Ya’ll know about the horrendous shooting and murders down in Charleston, South Carolina… yep… another mass shooting and killing. I’m not going to get into the wheres and withals of what went down and what I think…at least not specifically about the killings themselves and stuff… because frankly ya’ll read this column with any regularity then ya’ll know how I think and anything I say will be redundant.
Except this… this one redundancy… When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn? And, maybe the thirsty boots still need to be walking down the dusty miles and the jail houses still need to be revisited because we ain’t there yet…
I am going to get into some of the periphery stuff and, frankly, some of that stuff is eye-opening…
Eye-opening into how we think as a society… both… good and bad and sometimes in-between.
Charleston County Magistrate James (Skip) Gosnell Jr… aka the judge… opened last Friday’s hearing for racist mass murderer Dylann Roof and said, “We have victims…nine of them. But, we also have victims on the other side. There are victims on this young man’s side of the family. Nobody would have ever thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they are being thrown into. 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.”
Now… these words caused all sorts of shit to hit the fan on social media sites…
For example… “Judge James Gosnell in the complete wrong to give sympathy first to #DylannRoof’s family. But it’s South Carolina.”
“Wait was judge James Gosnell Jr job to arraign Dylan Roof or defend Roof’s family? Wow #RacismInAmerica.”
First… just because he said what he said does not imply overt racism on his part…
Wow… let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was trying to say the parents and relatives of this mad man have to live with his deeds done dirty and sordid rep now… but… still… really?
At this point?
I think he should just said what he said about the church victims and then stfu…and… left what he said about the other “victims” of the tragedy unsaid. I mean… yeah… they are victims… but now… or rather then… at the arraignment? It was not the right time to be talking about those “victims” because they weren’t shot at nor were any of them being slaughtered.
Their grief and mortification and remorse is real but entirely on a different level and in no way equals the grief, sorrow and agony of the members of that church or any of the black community in Charleston and throughout America.
To say what he did say sorta puts their pain and suffering on the same level as the pain and suffering of that church’s congregation. And that just ain’t realistic…
But, why am I not shocked a judge from a state that flies the stars and bars… or a flag similar to the stars and bars… over its capitol building would say something like this?
Just wonder if the skin tones were reversed and the shooter was black and the victims white would his honor be so magnanimous with his caring and mercy?
Forgiveness and love given…
If ya’ll been reading about this tragedy at all then somewhere along the line ya’ll probably read this church… Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Love Emanuel)… has a bit of history attached to it… history like Martin Luther King Jr. once visited and spoke there.
The congregation first formed in 1791, a coalition of free blacks and slaves. At the time, the church was 1,400 members strong. They were led by Pastor 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.
It was burned to the ground in 1822… Denmark Vesey, who had brought himself out of slavery, was one of the founders of the congregation, and because of his connection the so-called peeps in charge at the time said the church was the meeting place for the a black uprising.
The church was torched and the peeps in charge arrested 313 alleged participants, and executed 35 of them, including Vesey.
The congregation rebuilt the church and met there until 1834 and then the peeps in charge decided that any all-black church was illegal. So, the congregation met in secret until the end of the Civil War in 1865, when they formally reorganized the church one more time.
In 1886, an earthquake destroyed the church and one more time they reunited and they rebuilt it.
During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, it was a destination stop for many of the leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King delivered an impassioned speech at Mother Emanuel and spoke of making the “American dream a reality.” After King’s death, Coretta Scott King led a march fighting for workers’ rights, and Emanuel AME was the marchers’ starting point
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
And now it has achieved another connection to fame… one more time racism has reared its despicable and ugly head and violence and murder was wrought upon the membership… again…
Now, we know all about MLK JR…if ya don’t then ya’ll need to get your head extricated from where the sun don’t shine and go educate your sorry ass… and his belief in nonviolence and the struggle he helped to spearhead for civil rights for all people. And one of the things Martin was big on was this…
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” — Martin Luther King
The congregation of Love Emmanuel must have been taught and learned the lessons of King very well…
As Dylann Roof watched by videotape from the Charleston County Jail, relatives of those murdered in the basement of Emanuel AME Church took turns addressing the bastard who took the lives of nine folks that were loved…
And, the constant stream of words were of love and forgiveness… you bet there was pain… hurt… tears… emotions… and misery… but… the resounding voice was united as one and it said we forgive you. We do not hate you.
Alana Simmons, whose grandfather Daniel Simmons was murdered by Roof said… “Although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate, everyone’s plea for your soul is proof that they lived in love, and their legacies will live in love. So hate won’t win.”
Bethane Middleton-Brown,the sister of the murdered Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor told Roof “We have no room for hate, so we have to forgive. I also thank God that I won’t be around when your judgment comes from him.”
But, the words of Nadine Collier, the daughter of murdered Ethel Lance, summed up the congregation’s united stance when she said in an emotional cracking voice…”You took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But, I forgive you and have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgives you, and I forgive you.”
Magistrate James (Skip) Gosnell then set bond at $1 million on the firearms charge. The judge did not set bail for the nine murders.
Yes… they learned their lessons well from the mouths of those who heard King’s words from what seemed to be such a long time ago but obviously was brought to reality once more when a hateful thief of life came strolling into their midst.
Forgiveness and love… not an eye for an eye but forgiveness and love… and… justice, too, I hope.
Days after a gunman attacked a prayer service at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, parishioners across the city gathered to pray, worship and remember the victims.
Taylor Willis, a black woman, and a friend, were at a street corner holding signs offering free hugs to those who could use one. One of the takers was 3-year-old Parker Nettles, whose father, John Nettles, captured this…
This picture was hard to take and hard to edit… because Parker doesn’t understand how powerful that hug is. To him it’s just a hug. He doesn’t understand that he’s hugging a black woman and that he’s a white boy. He doesn’t understand that just last week there was another white boy who decided to murder several black people – just because they’re black. To him, it’s just a hug with another person.
It’s probably the most beautiful hug I’ve ever witnessed.
And then, there was an ass from the NRA…
Charles Cotton ran his mouth… and… he laid the blame of the murders at the feet of those who were murdered… especially Clementa Pinckney, the murdered pastor of the Church who also was a South Carolina state senator.
Cotton said the slaughter was the fault Pinckney when he uttered these words… “Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.”
Cotton, a 13 year member of the board of the National Rifle Association, wrote on an online forum for Texas gun advocates that Pinckney had “voted against concealed-carry.”
Not once did the ass say that the racist who spewed his hate with a gun was to blame.
How big an ass was he?
A spokeswoman for the NRA, which has opposed every recent attempt to tighten gun control, issued the following comment… and they specifically asked that it be published in its entirety.
“Individual board members do not speak for the NRA. We are praying for the victims and their families and out of respect for their tragic loss we do not feel that this is appropriate time for a political debate. We will have no further comment until all the facts are known.”
Pinckney, a Democrat, was for gun control. Two years ago, the preacher introduced a bill to mandate stricter background checks for gun purchases.
Specifically, Pinckney asked for laws that called for firearms dealers to conduct criminal background checks and “a personal interview to determine if a person is mentally fit” before selling or otherwise transferring an assault rifle.
In South Carolina’s elephant dominated legislature… that went nowhere.
What was that word???
President Obama expressed his opinions on race Monday in the starkest possible terms, using the word nigger to explain that racism is still alive and well in the U.S.
Good for him… say the damn word… and get it out there.
In an interview with Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast… (HEYYYYY!)… Obama said that the “the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives, you know, that casts a long shadow, and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on. We’re not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened two to 300 years prior.”
Then his prezness spoke to the shooting in Charleston, where nine black people during religious studies were massacred by an act of racist hatred.
“No other advanced nation on Earth … tolerates multiple shootings on a regular basis and considers it normal. It’s not enough to just feel bad. There are actions that could be taken to make events like this less likely, and one of those actions we could take would be to enhance some basic, common-sense gun safety laws, that by the way, the majority of gun owners support.”
“The question is, is there a way of accommodating that legitimate set of traditions with some common-sense stuff that prevents a 21-year-old who is angry about something, or confused about something, or is racist, or is, you know, deranged from going into a gun store and suddenly is packing and can do enormous harm. And that is not something that we have ever fully come to terms with.”
The Bamster then spoke the sorry truth when he said “The grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong. I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress and I don’t foresee any real action being taken until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves, ‘This is not normal, this is something that we can change, and we’re going to change it.’ And, if, you don’t have that kind of public and voter pressure, then it’s not going to change from the inside.”
The man speaks the truth… the sorry truth.
And an opinion…
Comey told members of the press… “Terrorism is act of violence done or threatens to in order to try to influence a public body or citizenry, so it’s more of a political act and again based on what I know so more I don’t see it as a political act.”
1) Everything we do is social and political whether peeps want to admit it or not. It’s a fact jack. It just is.
2) All murder is terrorism. As is all violence.
3) There are different types of terrorism to be sure but the fact remains… murder and violence are all terroristic acts… be they upon individuals or groups or against a political entity or country… terror is terror just as a rose is a rose is a rose.
4) Just because the perpetrator of an act of terrorism is not a foreign national… or more specifically maybe a Muslim… doesn’t mean that terrorism does not exist.
Terrorism and those who are terrorists don’t know color or religion or ethnic background… terrorism is hate.
Hate is bred by ignorance and keep alive by stupidity when certain government buffoons won’t see the handwriting on the wall and act…
Comey and his ilk were hired to fight terrorism… sooo… do your damn job… and that includes Congress and all state governments… stop all the terrorism in our midst by doing the right thing…
A NYDN Editorial says… “Standing with a diverse array of South Carolina elected officials,Gov. Nikki Haley Monday urged removal of the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds. Let this be a symbolic legacy of the nine African-Americans massacred in Emanuel AME Church.
Let this also be a step in an awakening that purges the anti-American symbol from the iconography of every state in the union. Yes, the Union. The flags of other Southern states incorporate imagery evoking the Southern Cross or Stars and Bars of the Confederacy.
One hundred-fifty years after the end of the Civil War, the flag still represents slavery, still represents the bloody war fought in defense of slavery, still represents treason.”
Yes, as the NYDN says… South Carolina’s governor called for the Confederate flag to be removed from Statehouse grounds. Republican Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Lindsey Graham, a long-serving Republican and a 2016 presidential candidate, held a joint news conference at the state capital and agreed change is necessary.
Haley said, “The fact that people are using it as a sign of hate is something we cannot stand. 150 years after the end of the Civil War, the time has come. That flag, while an integral part of the past, does not represent the future of our great state.”
A growing number of religious and political leaders said they would push for the flag’s removal.
The White House issued a statement that said his prezness respects the state of South Carolina’s authority to decide the issue, but believes the flag belongs in a museum.
In Mississippi, which has the Confederate symbol on its state flag, A MoveOn petition to remove the symbol was just shy of its 7,500 signature goal Monday night, and the state’s Speaker of the House, Philip Gunn, told the Clarion-Ledger: “I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi’s flag.”
Here’s the real gist of it all… call it the Stars and Bars… the Confederate flag… a battle flag of the rebel armies… or as a recent Daily News Op-Ed, pointed out… “the flag that Nathan Bedford Forrest used as a rallying symbol when he founded the Ku Klux Klan.”
It is a symbol of our racist past and our racist present and it needs to go… just like that… pure and simple… easy when you think about it and just drop all the political bullshit.
I don’t feel like posting gratuitous pictures this week… so ….
In the onset of this column I made a reference to thirsty boots… here is where that comes from…
You’ve long been on the open road, sleepin’ in the rain
From dirty words and muddy cells, your clothes are smeared and stained
But the dirty words and muddy cells will soon be judged insane
So only stop to rest yourself til you are off again
And take off your thirsty boots and stay for a while
Your feet are hot and weary from a dusty mile
And maybe I can make you laugh, maybe I can try
I’m just lookin’ for the evening, The morning in your eyes
But tell me of the ones you saw as far as you could see
Across the plain from fields to town a-marchin’ to be free
And of the rusted prison gates that tumbled by decree
Like laughin’ children one by one They looked like you and me
I know you are no stranger down the crooked rainbow trails
From dancing cliff-edged shattered sills of slander shackled jails
For the voices drift up from below as the walls are being scaled
Yes, all of this and more, my friends your song shall not be failed.
Yes, you’ve long been on the open road, just sleepin’ in the rain
From dirty words and muddy cells, your clothes are smeared and stained
But the dirty words and muddy cells will soon be hid in shame
So only stop to rest yourself til you’ll be off again
So take off your thirsty boots and stay for a while
Your feet are hot and weary from a dusty mile
And maybe I can make you laugh, maybe I can try
I’m just lookin’ for the evening the morning in your eyes
Words and Music by Eric Anderson…
And another thousand words….
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