The tragic shooting at an African American church in South Carolina was motivated by racial hatred, and was not an “attack on faith” as erroneously reported by Fox News.
According to multiple media reports, Dylann Storm Roof, a 21-year-old white male, allegedly went on a shooting spree at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday night, killing 9 people.
Roof was arrested in Shelby, North Carolina, about 245 miles north of the crime scene, during a traffic stop, Charleston Police Chief Gregory Mullen announced at a news conference.
Witnesses report Roof sat with attendees of the prayer meeting for an hour before he turned his gun on them. Three men and six women were killed. Three people survived.
One woman, who said she was as cousin of the church’s pastor, Sen. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, told NBC News late Wednesday night that the shooter reloaded five different times and told a survivor:
I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.
In a Facebook photo, Roof is seen scowling at the camera wearing a jacket with two flags: one representing Rhodesia and the other apartheid South Africa. Both were countries with white minority rule, and both flags hold special significance for many white supremacists.
Despite the evidence that this was a hate crime motivated by racial prejudice, Fox News attempted to exploit the tragedy to promote their false and often repeated narrative that there is a “War on Christianity” a “War on Faith.”
Discussing the tragedy on this mornings edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, host Elizabeth Hasselback described the shooting as a “horrifying attack on faith”:
A horrifying attack on faith killing 9 people, including a famed pastor. So, if we’re not safe in our own churches, then where are we safe?
Host Stve Doocy and guest E.W. Jackson expressed doubt as to claims the shooting were expressions of racial hatred, suggesting instead that the mass shooting was part of a “War on Christians.”
In a sad bit of irony, Pastor Jackson, himself an African American, also ignored the obvious racial nature of the crime in favor of promoting the false Fox News narrative that there is a “War on Faith,” noting:
There does seem to be a rising hostility against Christians in this country because of our biblical views.
Extraordinarily, they called it a ‘hate crime,’ and some look at it as, ‘Well, because it was a white guy and a black church,’ but you made a great point earlier about the hostility towards Christians. And it was a church. So maybe that’s what they were talking about. They haven’t explained it to us.
For the record, this was a hate crime. The crime had nothing to do with this new and imaginary Fox News manufactured “War on Faith” or “War on Christianity.” There is nothing new about this hate crime. Racism is as old as America, and continues to be embedded in the fabric of our society.
(H/T Media Matters)