I struggle to write anything today for fear that the words will seem hollow and insignificant. But I also know that I MUST post something today.
First off, we can’t make sense of this because it is SENSELESS. And pure evil for someone to hate people he does not know because of the color of their skin or what he perceives that they represent. Only a sinister monster could sit in a Bible study for an hour before killing the fellow attendees. Just plain sicko.
Also I get how we want to label crimes as “HATE” crimes if they fit the bill. Number one, they are approached and prosecuted differently and with stronger penalties. Two, it calls a spade a spade. If these crimes were indeed racially motivated as they appear to have been, then it adds an extra level of heinousness.
But can I just say it: doesn’t it take some degree of HATE to commit murder? To do that degree of harm to another human being means you have crossed all legal and moral boundaries. Whether the impetus be passion, anger, fear or hatred, it is EVIL to murder another human being.
I get it: we need the added gravaman of “hate crime” when it is motivated by discrimination, if only to set the standard that our society does not tolerate such acts of hatred and aggression coupled together. Wearing my lawyer hat, I get it. But let’s leave the law out of it for a second. Because doggone it, hate crime or not hate crime label, what Dylann Roof did was a despicable act. He had to have HATRED in his heart to kill 9 innocent people. And sadly, how we label the crime will not bring them back. I don’t question categorizing crimes with this added descriptor, but it just seems like an oxymoron to me.
Finally, I wondered how I as a white woman could weigh in on this shocking news. And then I stumbled onto what Jen Hatmaker said about it. I think I’ll just put her quote up here:
I know (because so many of you tell me privately) that as a white person, you are afraid to talk about racism publicly. You’re worried about getting the language right, the tone right, the facts right. You’re nervous about the inevitable backlash.
Maybe we can start here together, friends: when we see evil racism in front of us, we name it, expose it, and condemn it. We don’t protect the specificity of it by brushing it under the “sin umbrella” without naming its evil roots. We would never tell a rape victim that it wasn’t heinous sexual abuse that deserves addressing, but it’s just an unnamed sin. Nor would we ignore the necessary justice component of that abuse with a spiritual whitewash.
So for those of you hoping to become allies to the black community, today we can declare together that Dylann Roof committed a racially-motivated mass murder, and we condemn it as the Bride of Christ.
Just that. We see it, we name it, and we condemn it. The end. And we commit to join you in the healing process. –Jen Hatmaker
Finally, when faced with unspeakable tragedy, what can we do? We can unite. We can lean on each other. We can be Jesus. So let’s get to it. Here’s a link for the Emanuel AME Church. And instead of hearing ad nauseum about the perpetrator, let’s focus on the beautiful lives of those killed. And pray. #PrayforCharleston