The horror story that has dominated the news today is the mass shooting of nine African-American churchgoers by a white supremacist. This story has understandably been dominating the national media, and I had toyed with titling this post "None Dare Call It Terrorism", but I was beaten to the punch. The coverage of the crime has focused on "lone wolf" violence and even "far left" New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has couched his remarks about the murders in terms of mental illness":
“We’ve got to take very seriously the fact that many of these tragedies occur and there are warning signs that we can act on if we are more aggressive about dealing with the question of mental health, and de-stigmatizing it, and opening up both the discussing and taking the actions we need on mental health in this city and in this country.”
I love ya, Bill, but this wasn't so much a mind ravaged by disease as a mind poisoned by racist calumnies.
The whole episode lays bare the racism that constitutes the United States' congenital birth defect, from the murders themselves, to the live apprehension of an "armed and dangerous" suspect (as opposed to the killings of unarmed black men), to the characterizations of these clearly racially-motivated killings as an anti-Christian attack (amazingly, all of the anti-christian attacks in this country seem to target African-American or liberal congregations).
Of all of the horrors that have come to light in the past twenty-four hours, the one that disgusts me the most is the fact that the shooter sat with the victims for an hour in a Bible study class- they welcomed him into their church, into their lives, and he rewarded their acceptance with murder.