear the president do what he does best: give us understanding and healing words, and then segue to how he and the Department of Justice were going to immediately deal with this shooting since it was immediately put into the Federal jurisdiction.
But sadly, I was disappointed and actually angered by his “speech”, which is posted above. Instead of calling this as the hate crime that it was, the POTUS framed this incident as part of the problem of “gun control”. Yes, people were shot and killed because Dylan Roof was given a .45 caliber pistol as a birthday present from his father, but that is not why nine people were murdered, including the pastor of the church who was also a state senator. The parishioners of the Emmanuel AME church were targeted because they were Black–plain and simple. This was domestic terrorism based on race. This was a HATE crime, not just another example of easy access to guns.
Why couldn’t Mr. Obama say so? Why didn’t he call the crime for what it was? Already the people over at Fox News are trying to spin this as an “attack against Christians…” when it had nothing to do with the victims’ religion and everything to do with their race. You had the chance to tell the nation and the world exactly what happened and to frame the discussion and the dialogue in truth–no matter how painful. Why, Mr. President, did you blow it?
Charleston Massacre: You Blew It, Mr. President