Responding to the Charleston Massacre

The face of evil changes, but its heart does not. The hatred of Dylann Roof exceeded his humanity. It is said that he stated he almost did not go through with the killing because the people were too nice to him. They welcomed him with open arms, but he did not even treat them with the dignity that one would give to a stray dog as he gunned down people as they closed their eyes to pray. Dylann Roof says that he did not grow up in a racist family, judging from the reaction of his family, I believe it. I can barely imagine the shock, shame and disgrace they must feel. In his manifesto, Roof explains his transformation. It may provide some insight into heading off future Roofs. Cicero, he is not. In fact, he is not even up to the level of the Turner Diaries, which spawned a small but new generation of White Supremacy race warriors in waiting. There is not likely to be scores of warriors heeding his call to arms. The story now shifts from his action to our reactions.

I think the Southern Baptist Convention had exactly the right tone. In part President Russell Moore stated, “We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ….There is hardly a more vivid picture of unmasked evil than the murder of people in prayer.” He continued, “Virtually every week we see another incident of the sin of racism in American Society, from unarmed African-American men and children killed in the streets to worshipers gunned down in their pews. This must end, and the Church of Jesus Christ must lead the way.”

At least a dozen Presidential candidates have issued statements. The best statement from a Presidential candidate comes from the rookie, Dr. Ben Carson. Others grapple with how to unite us and characterize this evil. The current President goes off on a gun control diatribe. Cotton, an NRA board member counters that if state senator/pastor didn’t oppose concealed carry in churches, 8 or 9 people may still be alive. While those maybe appropriate discussions for future policy, they both miss the heart of the matter. Hillary Clinton, as usual, issued a placeholder statement of condolence not one of substance and healing. Senator Bernie Sanders had a powerful statement but seemed to step on it when his rally held 30 feet from a prayer vigil for the victims was so loud that it overwhelmed those in prayer. Many Republicans also missed the opportunity to show leadership.

The left wants to focus on racism and gun control, the right on religious liberty and self protection. It seems as if the political class in America treats this tragic massacre like every other issue in today’s politics. It is part of a partisan struggle for capturing the narrative that benefits their side. Dr. Ben Carson and Senator Rand Paul seemed to rise above either platitudes or partisanship. This tragedy was about racism and evidence for the disrespect for faith that many have. We can unite in pushing back on both fronts. This is not an issue we need to debate. It is one that left and right can join together in fighting provided that we can see beyond our own noses.

8 thoughts on “Responding to the Charleston Massacre”

  1. Evil uses many disguises. Racism was the mask used in Charleston by a thug with a weapon but no soul. The cold bloodedness of the act, the premeditation and the setting in a House of the Lord among His people all point to evil; nothing less. Charles Manson said he wanted to start a race war with the killings he unleashed in Hollywood almost 40-years ago. He was and remains simply evil; nothing less. Unlike Manson, the Charleston thug will be tried in a state with the death penalty. He will meet the Judge of judges soon enough. There will be no disguise then that can save him from the path he’s chosen.

  2. There are no races, so Roof couldn’t have been racist. You can’t hold enmity against something that doesn’t exist, right?

    Roof is insane. People with deep psychological problems methodically kill innocent, unarmed people. They create justification in their own minds, then act. And he just as easily could have used a bomb as a fun. It’s difficult to stop a lunatic.

    This was not a political act; it was a heinous crime resulting in a tragedy, and should be treated as such.

  3. Sadly, there are many examples of false beliefs leading to wrong actions. If he understood the truth, then he would not have acted falsely. By any biological definition, their is just the human race. Race is a reality of perception not biology or for that matter Christian theology. It exists in the minds of many because of societal constructs that are hundreds of years old. The racists do not believe that. In fact, their whole philosophy of life is based upon the opposite. Race is the central organizing factor of a racist’s life.

    You know it is wrong because the fruit of that philosophy is always evil.

  4. In 1916, Madison Grant (Yale, Columbia) created a map depicting the geographic area indigenous to the “Teutonic,” “Alpine” and “Medetteranean” races within the general “Caucasian” classification. The “races” we’re defined by their physical differences, such as skull shape and capacity, average height, bone structure, nose type, hair texture and eye color and so forth. These differences are real– they are not a “social construct.”

    If an individual uses “race” (which is essentially analogous to “looks”) as a justification to kill, I will accept that he or she may legitimately been deemed racist. This is because I accept the obvious fact that “race” exists. The Ugandan, the Icelandic and the Polynesian all have two legs, two arms a torso and a head. But the physical accoutrements to the general figure are decidedly different- to deny this fact is to deny reality as seen by your own two eyes.

  5. Rick says: “The “races” we’re defined by their physical differences, such as skull shape and capacity, average height, bone structure, nose type, hair texture and eye color and so forth. These differences are real– they are not a “social construct.”

    Are they real?

    Medical science tells us that if a modern man lived to be 1,000, he would have a skull like what we now claim is Neandrathal man. The skull of any man continues to grow along the eyebrows, etc. This is partly why people look so different when they grow older.

    There is a White woman in the Fairfax County Republican Committee about 4’10” So is she not White? Is she an African pygmy or is she Caucasian?

    And what does Caucasian mean anyway?

    But once you start to assign MEANING to different races, that is a social construct.

    Are Irish men drunkards and brawlers?

    Are Germans cold and humorless? (If you think so, come with us on a trip to Bavaria sometime.)

    Are Russian women fat grandmothers? Clue: A lot of them look like Ivana Trump.

    Are English men more likely to be gay?

    Are Latvians better singers?

    Trying to put meaning associated with race is purely a social construct.

  6. It means white skinned.

    Just like Negro means dark skinned.

    And Asians and Polynesians have their own peculiar traits.

    And there are sub-groups; Nordic, Alpine and Mediterranean.

    Race is essentially a general physical description.

    Barack Husein Omaba is a mixed-race individual who looks black, hence, he calls himself black. In Latin America, particularly in Mexico and Brazil, they have myriad racial classifications. Black-Indian, Spanish-Black and so forth.

    No white group was indigenous to Central Africa, and no black tribe originated in Scandanavia.

    Why do so many of you people fear simple descriptive adjectives? It is mind boggling.

  7. Because the differences are almost entirely skin deep. If you relied only on your own eyes, you might still believe the sun revolves around the earth. After all, that’s how it looks from here.

  8. Here’s the real deal:

    Charleston: Dylann Roof’s Cousin Claims Love Interest Chose Black Man Over Him

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/18/cousin-of-charleston-suspect-says-black-man-stole-roofs-love-interest/

    Scott Roof, who identified himself as Dylann Roof’s cousin, told me over the telephone that “Dylann was normal until he started listening to that white power music stuff.” He also claimed that “he kind of went over the edge when a girl he liked starting dating a black guy two years back.”

    This scenario recalls a manifesto written by Elliot Rodger, who on May 23, 2014 gunned down six people in Isla Vista, California: “How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me?”

    “Dylann liked her,” Scott Roof said. “The black guy got her. He changed. I don’t know if we would be here if not …” Roof then abruptly hung up the phone.

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