To Whom It May Concern,
It’s been a rough week, but nothing compared to the city of Charleston and the tragic event at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. On the evening of June 17, 2015 a young man walked into the Emanuel AME Church and asked for the Pastor. After a bible study and prayer circle, as the group closed their biblical sessions, that man, Dylann Roof, began shooting, killing nine people leaving three survivors, 2 of which pretended to be dead to survive and one intentionally left alive and unharmed to spread Roof’s message.
Surely, this is not breaking news, but my response, is. This horrific act of violence was committed in the name of hate. Dylann Roof was an angry racist who confessed to his intent of starting a civil war, a war between races. He hates anyone who is not “white” and was hoping his insane actions would encourage a war. Despicable and disgusting that there are still people out there with these beliefs and convictions, more so that they intend to insight war.
It is 2015, nearly 150 years since President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves, 60 years since Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus and almost 52 years since Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech” at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC and yet we still live in a country filled with hate, racism and fear.
How do we live each day of our lives in such a world? “I’m not racist” is uttered daily across the country, something wonderful to hear, but is it true? Why is this a question? Why is there a need to prove your stance? Dylann Roof and Craig Cobb, just two of millions of reasons why. Today we live in a society where we live in fear, whether you are white or black. If you are white and not a proud racist, you live in fear of what others think of you, whether you are racist or not, are you being politically correct? Etc. If you are black, you fear racism, judgment, inequality of any level and worst of all, the potential of racial violence whether from police or civilian. Maybe you have no fear at all, but then you would be lying, to some degree, unless you a professed and proud racist.
In today’s society it’s not safe to be a white cop or African American. As a white police officer you have to worry each day you put on your uniform whether you will make a questionable action today, will you be accused of something that may be perceived as racial profiling, you fear cameras and what can or can’t be taken or edited of context. If you are not racist, could any of your interactions that day be perceived or received as something different? Could you have done something differently? Then as an African American you fear the potential of encountering that racist cop who may hurt you or your loved ones over something as simple as a speeding ticket, because you never know in today’s society. The media as of late only proves just how scary it can be to be, and now, the fear of going to church.
How can we change, how can we move forward and progress to a more accepting and loving nation? Why are there still such intense issues after so many years?
I can’t pretend I have the answers, surely I nor you could single handedly solve such an issue. But, if I hold your hand and with my other someone else’s, you hold the hand of that next to you, so on and so forth, maybe, just maybe we can make some small step towards something better than what we have now. Hate and racism is learned, you are not born with anger and hate, we have big hearts, let’s use them. Let’s practice acceptance, equality and friendship. It is important that we move forward, not backwards as a nation. It sickens me that Dylann Roof killed those men and women so heinously with demented sense of pride and deviousness while they worshiped God, in their church after accepting him into their church, into the bible study and prayer. I am ashamed, as a white woman of his actions as there are so many of us out there that do not in any circumstance feel that way. We have no hate or ill intentions in our heart, we don’t see color, and we’re all people, made by the same Man. So I ask you, everyone, to please, start your day, each and every day with love in your heart, the willingness to see humans, see people, not color, not religion, not sex, but people, with emotions and feelings just like you. Try on those shoes of other people, take a small walk in those shoes and realize we’re all the same, we’re people, we’re humans, we’re American’s, but most of all, we’re equal!