Dylann Roof, 21, massacred nine people during a Bible study session at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston Wednesday night.
Here’s my reaction to the shooting:
This young man is guilty of doing what has been done to communities of color in this country since the beginning of our time as a nation. Whether he is mentally ill or not isn’t a justifiable conversation to have because he has grown up his whole life watching white male shooters, police officers, KKK members, and other supremacist groups kill black and brown people, and get away with it, so naturally he was conditioned to believe he could do the same. Even if there’s a chance that he’s been removed from mainstream media, if he’s played a number of video games on the market, he’s been trained to eliminate people that he perceives as threatening.
The real conversation should be how we as a nation will collectively perpetuate the healing of the many people who are victims of a system that conditions some to hate while conditioning others to believe that violence is/can be justified. The larger national dialogue needs to be about how we can re-condition our society to see the value in every human soul. This conversation needs to happen in elementary schools, high schools, churches, colleges, law firms, hospitals, on sports teams, on police forces, in our government—everywhere.
It is apparent that we are in a national crisis and have been for quite some time, and the only way we will advance as a human society and not destroy one another completely, is if there is intentional work done in every state on every level to address racism, white supremacy, sexism, homophobia, classism, and every other thing that devalues human life and perpetuates evil.
May God have mercy on us all; and may the Spirit give strength to all those who feel compelled to take a stand for justice and actively work to heal this land. It’s not enough to be silent and hope that someone else does the work; we all need to do something to bring about change.#ChangeStartsWithin #SilenceIsComplicity #AMEmassacre