"White males are the ones who created
this system of death, destruction, injustice
and inequality. You cannot expect them
to repair it. That’s our job."
that the shooting is over and the Kumbaya moment is waning, real issues
are hitting the fan. As always, boot-wearing cowboys kickin’ up dust…so
that you can’t see what’s really important. Now that the shooter has
been quickly outed as a lone-wolf racist, other issues are being
bandied about as solutions to the problem fade into the sunset. These
are the dust clouds of Charleston: the cowboys diverting the
conversation, the lone wolf, and the ‘other issues.’|
mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina—where a white gunman
entered and sat [and sat, and sat] inside the historic Emanuel African
Methodist Episcopal Church before he massacred the nine Black people
praying, also inside—is being labeled by investigators as a hate crime.
The label has clouded the real issue at hand: guns. It has re-ignited
debate over the Confederate flag, which flies atop a 30-foot flagpole
outside the state Capitol building in Columbia. Though relevant to the
conversation, removing the flag won’t halt murders by fearful white
that fueled 21-year old Dylan Storm Roof, is the same fear that fuels
Republican Conservatives in legislatures that terrorizes Black people.
Week after week, we witness another American killed by firearms in
numbers that mystify the rest of the “developed” world. In the case of
Charleston, the gun lobby is disarmed of their usual defense, mental
health. Roof has no history of mental instability but has been shown to
be a quick study—in Aryan supremacy delusions.
something is wrong when the judge in this case, Charleston County
Magistrate James Gosnell, Jr., spends significant time and energy in
the bond hearing directing those in the courtroom to have equal
sympathy for the shooter’s family What? If that judge finds no fault
with his statements, then think about the BLACK defendants who appeared
As a matter
of fact, the state Supreme Court in 2005 reprimanded that same judge
for telling a Black defendant in 2003, "There are four kinds of people
in this world: black people, white people, rednecks, and n******."
There’s no sane person in America who believes that judges routinely
demands sympathy for the perpetrator’s family.
Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Monday said the Confederate flag
should be moved from the grounds of the state Capitol, taking a stand
on an emotional issue that has sparked sharp debates in the state, and
that is a reversal from her past stance. Keep in mind that she claimed
to not want to “politicize” the shooting with issues about the flag;
she wanted the people of South Carolina to heal—you know: She wanted to
“Kumbaya it!” Now, she hopes that by removing a symbol that divides
citizens of South Carolina, the state can “move forward in harmony.”
does “move forward” mean? I’ll tell you what it means: get lost in the
dust clouds, that is, obfuscate—darken, muddy… be evasive, unclear, or
confuse. The issue at hand is this killer’s M.O. was race-based. This
is obvious to most Black people in America when Black people are gunned
down regularly by perpetrators, some who ‘look like’ Roof, some who
look like the victims.
crime is a direct result of guns manufactured by white business owners
who anonymously distribute them to any- and everybody. Those guns end
up in irresponsible, insecure hands in Black communities. That’s one of
the reasons the citizens of DC don’t want guns in our city-state, but
since we’re denied statehood (by white males in the US Congress), we
are subject to having our laws overturned and re-written.
Gentrification in DC also means Black people are being displaced and
replaced by fearful, white men …and you know what they bring with them
Catch-22 for Conservatives; they have to swallow the pain of watching
their symbol of “supremacy” (Robert E. Lee’s Rebel flag) go the way of
“stanky” garbage in exchange for not having to address gun control.
Obfuscation. That works for white, gun-toting males. As long as we can
stay blinded by smaller issues (Confederate flag in South Carolina), we
can miss tackling the fact that access to guns is the root cause that
nine Black people were murdered while praying in church.
we were talking about a white officer killing Walter Scott, a North
Charleston resident. You may recall he was shot multiple times in the
back—while fleeing—from a white male policeman—who initially used the
cover story of “fear for his life” before he was exposed as a liar and
fraud, as opposed to the “hero” the system usually gets away with
planting in our collective minds. That’s the same story Michael Dunn
used when he shot and killed Jordan Davis; the same story with John
Crawford, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. Do you get it yet?
Utah man shot and killed his wife and two young children before turning
the gun on himself on Father's Day, stunning neighbors and relatives
who said the family missed an outing that day but otherwise showed no
outward signs that anything was amiss.
brother found their bodies after going to check on the family at their
home on a quiet, suburban street in Roy, a city of about 38,000 and
roughly 30 miles north of Salt Lake City. Who could’ve thunk it? The
dead woman’s mother said her son-in-law had hunting weapons, but there
were no signs of violence before the deaths. There never is…white males
are usually the “law-abiding” gun owners.
need to understand—and admit—who the true enemy is. White males are the
ones who created this system of death, destruction, injustice and
inequality. You cannot expect them to repair it. That’s our job. White
males need to work with everyone else instead of standing in denial and
kicking up dust. Guns are the #1 problem. If we can get real with that
fact, the other issues will fall like dominoes and we can emerge from
this dust cloud of denial.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Perry Redd, longtime activist & organizer, is the Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere
Seven that currently owns the FCC license for WOOK-LP 103.1FM/ok103.org. His latest book, Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1, chronicles his ‘behind bars’ activism that extricated him from a 42-year sentence and is now case law. He is also the author of As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression, Mr. Redd also hosts a radio show, Socially Speaking, from his Washington, DC studio. Contact Mr. Redd and BC.
| is published every Thursday
David A. Love, JD
Nancy Littlefield, MBA