Tomorrow night (Monday September 21) PBS will have a special town hall conversation titled America After Charleston. The town hall will be hosted by PBS moderator Gwen Ifill.
Standing to his feet with hunched shoulders drawing him closer to a microphone inches from his face, a white man looked into the eyes of a black journalist on Saturday and said he had been “taught wrong” about race.
The grief that overcame him in the fallout of what has come to be known by some as the deadliest hate crime in South Carolina made that much clear, he said.
The brief exchange, met with praise from a racially diverse crowd that filled the pews of Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, was filmed as part of “America After Charleston,” a PBS town hall meeting on the aftermath of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting that claimed the lives of nine black parishioners.
Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old Eastover man charged in the deaths, faces nine counts of murder as well as 33 federal charges alleging hate crimes and religious rights violations.
Where do we go from here? It’s a question not easily answered. Nor does PBS broadcaster Gwen Ifill, who moderated the discussion, claim to have the solution.
“That’s not on us as journalists,” said Ifill, a co-anchor and managing editor of PBS’s “The NewsHour,” and managing editor of “Washington Week,” during an interview.
“Our responsibility is to host the conversation,” she said.
Among those in attendance is the brother of one of the Charleston 9 victims.
Former North Carolina state Sen. Malcolm Graham, whose sister Cynthia Hurd was killed in the shooting, rebuffed what he described as generalizations of forgiveness made about the families of the victims that suggested that forgiveness was something they had all expressed.
“The attack was an attack on a race of people. It was an attack on humanity. … I have a forgiving spirit,” Graham said, pausing for a beat before landing his point. “I do not forgive.”
America After Charleston can be seen on your local PBS station at 9:00pm ET.
Earlier today President Barack Obama, aka Preacher in Chief, aka Reverend President gave the eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney in front of thousands of mourners at the College of Charleston’s TD Arena.
Reverend Pinckney was one of nine Mother Emanuel AME Church members who were murdered during bible study last Wednesday June 17, 2015.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — President Obama in remembering the life of slain pastor Rev. Clementa Pinckney delivered an impassioned call on Friday for unity and racial understanding. Thousands of people packed an arena at the College of Charleston to pay their respects to Pinckney who was killed with eight other worshippers at the historic Emanuel AME Church. Obama played to the role of both pastor and president during his eulogy, leading the crowd in a loud and joyful rendition of “Amazing Grace.” “Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer would not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group, the light of love that shown as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle,” Obama said of the killings in which a 21-year-old man, Dylann Roof, apparently motivated by racial hatred, is alleged to have killed nine black worshippers during a Wednesday night Bible study. “The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness. He couldn’t imagine that.”
Funeral services for Ethel Lance and Sharonda Coleman-Singleton were held yesterday.
I saw the the entire service on C-SPAN. Didn’t want any commercial interruptions or news anchors running their mouths during the service. President Obama gave a fantastic eulogy. I felt like I was back in church for the first time in years.
During the latter part of the eulogy President Obama broke out into his version of Amazing Grace.
Rest in Peace Reverend Clementa Pinckney. And rest in peace to Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Depayne Middleton Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, Reverend Daniel Simmons and Myra Thompson.
You know I still can’t believe 9 people were murdered in a Charleston, South Carolina church last week during bible study.
Last Wednesday night Reverend Clementa Pinckney who was also a South Carolina State Senator was assassinated and eight of his fellow church members were murdered in cold blood by a twenty one year old terrorist/thug/assassin. Twenty one year old Dylann Roof sat in a bible study class at Mother Emanuel AME Church and one hour later proceeded to gun down 9 of its members.
While I’m at it can folks stop calling Dylann Roof a kid? He is twenty one years old. He is not a kid. He’s grown ass man. He’s not some mentally ill kid. He is a murdering terrorist. Why is it when young white men in particular go on killing sprees they are considered mentally ill? He’s not mentally ill, he’s a damn terrorist. Just like Timothy McVey.
This weekend it came out that Roof had a website containing his manifesto. In his website, lastrhodesian.com, he expresses his hatred towards blacks, Jews, latinos and the American flag. He expresses some admiration for East Asians. He claimed that the event that awakened him was the Trayvon Martin case and felt that black on white crimes weren’t given the same attention as white on black crimes. The site has been taken down but most of it still lives on thanks to Shaun King at The Daily Kos.
One thing about this case is how some Republicans refuse to admit that this murder was based on race. They feel it’s a war on Christianity because the murders happened in a church. Dylann Roof had hatred towards blacks; this had nothing to do with religion. If it was based on hatred towards Christians why didn’t he spend time in a bible study class at a predominantly white church. There are plenty of predominantly white churches in Charleston. According to surviving witnesses during the murder spree he stated his hatred towards blacks. He told the police in North Carolina that he wanted to spark a race war. He also stated that he researched Emanuel AME Church and targeted that church because of its history. If this isn’t race related I don’t know what is.
This entire situation is just making my head spin. During the hearing for Dylann Roof, the judge who presided over the case Charleston County Magistrate James “Skip” Gosnell, Jr. stated that Roof’s family are also victims. This was while the families of the real victims were in the courtroom.
“There are victims on this young man’s side of the family.”
Gosnell was just getting started.
“Nobody would have ever thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they are being thrown into,” he said.
“We must find it in our heart at some point in time not only to help those that are victims but to also help his family as well.”
I call bullshit on this judge. Talk about white privilege. Do you think if Dylann Roof was a black male named Devonte Davis, Judge Gosnell would be stating that the Davis family are also victims? I don’t think so. The entire country would be hearing about how dysfunctional the Davis family is.
Apparently this isn’t the first time this judge has made trifling comments.
“There are four kinds of people in this world: black people, white people, red necks, and n—–s,” he told a black defendant in a Nov. 2003 bond reduction hearing.
Gosnell later offered a sorry defense, saying he was merely repeating a statement he heard from an African American lawman.
Judge Gosnell was reprimanded for using the n word by the South Carolina Supreme Court. Roof’s bail for weapons charges was set at $1,000,000. The judge does not have the authority to set bail for the nine murder charges. In my opinion Roof should be held without bail for the nine murder charges.
Speaking of the families of the victims some family members said that they forgive Dylann Roof. I admire the families for their strong faith and their forgiveness. It’s their right to say this. But if this was my family member murdered by this terrorist I couldn’t forgive. At least not this soon. The victims haven’t even been buried yet. I would state whether I forgive or not after the trial.
One thing I have noticed is the coming together of the people of Charleston. Yesterday blacks and whites were coming together during the first church service since last week’s murder.
Last night in Charleston thousands of people of all races came together to march in unison while crossing the Arthur Ravenel Bridge with many waving the American flag (This bridge is named after a former South Carolina state lawmaker who was a very vocal Confederate flag supporter).
Will this become a turning point when it comes to race relations in South Carolina and the United States? I doubt it. This country still has a long way to go when it comes to the matters of race. We are not in a post racial America yet.
Charleston’s Post and Courier is remembering the victims of the Emanuel AME Church shooting which occurred on June 17, 2015.
Rest In Peace.
Dylann Roof, the gunman who murdered nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina has been captured in Shelby, North Carolina. He was arrested during a traffic stop after 11:00 am this morning.
The man suspected of killing nine people Wednesday night at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, was arrested Thursday morning about 245 miles (395 kilometers) away in Shelby, North Carolina, law enforcement authorities said. Dylann Roof, 21, of Lexington, South Carolina, was taken into custody without incident about 11:15 a.m. during a traffic stop, Charleston police Chief Greg Mullen said Thursday morning. He said local police were acting on a BOLO (be-on-the-lookout) notice that included a vehicle description, the license tag and the suspect’s name. Roof was armed with a gun when he was arrested, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. It’s not clear if it’s the same firearm used in the shooting. A senior law enforcement source told CNN the suspect’s father had recently bought him a .45-caliber gun for his 21st birthday in April.
So happy to hear that they caught this terrorist. Yes I said terrorist.
He massacred nine defenseless people in a church just like Adam Lanza massacred 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut back in 2012. Call me delusional but after that massacre I thought for sure something would be done about guns laws in this country especially when it comes to stronger background checks. After all 20 of the 26 murdered were babies. Of course gun lovers and especially politicians on Capitol Hill fought tooth and nail against that. As President Obama stated this morning in his speech:
“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” he continued. “Now is the time for mourning and for healing, but let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”
Amen President Obama.
Nine people were murdered in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina last night. In what police are describing as a hate crime the victims were attending a prayer meeting when the gunman who was also at the prayer meeting started shooting.
Among the nine victims was the pastor of the church, Reverend Clementa Pinckney who was also a South Carolina state Senator.
According to new sources there were thirteen people inside the church when the shooting happened including the shooter.
The FBI has named Dylann Roof, 21, of Columbia, South Carolina as the suspected killer of nine people at a black church in Charleston. Roof was previously arrested on April 26 for a tresspassing arrest and was awaiting moderation.
The history of of Emanuel AME Church dates back to the late 1700’s.
The congregation first formed in 1791, a coalition of free blacks and slaves. At first they were members of Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal Church. But in 1816, they left their white counterparts in a dispute over burial grounds.
At the time, the church was 1,400 members strong. They rallied behind the leadership of a pastor named Morris Brown and organized under the banner of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The early years of the congregation were fraught with trials as Brown and other ministers of the church were jailed for violating laws that prohibited slaves and free blacks from gathering without white supervision.
In 1822, the church was burned to the ground, after plans for a slave revolt were exposed.
Denmark Vesey, a carpenter who brought himself out of slavery, was the architect. Since he was one of the founders of the congregation, authorities suspected the church was the meeting place for planning the rebellion.
The church was torched in retaliation. Authorities arrested 313 alleged participants, and executed 35, including Vesey.
The congregation rebuilt the church and met there until 1834 — when all-black churches were outlawed by the state legislature.
Undeterred, they continued to meet in secret until the end of the Civil War in 1865, when they formally reorganized.
They adopted the name ‘Emanuel,’ meaning “God with us.”
At the time, the church was a wooden two-story structure, and it was destroyed in an earthquake in 1886.
Once again, it rebuilt.
During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, it was a destination stop for many of the leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr.
Today, the church — with its historic Gothic Revival-style structure and signature steeple — is a fixture in Charleston. With seats for 2,500, it has the largest capacity of any African-American church in Charleston.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
Check out additional information about the church and news about the hate crime committed by Dylann Roof: