The horrific massacre at Mother Emanuel last week is yet another reminder that we are not living in a post-racial society. The loss of nine innocent souls, including its charismatic pastor, Clementa Pinckney was truly tragic.The media is tripping over themselves not to call this a terrorist attack or a racist hate crime. Fox news is spinning the narrative as an attack on Christianity. Let’s call a spade a spade. The 21 year old racist targeted Emanuel AME specifically to “kill black people.” How much more evidence do you need? Our reluctance as a society to call it what is only speaks to our deep denial about racism in America.
America has been unrepentant in acknowledging it’s original sin: slavery. Therein lies the problem. Whenever I have a discussion with white colleagues on this topic, their response is always, slavery has nothing to do with today’s problem. My retort is, it has everything to do with our interactions today. We are seeing the vestiges of this evil institution play out almost on a daily basis in America. For example: Racial profiling by the police, police shootings of unarmed black men and women, being followed in stores, whites locking car doors when they see black men, black teenagers brutally handled at a pool party because racist white neighbors thought to many black children were someplace they didn’t belong. I could go on and on. You get the idea.