Republican presidential hopeful and senator, Lindsey Graham reacted to the mass shooting at a historic black church in his home state of South Carolina by claiming that the shooter was “looking for Christians to kill them.”
That’s right, after the gunman, who uttered the words, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country and you have to go,” did not kill none people over race, but because of Christian persecution.
Paying a visit to The View, telling the hosts that his niece had gone to school with Dylann Roof, the suspected shooter.
“Strange, disturbed young man,” the senator noted. “Emily said in school he was just a quiet strange kid. Seems like one of these Newtown-type guys.”
“Do you think it’s a hate crime or do you think it’s more mentally disturbed?” one of the hosts asked.
“Probably both,” he replied. “There are real people out there that are organized to kill people in religion and based on race. This guy is just whacked out.”
“But it’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them,” Graham added. “This is a mean time we live in.”
And this is the narrative we expected. A white man walks into a black church, purposefully kills a senator, announces he is there to kill “black people,” and Christian persecution and “disturbed young man,” are thrown around but, of course, the word terrorist is never once used.
We will continue with the everyday narrative that the shooter was mentally disturbed, on drugs, and will make up as many excuses as possible and never admit he could very well have been of sound mind and be nothing but a racist terrorist looking to kill. We are willing to call the shooter racist, but will be unwilling to face the root causes of such racism.
We so desperately want to believe we have grown past our racist history, yet the capital building in South Carolina flies a confederate flag. But the conversation about race make us uncomfortable and we want to wish the problem away. But there is one problem, the African-American community cannot simply wish these problems away.
Alix Jules explains that by doing so we minimize the struggles still faced today by the black community simply because we don’t want to admit that white culture could have played a role in these crimes.
Blackness is having to explain to your children why it might not be safe for them to go to church in America, because a white gunman in the South (or a bomber in the North) might want to kill them. All due to their complexion. Bonus- you get to do so, while holding back the tears when they ask you – why.
It’s the blank look you have to project when your white co-worker and colleague tells you to not jump to conclusions, because there’s no proof that this “lone wolf’s” crime was motivated by race.
It’s listening to the same colleague dismissing the idea that white culture might play a factor in this conversation, yet when black children get loud they condemn an entire race.
(Image: YouTube screen capture)