Dylann Roof, the white suspect seen on church surveillance video is now being held in custody in Charleston, S.C. and charged with committing the mass murder of nine black people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He was apprehended by police Wednesday night in Shelby, North Carolina, some 250 miles from the massacre and subsequently returned to Charleston.
Before going any further let's acknowledge the following, a white racist taking it upon himself to indiscriminately kill those who represent the people he hates is nothing new. This is America. We're a violent, racist country and have been from the earliest days of colonial settlements.
Today that racism and violence takes different forms. Sometimes its white cops gunning down an unarmed black man with his hands held up as happened with Michael Brown last August in Ferguson, Missouri or a Freddie Gray dying in police custody in Baltimore which the coroner described as a homicide or an Eric Garner dying while being held down by police in Staten Island, New York. These are some of the more publicized incidents of white on black killing. Countless others don't get reported or receive the publicity, but black people are all too aware of the racist hatred behind these killings.
Getting back to the massacre in Charleston, one black man Jareem Brady put it succinctly, "We're not worth the air they don't want us to breathe", referring to Charleston's white people. But that could be an indictment of much of the white population in America, not just Charleston, S.C.
So now we're seeing the grieving families, calls by ecumenical, interracial gatherings saying a racist gunmen wouldn't divide a community, a grieving Governor Nikki Haley at a news conference saying, "WE woke up today and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken".
President Obama intoned, "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".
So now should we expect renewed calls for upgrading our gun control measures? Please.
As was said earlier, we are a violent, racist country and we've never honestly faced that fact.
In order to begin solving any problem all the variables need to be recognized and acknowledged, the process laid out and then you can begin to work out a solution. Where do we do such a thing in America? Whether the problem is climate change, a financial industry run amok, gross income inequality, an electoral process completely corrupted and overwhelmed by big money, an inefficient, overly expensive health care system, our crumbling infrastructure, jobs outsourced, on and on it goes.
We don't solve any of our problems. They just fester. Sadly, that goes for our racially provoked violence against people of color. It's the American way.