Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tragic Charleston Church Shooting Leaves Larger Questions About Hate, Humanity

Hate is a powerful word.  I don't use it often.  In fact, I hate to use it.

I may disagree with some folks, but I don't hate them.  I never could.  As a human, it's hard for me to hate...even when someone has wronged me or even when they hate me.  

Please forgive me if I have no earthly idea how someone could hate someone else they don't even know so much to kill them.  It's an idea so foreign to me and to probably all of you reading this blog post that it's hard to fathom.  That means I have no starting point for making sense out of what happened in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night.

On that night, a white man walked into an historically black church and allegedly blew away its pastor and almost all of those at a prayer meeting because they were black.  It's a headline seemingly ripped out of the 1950's or 1960's when these types of crimes against humanity were commonplace in the American South.

The victims, six women and three men, were from all walks of life.  They apparently died for no reason other than the color of their skin, the fact that they went to the Emanuel AME on the wrong Wednesday night and the apparent hatred inside of an armed young man.  

To think that they opened their doors to that young man who allegedly sat for an hour at the prayer meeting before he opened fire makes this whole thing even more hard to understand.

I was not raised with the capability to hate.  I know many of you are like me.  With headlines like this one, we must fight the temptation to hate back.  We have to keep reminding ourselves that while there are those who will do others harm for hateful reasons that the majority of society condemns those crimes and people remain peaceful and good.  Each passing headline such as this one makes it harder, but we must be left hopeful that someday hate will be purged from our collective vocabulary and the actions of hateful people.  

Rest in Peace:
State Senator Reverend Clementa Pinckney, 41
Cynthia Hurd, 54
Susie Jackson, 87
Ethel Lance, 70
Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49
Tywanza Sanders, 26
Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74
Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45
Myra Thompson, 59

My thoughts are with the families of the victims and those that knew them.

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