In the end it doesn’t matter if we label Dylann Roof, the racist murderer in Charlestown, a terrorist or not. Without for one moment exempting him from criminal culpability, we have to own up to the fact that US society is systemically rancid with social hatred. That’s hard for white people to face so we try to tune it out so that all these murders become white noise & whites aren’t put on edge or start to question supremacy.
Media orchestrates that deceit, the US government manipulates it for war, politicians & candidates flaunt & incite it. When Obama speaks casually of bombing other peoples & when governments stand silent while thousands of brown & black people drown in the sea, they feed the social pathology. When Trump says all immigrants from Mexico are drug traffickers & rapists, he feeds the social malice. And monsters like Roof are what come out of it because they’ve been bred in a diseased society. And that’s awful hard to face squarely.
Many are posting photos of those who died in Charlestown. Tis an international phenomenon of grief that those who lose people to violence create photo montages of their loved ones. There have been hundreds of young Black kids shot over the past decades & their images are just now forming a political montage. We need to view their faces to understand the enormity of the crimes against the Black community, to silence the white noise of denial, & to begin to not just question but stand with Blacks in building their political power & in ending the tyranny of white supremacy.
Some say that’s a pipe dream. But racism as an ideology, though powerful, is only a few hundred years old. Humankind lived without it for thousands of millennia. It’s only brought human misery & justified the most odious crimes. Let ours be the generations that destroy it so we can live as brothers & sisters.