|Senator Clemente Pinckney Atlanta Daily|
We could say the white supremacists who filled his damaged mind with hate are to blame. Or the NRA whose members may be sufficiently ignorant to spout beliefs like one of their Board Members who blamed Clemente Pinckney, the murdered pastor, for the deaths of his eight congregants because he didn't carry a gun. Because he voted against a law allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons without permits?
A childhood friend saw the murderer the morning before the shooting and confessed the pair had never discussed race growing up, but recently heard him spout such racist beliefs as blacks taking over the world. It's an old trope but you don't need new ideas to tear society apart - the old slogans will work for those who are disaffected and who can't do their own research. Puppets that are poor and angry are available in the millions from Budapest to America. What they do know is that life is not fair. They have the scars to prove it.
Rick Perry, a Republican presidential candidate, said the fatal shooting was a drug-induced accident, perhaps meaning to say "incident" but either way this seems to launder the dirt that is racism.
Jon Stewart confessed he could not bring himself to do jokes on his show the day the killing happened. Clearly sickened by the frequency of these incidents.“I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it, by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, we still won’t do jacksh*t ... Yeah. That’s us.”
Who will call it terrorism when the killing is done by an American who is white - not brown or black or an immigrant from another nation, Stewart asks.
There was an interesting interview on CBC's The Current, where a fellow pastor talked about Clemente Pinckney and how his church had a long history of working for justice. Doesn't that sound like another assassination - an enlightened soul working for social change, for equality and peace and all those things that make people difficult to manipulate because they are not living in a whirlwind of chaos, fear and powerlessness?
In the eulogy given by President Obama he said this: Reverend Pinckney embodied a politics that was neither mean, nor small. He conducted himself quietly, and kindly, and diligently. He encouraged progress not by pushing his ideas alone, but by seeking out your ideas, partnering with you to make things happen. He was full of empathy and fellow feeling, able to walk in somebody else’s shoes and see through their eyes. No wonder one of his senate colleagues remembered Senator Pinckney as “the most gentle of the 46 of us – the best of the 46 of us.”
When will we learn the pattern of oppression that is powered by hate? When will we stop rewarding the system that oppresses century after century?