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Terrorism Strikes The Lowcountry
6/24/2015 2:15:45 PM

South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford (left) interviewed by popular CNN reporter Don Lemon at the rear of Mother Emanuel AME Church on Thursday, June 19, 2015, a day after the tragic assassination of nine people at the church. Photo: Hakim Abdul-Ali
By Hakim Abdul-Ali

Unthinkable! That's about all you could say with shock and dismay when you heard of the terroristic attack on one of Charleston, South Carolina's most respected religious sanctuaries, the almost 200-years-old Emanuel African Methodist Episcopalian Church.

Nine valuable African-American souls lost their lives to an unfathomable sadistic and terroristic happening.

Words are hard pressed to use when such an unimaginable trauma strikes at the principled center core of our nation's professed spiritual values and proposed political ethic diversity postures. There are no mundane labels to describe the inherent sickness of the individual who carried out the cold blooded assassinations of those loving and hospitable ebony folk at the sacred AME church.

Oh, by the way, you may and could also add unbelievable to your vocabulary in displaying your inner angst about this appalling act of barbarism. There was and is no bringing back the physical dimensions of those who were savagely murdered, but their lives will not be lost to passing events in "his-story." They were and are icons of innocence, pure and simple.

In review of this past week's disaster, a 21-year-old terrorist named Dylann Storm Roof, an avowed segregationist, with self-imposed thoughts of starting a race war, entered this special African-American house of worship, called "Mother Emanuel" by its faithful, on Wednesday evening during a scheduled Bible study meeting and slaughtered nine of the people gathered there. Included was the church's admired and respected minister, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41,who was also an elected state senator.

Among the other casualties of this unspeakable crime spree were Cynthia Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49; Ethel Lance, 70; Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74; and Myra Thompson, 59. They were achievers in life and believers in God's lasting rule of peace and brotherhood among humanity, no matter the color of one's skin. The terrorist gunmn never learned this.

To say that the entire nation, and hence the world-at-large, was shocked by extremist Dylann Roof's terroristic action is too unbefitting a term or expression of grief to describe his obvious intent and purposeful carnage. This vicious display of racial hatred gone mad shocked every clear, sane believer in what this country is (supposed) to be potentially about in theory and application.

Mr. Roof, who was captured about fifteen hours later after his abysmal crime in Shelby, North Carolina, and returned to the Lowcountry, where he now resides in the local jail, made it perfectly clear what he wanted to do. He said he wanted to start a race war, even after entering the church's regular Wednesday night Bible study session to welcomed greetings and acceptance by the pastor and others, and stating, after his capture, that he almost didn't shoot (the victims) because 'everyone was so nice.' Can you believe this twisted rhetoric?

This youthful mass murderer killed "The Emanuel 9," as the world now identifies these heralded Black churchgoers in unified respect are linked forever in spirit and memory. Unfortunately, in Mr. Roof's crazed mental thoughts, his fanatical calculations of destruction told him that he had to go through with his mission of terror, and he did so because he (apparently) felt that no other White supremacist group or individual(s) was going to do it. The USA, again on June 18, 2015, witnessed that the world of terrorism is still firmly rooted in the mind, hearts, souls and actions of some its very own citizenry, both young and old. We all should be aware.

Days after terrorist Dylann Roof's insane actions, various national news outlets began to uncover his not-so-secret manifesto and photos were unveiled showing his demented and totally perverted segregationist mind-set. Complete with spitting on and burning the American flag, he proudly waved the Confederate flag.

His internet connection revealed that he even posed for pictures wearing the No.88 T-shirt, had 88 Facebook friends and wrote that number, which is a White supremacist code for "Heil Hitler" in the sand on his website. More revealing info was discovered about this terrorist on the internet.

According to "The New York Times," a website discovered that the youthful zealot in the making was obsessed with the case of the murdered Trayvon Martin, the African-American who was shot to death by the infamous George Zimmerman. This case, apparently from what seasoned investigators have found thus far, is what they believed may have triggered and fed his obviously mentally sick racist outrages.

In addition, terrorist Dylann Roof's website showed a stash of more than fifty photographs, many of them of this serious and committed adherent of segregation at various Confederate heritage sites or slavery museums, and includes a nearly 2,500 word manifesto in which, whoever wrote it, criticized African-Americans as being inferior while lamenting the cowardice of White Flight.

Something is going on in the minds of many of this nation's youth and America, being a country of many, many diverse people has to realize that we are a salad bowl mixture of varied and different folk with as many religious and ethnic differences. There are still some really spooky and dangerous folk out here and, if you're of color, you know that this is nothing new for you because you live in this state of terminal awareness every second of your life.

The terroristic assassination of the forever loved and never, ever to be forgotten ebony heroes and heroines of Emanuel AME Church, "The Emanuel 9," should serve to all aware, respectful and concerned citizens of the city of Charleston,the state of South Carolina, America-at-large, and hopefully, the rest of the world, that the sinister atrocity of June 18, 2015, in this state's self-proclaimed Holy City was a wake up call to all ethnic folks to eliminate racial hatred from our nation's landscape.

If you and I, along with others don't, then America, sadly, will only see more misguided copycat racist extremists, segregation zealots and bigoted devotees emerging out there, maybe, trying to top terrorist Dylann Storm Roof's insane agendas of racial hatred, religious bigotry and ethnic cleansing. The political time is now for "The American People," whoever they are and wherever they may reside, to wake up and realize that it has serious educational, spiritual and psychological problems existing in its midst.

Who taught Dylann Storm Roof to hate so deeply? If you know, maybe, you also know how our country can overcome many other things like "his-storic"racism, which in so many hush-hush instances, is at the root of America's monumental hidden racism issues.

We all need to give this some thought because, if we don't do something about eradicating the weeds of institutional racism and ethnic divisional hatreds that fester and grow in our environs, we'll regretfully see more of the same Dylann Storm Roofs on daily news' front pages. Mark my word on that!

I don't like saying this, but something tells me that in many sectors of this democratic country, racism is still as real as the bluest sky. Are you listening? I hope so, because the memories of "The Emanuel 9" are too, too fresh to forget because I know that they didn't die in vain. Do you?


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