If there is one thing that both Conservative Americans and Liberal Americans can agree upon, it is that the horrific shooting that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina should never be repeated. In the aftermath of this shooting that killed 9 innocent people and destroyed any threads of innocence that we had left about mass shootings, how do we critically look at what happened and try to keep this poison from spreading to other communities?
So how does a 21 year old young man start to think that going into a church and shooting 9 innocent people is a great idea? He had a difficult childhood, had dropped out of school and had few job prospects. He is quoted as saying at the time of the murders, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” He was referring to the African American community as the culprits.
I think there was a huge web of failures in the shooter’s life that led to this day where he committed the unthinkable. I also believe what set the fire to the flame was our incessant need here in the South to romanticize a really horrible period in History. The shooter was someone who felt very powerless and he was someone who was involved in racist hate groups. These hate groups are fringe elements in the South who spread the message that the South was a lovely place until the African American community was granted citizenship and the rights that go along with that.
How is it that there are still pockets of racist hate groups that have the power to incite terror and hate? I think that question is key to expunging the racial hatred and bitterness that still remains in the South. We need to own our history. We need to accept that there are parts of our history that are shameful and should never be repeated. We need to take responsibility for our mistakes. Luckily, South Carolina showed much leadership in doing just that by removing the symbol of that hatred from their capitol. It has been a long time in coming and there is still much work to be done. But by removing that flag, I believe we said that the South has had enough hatred, at least for today.
Tale of Two Wolves
One evening, An elderly
Cherokee brave told his
Grandson about a battle that
goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is
between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.
One is evil and the other is good.
The Grandson thought about it
for a minute and then asked
“Which wolf wins?…”
The Old Cherokee simply replied,
“The one that you feed”