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Open thread to discuss Charleston Church Shooting

Mourners outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Mourners outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Wednesday night

The news out of Charleston is horrifying: 9 people have been shot and killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, including state senator Clementa Pinckney, the pastor at the church. As I write this, police are still looking for the suspected shooter, described as “a clean-shaven white male about 21-years-old with sandy blond hair.”

It seems rather likely that the shooting was a racist hate crime.

Please use this thread to discuss the news as well as to post any updates or additional information you find.

I know some commenters here have also been discussing another horrifying story in the news: On Tuesday, as NJ.com reports, “a recently divorced … police officer shot and killed his former wife in broad daylight … in front of their daughter on an Asbury Park [New Jersey] street, authorities said.” Please use this thread to discuss this story as well.

 

 

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katz
katz
6 years ago

FUCK.

Fuck fuck fuck.

Fuck everything.

Anne
Anne
6 years ago

This news made me very sad. My thoughts and sympathy to Charleston today 🙁

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

@katz

This is what beer bottles were made for. Chug a fucking drink and then throw it at the wall screaming. Or just calming enjoy your drink. Whichever.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

When I was a kid and I read about the bombing of that church in Birmingham that killed 4 little girls, I couldn’t imagine living in an era in which somebody would murder people in a place sacred in retaliation for them seeking basic human rights.

I guess that was some little white girl naïvete.

Because here it is, more than fifty years later and the same shit is happening.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I’m tired of mass shootings.

I’m tired of racism.

I’m especially tired of politicians expressing surprise when something like this happened considering that our gun control laws are basically non-existent and said politicians (as well as the media) are perfectly fine with the police just gunning down people for nothing other than being black. Fuck them. They created the culture that has led to this.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

@WWTH

At least it’s gotten a bit better, right?

katz
katz
6 years ago

Has it gotten better? It seems like it’s getting worse.

rugbyyogi
6 years ago

Weirwoodtreehugger – it’s not just black churches. There was a shooting at a church in my hometown a few years ago – ‘white’ church (mainly). Yes, this probably is directly related to Black Lives Matter campaign and local campaigning around Walter Scott, but the mass shootings (or individual shootings – poor Andrea Farrington) as a ‘solution’ to disgruntlement and entitlement and rage has the potential to hit anyone in America.

My first feeling was sadness. My second feeling was hopelessness – that ‘this one’ wouldn’t ‘matter’ either in terms of finally getting a solution to the toxic political environment AND gun control. Then I thought – horribly – maybe this one will make a difference because the BlackLivesMatter campaign is currently vibrant and organised so maybe they can take up the gun control issue and make a difference. I hope so, but probably not.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I think it’s time for me to hide in my bed with wine and Degrassi (original class) DVDs and pick this conversation up tomorrow.
http://coolpcwallpapers.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Animal-Kitten-Under-A-Blanket-Wallpaper-1920×1200.jpg

Good to know there’s a place to discuss this stuff with the usual ableism, victim blaming, and maybe it was just a coincidence that it was a white guy shooting up a black church and had nothing to do with racism crap.

Night all.

katz
katz
6 years ago

My second feeling was hopelessness – that ‘this one’ wouldn’t ‘matter’ either in terms of finally getting a solution to the toxic political environment AND gun control.

Me too. It feels like we know exactly how this will play out and nothing will change and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago
autosoma
6 years ago

From my understanding they were holding a prayer vigil for Walter Scott. This is a level of terrorism/hate crime that goes beyond comprehension. My well wishes go out to the Charleston community

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

A white man opens fire in a historically black church, murders 9 people.

This form the N.J. Article about the cop who shot his ex-wife to death in front of their 7-year-old daughter:

LeMieux said Phillip Seidle was known to the officers on scene. When asked why officers didn’t use force against Seidle while he fired off a second round of shots in police presence, LeMiuex said that’s “under investigation at this point in time.”

Unarmed black men get murdered by the police for “resisting arrest” and the police face no consequences. People fall all over themselves defending the cops. A cop waves a gun around at a pool party full of teenagers and manhandles a 15 year old black girl, and people still defend his actions as “justified.” And here’s this white cop, who just shot his ex-wife to death in front of his 7 year old daughter, waving a gun and firing it in front of the cops, and he walks away unharmed. The cops even hug him and comfort him while they’re leading him away in handcuffs, after he just shot his ex-wife to death in front of his 7 year old daughter.

But yeah, sure, we live in a post-racist society and white men face racism and sexism. Sure.

This is beyond fucked up. My thoughts and prayers are with the survivors.

Shooting up a church. Murdering a woman in front of her daughter.

Fuck this shit.

Jurgan
6 years ago

Aw, hell. I live in Denver now, but I lived in Charleston for thirty years. That church is right across the street from my middle school. Charleston obviously has a long history of racism (we started the Civil War, after all), but this still feels like a gut punch. I doubt I know anyone involved, but it’s still hard to see it come home like this. I really have no words.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

RIP all nine unnamed victims. You believe in a deity that I do not, and believe that he would grant you peace in the afterlife. I hope that you are right and that I am wrong.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

What the everloving shit. No, not this again. Those poor people. And their loved ones. When will it end? When the fuck will it ever end?

Welp, time to hit the vodka, I guess. If I’m conscious tomorrow, I’ve done it wrong.

Jenny (@dontgiveah00t)

I’m not American so I am not sure, but won’t the fact that one of the victims was a US Senator ensure that this particular shooting is treated as an assassination of a public figure? Of course, a famous person should not have had to have died for this to be taken seriously, but that may well be what it takes, heartbreakingly enough. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families torn apart.

PussyPowerTantrum, the Lousy Flouncer
PussyPowerTantrum, the Lousy Flouncer
6 years ago

Remember when people thought racism was an old person’s problem and assumed generational change would solve it? That was a comforting fiction, ageism aside. All you had to do to maintain it was ignore reality: Young neo-Nazis running around, cops in their twenties and thirties killing people for existing while black. And now some shithead in his twenties shooting up a church. Fuck this shit, on days like this I don’t think we’ll ever learn and none of this will ever stop.

Make it stop. Please. *cries*

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
6 years ago

http://i.imgur.com/q7od8kN.gif
My respect and love for the families and friends of the people who were killed and the little girl..My God, I want to adopt her.

I don’t know if this will help but here’s brain bleach for everyone.
http://youtu.be/UWYMpuQ6Thc
http://youtu.be/GpxQANh_fEQ

PussyPowerTantrum, the Lousy Flouncer
PussyPowerTantrum, the Lousy Flouncer
6 years ago

@Jenny Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the church, was a South Carolina state senator, a married father of two, the youngest African-American in SC history to be elected to legislature.

I don’t know if this changes things, personally. Successful black people have always been a target of terrorism in the U.S.–businesspeople, teachers, community leaders, pastors considered too “uppity” and “giving good blacks ideas.” That’s the message, really: It doesn’t matter if you’re a regular Joe or Jane or famous or a member of the clergy or educated or an elected official, you are not safe if you are black. Especially if you have the temerity to speak out against the murder of black people.

Just watch, a cult is going to grow up around this gunman once he’s identified and white supremacists are going to paint the killing as justified if the late Rev. Pinckney has so much as a parking ticket. I just can’t anymore with this fucking country.

Josh Miller
Josh Miller
6 years ago

I hate people.
No, that’s the wrong reaction to have to news like this, because it’s hate that leads to things like this, so I should say….
I don’t understand people.

autosoma
6 years ago

Things seem to have changed so radically in recent years, last year a woman poc colleague of my wife (they shared the same desk) was stabbed to death in London because she parked too close to her white male neighbours house, he grabbed a kitchen knife and killed her in front of the house and his and her children.

Spindrift
Spindrift
6 years ago

This is just so horrifying.

I imagine people are already out there saying it’s insensitive to politicise this tragedy and it’s too soon to talk about gun control. And claims that it was racially motivated will be met with people saying it’s not a largescale problem and just the work of 1 lone (put ableist term here) who’s views weren’t shaped by the society he lived in. And of course people will handwave away the fact that it’s overwhelmingly men who commit these mass murders and not question why exactly that is. Same story every time, so depressing.

rugbyyogi
6 years ago

@jenny – State Senator – not dismissing his accomplishments at all, because local politicians are really important, but it’s simply not as big a deal as being a US Senator. Not sure where you’re at – but if it’s the UK, it would be sort of a slightly bigger deal than being a County Councillor in Cornwall (the unitary county).

Meanwhile Gabby Giffords and actual US Congressional Representative was shot, sustained life altering injuries, others, including a 9 yr old girl, were murdered and it didn’t make much difference.

Don’t assume that just because this incident (almost certainly, one can hope) won’t lead to any political change people aren’t taking this seriously or don’t see it as absolutely tragic. There will be lots of soul-searching and hand-wringing and genuine tears shed by more than just those who are directly affected, but there are those who genuinely believe that more guns and more toxicity will lead to fewer spree shootings. I don’t know how they believe it. It makes no sense. But they do.

Jenny (@dontgiveah00t)

Damn. I guess it was silly of me to hope, but I did anyway.

Mercy
Mercy
6 years ago

I read that the FBI is treating this as domestic terrorism. Good.

Oliver
Oliver
6 years ago

“Just watch, a cult is going to grow up around this gunman once he’s identified…”

Evil is always going to champion filth, do you expect anything different? Let them idolise him — just so long as he’s either dead or safely behind the bars of a Supermax prison.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

@Oliver:

I’m too drunk to get into a lengthy debate (and I’m sure I misread your meaning due to, you know, being drunk and all), but no, locking up/killing the piece of shit who did this will not solve anything (which I though the “let them idolise him” bit seems to imply).

The problem is not the outliers, but the culture; It’s the ideology that’s the problem, not the lone [insert ableist term here]. The toxic ideas absorbed from our bigoted, violence-worshipping macho culture combined with whatever other things we don’t know about was the the most likely cause. By “letting them idolise him” we are agreeing with the notion that it’s single individuals, not the ideas they embrace that are the problem. And that’s bullshit.

Again, I might be misreading things from what you wrote.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

Oh, and btw, not disagreeing that he should be locked up. Of course he should. Just thought I’d clarify that.

Oliver
Oliver
6 years ago

Let me similarly clarify that the issues and causes indeed go far beyond this abhorrent attack.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

Only yesterday I read an article pointing out that since 9/11 there have been more incidents of terrorism from right wing extremists in the U.S. than there have been Islamic extremist incidents. This latest tragedy just underlines that.

I hope they catch this fucker soon.

Yesterday I also read some crap written by Matt Forney where he stated that white privilege was a myth, I wonder if he’ll be tweeting about Charleston?

Spindrift
Spindrift
6 years ago

@Anarchonist

I kind of got that impression from reading Oliver’s comment too.

Just ignoring “evil” till it creates a problem that explodes in your face and then stomping on that individual problem and pretending you’ve resolved the issue isn’t going to make for a better world. I don’t feel comfortable just assuming “evil”‘s always gonna be there and there’s nothing we can do to diminish it, that we have to always be reactive rather than proactive.

Vanir (@Vanir85)
6 years ago

I don’t feel comfortable just assuming “evil”‘s always gonna be there and there’s nothing we can do to diminish it, that we have to always be reactive rather than proactive.

– Spindrift

Agreed. But the problem is that proactively going after “bad people” is like opening a can of worms on a slippery slope made of good intentions. How do you differ between actual instigators of violence, and ppl who just have absolutely horrid opinions? Is it even possible to meaningfully differentiate? And what do you do to “diminish” their evil? Make their words illegal? Their opinions? Forced re-education? “Preemptive violence?”

I see what you want is good, but road to Heck and all that…

marci
6 years ago

I just saw the movie Selma, my 12 year old daughter watched it too. After we watched it, of course we discussed it. She always expresses a lot of rage and shame when the subject comes up. In this case I remember saying something like: People were more blatant about their hate back then, but there is still tons of this type of reactionary crap going on under the surface. Well I guess we’re heading back to square one again. Fuck!

Oliver
Oliver
6 years ago

Police have released a detailed description, as well as CCTV images. Hopefully just a matter of time…

Spindrift
Spindrift
6 years ago

@Vanir

I meant more along the line of proactively going about changing the culture. Calling out the toxic elements within culture and educating people on how to avoid perpetuating them. You can’t really go around arresting everyone who says something you don’t agree with, that’d cause more problems than it solves for sure. It’s a complicated issue, don’t know how to best go about changing culture, but I don’t like the mentality of “evil’s always gonna do evil, so I might as well not bother till I need to clean the dead people off my lawn”. If you just accept that there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about evil, you’ve given up on the idea that things could ever get better.

Oliver
Oliver
6 years ago

Rest assured I believe (at the risk of cliche) in a better world, and the betterment of the world; I just don’t believe in a perfect one.

sunnysombrera
6 years ago

I imagine people are already out there saying it’s insensitive to politicise this tragedy and it’s too soon to talk about gun control. And claims that it was racially motivated will be met with people saying it’s not a largescale problem and just the work of 1 lone (put ableist term here) who’s views weren’t shaped by the society he lived in. And of course people will handwave away the fact that it’s overwhelmingly men who commit these mass murders and not question why exactly that is. Same story every time, so depressing.

There’s ALWAYS the “too soon to talk about gun control” and “we shouldn’t politicise this.” Plus all the rest. You know as well as I do that they just don’t want people to talk about why tragedies like this happen because they don’t want anything to change.

And they’re willing to let people die unjustly so they can keep things the way they like. Mother fuckers.

akestra
akestra
6 years ago

The news doesn’t often make me cry. Pictures of ISIS throwing people off buildings? Horrible, but somehow it didn’t touch me the way this does. Just the idea of this guy sitting together with his victims for a hour while they prayed together, and then shooting them to death. How could anyone dehumanize their victims to such an extent? How…? I just can’t. Can’t.

Vanir (@Vanir85)
6 years ago

Just the idea of this guy sitting together with his victims for a hour while they prayed together, and then shooting them to death.

– akestra

Yeah. That takes a special kind of cold bastard. A special kind of evil.

I’m an atheist, but today I hope I’m wrong. I hope there is a place of love and peace awaiting the murdered. I hope there is some cosmic kind of justice to be found beyond this world – even if I cannot believe in it.

Aveda
Aveda
6 years ago

@akestra well it does boggle the mind when they wont allow people to address these forms of bigotry with out the sjw label,yet they allow this asshole to do this and more without his bigotry being addressed.But when THEY say you should be outraged then it’s ok .This needs to stop.

Drezden
Drezden
6 years ago

And, predictably, Faux News is taking the opportunity to complain about atheists. Because, you know, being able to preach while you’re in your police uniform is way more important than the fact that 9 people are dead.

potterchik
potterchik
6 years ago

Re: the NJ shooting: the murderer was able to get off a second round of shots, in police presence. No responding officer fired a weapon. The other officers HUGGED and CONSOLED him afterwards.

How would that scene have gone had he not been a white, and a police officer?

Nequam
Nequam
6 years ago

All I could think was “Wayne LaPierre must be sporting a throbbing, priapic erection about now.”

Though it might be interesting to see what freak-outs there’d be among him and his regular supporter base if the NRA suddenly picked up a lot of African-American members.

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
6 years ago

Dammit, now I just want to go curl up in a ball for the rest of my life. Those poor people and their families. Nowhere is safe anymore.

it’s not just black churches. There was a shooting at a church in my hometown a few years ago – ‘white’ church (mainly). Yes, this probably is directly related to Black Lives Matter campaign and local campaigning around Walter Scott, but the mass shootings (or individual shootings – poor Andrea Farrington) as a ‘solution’ to disgruntlement and entitlement and rage has the potential to hit anyone in America.

I’m not trying to pick a fight with you, rugbyyogi. I get where you’re coming from, we have rot that goes really deep in our culture. But is a thread for discussing a hate crime committed against black people at a historically black church really the place to throw out an “it happens to white people, too” comment?

Falconer
6 years ago

@WWTH:

When I was a kid and I read about the bombing of that church in Birmingham that killed 4 little girls, I couldn’t imagine living in an era in which somebody would murder people in a place sacred in retaliation for them seeking basic human rights.

That was the first thing I thought of, too.

Have a baby.

http://i.imgur.com/PAEnMoX.jpg

Have two babies.

http://i.imgur.com/mOzGrhC.jpg

(The second thing I thought of was, they shot George Tiller in church, too.)

@EJ:

RIP all nine unnamed victims. You believe in a deity that I do not, and believe that he would grant you peace in the afterlife. I hope that you are right and that I am wrong.

I hope so, too.

proxieme
proxieme
6 years ago

I don’t understand people.

Here’s some more small child brain bleach:

http://i.imgur.com/FpEdNBf.jpg

freemage
6 years ago

Drezden | June 18, 2015 at 7:51 am

And, predictably, Faux News is taking the opportunity to complain about atheists. Because, you know, being able to preach while you’re in your police uniform is way more important than the fact that 9 people are dead.

I… Can you clarify what they’re saying? I can’t even with Faux right now, so I’d appreciate learning what they’re spewing from a non-vile source.

Miss Andry
6 years ago

Every now and then there’s a crime that I can’t wrap my head around. The massacre at the Wisconsin Sikh Temple was one. Sandy Hook was another. I’m getting the feeling that this will be another one. As much as I read about these crimes I don’t think I’ll ever understand what could make someone hate his fellow human beings so much — based on skin color no less — that he’d walk into a church and open fire on people…

ryohji
ryohji
6 years ago

I hope they will caught him, alive (because those pathetic cowards sometime prefer to kill themselves rather than facing the consequences of their monstrosities) and I hope he will sentenced for a life behind the bars. All we can hope now is for justice, not vengeance.
Also my sympathy for the victims and their families.

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