White Supremacists and Facts – Defeating the Racist Lies on the Internet

Said I was going to talk a bit about how to dissect the racist blathering by conservatives. This is Lesson #1

Actually have a picture of my Mom teaching in one of these old schools with a potbelly stove to heat the classroom… And that was in the early 50’s. This isn’t it.

The right absorbs racism from many of their right wing Internet sites. One of their favorite topics is black crime. The second is interracial crime claiming that white folks are under attack by black folks. All with numbers from seemingly unimpeachable sources such as the DOJ Annual Crime Reports.

Since about 1992, when Dinesh D’Souza and white supremacist Jared Taylor published their books – this (mis) information has been rattling around Internet, and taken as Gospel by many conservatives.

The National Review is one of the right wing publications with a less than sterling reputation in terms of it’s writers spewing racism. Manning the racism desk there are several folks, among them Heather McDonald, who spew virulent racist crap for a living.

Check out this article –

The Shameful Liberal Exploitation of the Charleston Massacre

Let’s look at those numbers which she got off one or the other white supremacist site….

In 2012, blacks committed 560,600 acts of violence against whites (excluding homicide), and whites committed 99,403 acts of violence (excluding homicide) against blacks, according to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey provided to the author. Blacks, in other words, committed 85 percent of the non-homicide interracial crimes of violence between blacks and whites, even though they are less than 13 percent of the population.

Now assuming she didn’t lie about the overall statistic (which is probable)…There are 6.2 white folks for every black person in this country.

Here is how it is done properly –

http://www.stats.indiana.edu/v…

The crime rate for white folks committing violent crimes against blacks is 100,000x 99,403/40,000,000 = 2485 per 100,000

The black on white violent crime rate is 100,000 X 560,600/248,000,000/ = 226 per 100,000

Ergo a black person is 11x  (2485/226 = 10.99) more likely to have a violent crime committed against them by a white person than vice versa.

And THAT is why the DOJ and FBI ALWAYS express their numbers in terms of rate per 100,000. What McDonald is done is standard white supremacist trickery, by lying about how the numbers actually work and ignoring the population differences.

Now – the white nationalist sites the author is quoting depend on existing white predilection to racism, poor intellect,  or pure stupidity to sell their tawdry racist wares.

And McDonald is a racist POS for repeating this crap, when if she had an IQ above table salt she would have known better. The National Review apparently supports this. And she repeats the various versions of the white racist song over and over in virtually every article she writes.

Dylann Root was recruited by the same sort of numerical trickery – which is the objective of promoting this sordid racist propaganda.

How the White Supremacists Punked the Tea Party and Republicans…

And created little monsters like Dylann Root.

This is a great article discussing how the white supremacist type flood the web with lessons learned from a site called 4CHAN.

 

Dylann Roof, 4chan, and the New Online Racism

To understand Dylann Roof’s thinking, he tells us, we have to go back to 2012. To Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, the moment that Roof writes in his manifesto that he was reborn as a white nationalist. Roof’s inspirations are clear in a way that his psychology is not. They go back further than the Martin case into centuries of American history and, along another path, less clearly marked, to the peak years of a now widespread Internet culture, when a new kind of reactionary sensibility was hatched.

A reactionary, defiantly anti-social politics has been emerging for the last decade. It was well known under the auspices of “trolling” and well hidden by its pretense of trickstersism. It was actually juvenile fascism and vitriolic racism but, because it grinned and operated in cyberspace, it was a sensation when it first appeared less than a decade ago. Excitable theorists, bored journalists and naive political activists looked at its strange, adolescent face and pronounced on its revolutionary potential.

According to the accepted wisdom, trolls were fiercely apolitical pranksters up until they put on Guy Fawkes masks and became the radical progressives known as “Anonymous.” But Anonymous doesn’t have a monopoly on trolling’s political legacy. They are only its nominally left-wing manifestation. Something else has been growing in the online ferment they came out of—something that Anonymous and its supporters want to disown—a politics that is temperamentally of the right, not quite coherent, though Anonymous isn’t always either, but unified by certain passions, a conspiratorial bigotry and anti-black racism above all.

This is another legacy of 4chan, the infamous online message board that spawned trolling culture. It is a different branch of politics than the hackitivism associated with Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring, but its roots are the same. While Anonymous has gotten most of the attention, the trolls they left behind on 4chan have seen their influence spread as well, though without a catch-all name or striking avatar to easily refer to them. You can see this other side of trolling’s inheritance spreading on popular sites like Reddit and in the widespread adoption of the rhetorical style they developed: using bombast and absurdism to hide racist tropes in conceptual riddles.

If Roof was not directly shaped by that Internet culture, he nonetheless moved in the world it helped create.

We know that Dylann Roof had a history of taking drugs and that friends say he had expressed interest in committing a mass shooting, but little else about his psychological state leading up to his massacre. We know from what he told the woman he left alive to explain what he’d done, since he apparently intended to kill himself, and from his manifesto that he believed he had no choice but to murder defenseless black people—he specified defenseless; he wanted a slaughter, not a fight—in service to his white nationalist ideology. And we know where the ideas in Dylann Roof’s manifesto first appeared: almost verbatim on a neo-fascist website inspired by 4chan’s politics.

Back to Trayvon Martin. If there is a single event that sparked the current period of social unrest, the national controversy around race and policing, and the largest protest movement of President Obama’s second term, it is the night in February 2012 when a mixed-race Florida man, alarmed by the presence of an unarmed black teenager in his community, confronted and killed him after a struggle.

The fault line exposed by the killing of Martin is still sending out aftershocks. It inspired the Black Lives Matter movement and its more radical offshoots, including a group that named itself after Martin, despite objections from his family, and became notorious after leading a chant calling for “Dead cops” in New York.

The Martin case, and the mainstream media’s handling of it—marred by bothcasual slanders of Martin and outright distortions about Zimmerman—reverberated in the Internet’s ideological echo chambers, the former inspiring the nascent protest movement that reemerged in Ferguson, the latter inspiring a right-wing counter-movement online.

A story that had started on Twitter before it was picked up by news continued to spread on the populist Internet.

The racial and political divisions revealed by perceptions of Martin’s death and the media’s handling of it attracted activists to the cause. Some organized protests. One anonymous Internet user hacked Martin’s email and social media accounts and posted the results online in an effort to depict him as a thug and drug user, and justify his shooting death. The hacker, who went by the name Klanklannon, posted an edited, slideshow version of the messages stolen from Martin’s accounts. Klanklannon, as the name suggested, was a white supremacist, and a member of 4chan’s political message board, “/pol/,” which is where the hacks were first posted.

“The event that truly awakened me,” Dylann Roof wrote before walking into a church in South Carolina and killing nine of the black parishioners who had invited him into their Bible study group, “was the Trayvon Martin case.”

It’s not all that far from the mainstream of American discourse to the places where Roof dwelled online, but the distances get skewed by perspective.

The organized political groups that inspired Roof, like the Council of Conservative Citizens, have, while courting influence, been considered disreputable for decades. That’s a far cry from the kind of ambivalent, if not adulatory treatment, offered to the avatars of 4chan’s bleeding-edge web culture, who were fêted by academics and journalists even as their much pondered trolling cleared out a space online for a new breed of fascist websites, like the one Roof appears to have visited online.

There’s something immediately familiar about The Daily Stormer, where whole passages from Roof’s manifesto first appeared. Its name is taken from Hitler’s paper of record, the Nazi propaganda organ Der Stürmer. The site owes as much, perhaps more, to the style and mode of political rhetoric developed on the 4chan message board as it does to any tract published by the KKK or American Nazi party. (…the nitty gritty here…)

Now – there is a way to fight this – and I will get more into that over the next few weeks (hopefully). Some people have already started using the trolling method to counter, making most conservative sites even quicker on the trigger to ban liberal folks than usual. You also have to be prepared to be persistent, as in many places where there are racist types working the board – you will get a slew of complaints instantly from the trolling group to try and knock you off almost immediately, for even mild deviance from the racist mantra being spewed. They truly hate it when you blow up one of their racist memes with facts.

Step 1 always is to understand the problem.

Dumb…And Dumber. KKK Plans to March In Charleston

At some point, you have to question the basic IQ of some folks.

KKK chapter to hold rally on South Carolina Statehouse grounds

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s Pelham, North Carolina, chapter have reserved the Statehouse Grounds in South Carolina for a rally next month.

James Spears, the Great Titan of the chapter, said the group would be rallying to protest “the Confederate flag being took down for all the wrong reasons.”

It’s part of white people’s culture,” he added.

Brian Gaines, who runs the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, which oversees reservations, confirmed the scheduling in an email to POLITICO Monday. He added that the group submitted the request on June 23 and, because his office allows any group, regardless of ideology, to reserve the grounds on a first-come, first-serve basis, the KKK will be able to hold its rally.

The event is planned for July 18 from 3-5 p.m., just over one month after Dylann Roof allegedly entered a historic church in Charleston and shot to death nine African-Americans during a Bible study meeting. Reports indicate Roof was attempting to incite a race war and had read 34 various materials from white supremacist groups online before plotting his crime.

Racism Makes You Stupid …Confederate Parade Ends in Smash Up

Karma is a B*!

Under the heading, racism makes you stupid, we have these morons in Dalton Ga. showing their confederate (and Tea Bagger) pride…Wait for it!

A triple ender!

 

NASCAR Bans “The Flag”

Original “Dukes of Hazzard” Dodge Daytona

NASCAR Chairman: Ban Confederate Flag At Races

Calling the Confederate flag an “insensitive symbol” he personally finds offensive, NASCAR chairman Brian France said the sport will be aggressive in disassociating the symbol from its events.

“We want to go as far as we can to eliminate the presence of that flag,” France told The Associated Press on Saturday. “I personally find it an offensive symbol, so there is no daylight how we feel about it and our sensitivity to others who feel the same way.

“We’re working with the industry to see how far we can go to get that flag to be disassociated entirely from our events.”…

My…My…My…Put that in your “Daisy Dukes”

NYC Activist Takes on Bill O’Reilly

This is a fun one. Bill the O’Bigot gets a lesson on stereotyping from New York Civil Rights Coalition president Michael Meyers. Michael Meyers called Bill O’Reilly and his network out to his face on Monday, accusing Fox News of engaging in a pattern of demonizing black men “You are painting black men as society’s moral monsters,” said Meyers…

Another Bill the Bigot lesson was given in December of last year by Russell Simmons on the show:

Simmons and Murray make a key point, thet the creation of the carceral state more than any other cause is the source of many maladies affecting poor black communities – Best summed up in Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics, by Marie Gottschalk and described in this review

 Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics – Pathology of the Carceral State

For 40 years now the United States has been creating a vast and unprecedented carceral machine. Its size and reach stagger the imagination: jails and prisons, immigration detention and deportation centers, parole and probation offices, digital, electronic, and human surveillance. Its human costs are enormous — federal and state prisons and jails hold over 2 million people in custody at any time; if you include those under parole, probation, or other forms of government surveillance for crime the number exceeds 8 million. Tens of millions of Americans have some form of criminal record. Their families are drawn in to the reach of the carceral state along with them. In global terms the United States stands alone. It has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Its penal practices are brutal compared to Europe. It deepens the racial divide in the country. It distorts the economy and polity. Above all it degrades lives and the country as a whole.

To understand this machine means holding a series of seemingly contradictory notions at once. Mass incarceration extends long-standing tendencies in American penal history while being a bold departure from previous practice; it has at its core a system of racial subordination, although race is now arguably less important than previously; it has marked an expansion in state power but is driven in important ways by the search for private profit; it is an instrument of law and order that operates in arbitrary and uncontrolled ways. Incarceration, originally justified as a defense of human dignity against the bodily brutality of ancien regime punishments, has now become the site of physical and psychological torture. And there is no end in sight to either mass incarceration or the wounds it imposes on human beings and American society…

The broad history of mass incarceration is well known. Prior to the 1980s the size and reach of imprisonment in the United States was not significantly different from its western European counterparts. For most of the 20th century the United States sent slightly more than 100 per 100,000 people to prison. (That number is now over 500 in prison and over 700 if you include jails.) The death penalty had been in long secular decline and the Supreme Court suspended it in 1972. Courts began to take steps to ensure minimal constitutional standards for prisons and protections for prisoners. Serious criminological and legal opinion believed that there was a real possibility that the prison would soon fade away.

Of course past is not always prologue. At precisely the moment when the country’s use of imprisonment appeared to face the possibility of serious reduction, states began a new expensive spree of prison construction. In 1976 the Supreme Court approved the restart of the death penalty. A bipartisan move toward determinate sentences (supported by liberals who thought it would curb the arbitrary authority of prison officials and by conservatives who aimed to curb the power of judges), combined with increasing lengths in mandated sentences, helped trigger vast expansion. Prison officials drew upon fears of riots and “revolutionary” inmates such as California’s George Jackson to justify intensified control over their prisons and increased use of solitary confinement. In the early 1980s the “war on drugs” took off and with it not only a rise in the size of the federal prison system but also the exacerbation of extreme racial inequities in sentences and prosecutions…

These developments, to be sure, did not emerge out of thin air. Instead they built upon initiatives begun earlier under the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations. In particular Johnson’s signing of 1968’s Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act dramatically increased federal engagement with local policing and punishment. One effect of the act was to encourage the growing militarization of police forces, primarily through the Law Enforcement and Assistance Administration. Johnson and his allies may have thought that by imposing new federal standards they would help protect minorities from local abuses (as well as preempt more radical conservative proposals) but as Naomi Murakawa has argued, this liberal emphasis on procedure and uniform standards helped legitimate the idea that new regulations could justify and control the expansion of the prison state. As the continual revelations of prison abuses show, this hope was a false one…(…More…)

Dr Cornel West and the Politic of Hate

Cornel West on CNN

 

CORNEL WEST: You can’t talk about wealth and inequality, you can’t talk about education, you can’t talk about massive unemployment and under employment and you can’t talk about drones being dropped on people in other parts of the world without talking about white supremacy and its ways in which it operates. It doesn’t have to be overt. The president is right about that.

But too many black people are niggerized. I would say the first black president has become the first niggerized black president.

CNN ANCHOR: What do you mean by that?

WEST: A niggerized black person is a black person who is afraid and scared and intimidated when it comes to putting a spotlight on white supremacy and fighting against white supremacy. So when many of us said we have to fight against racism, what were we told? ‘No, he can’t deal with racism because he has other issues, political calculations. He’s the president of all America, not just black America.’ We know he’s president of all America but white supremacy is American as cherry pie.

We’re talking about moral issues, spiritual issues, emotional issues. White supremacy has nothing to do with just skin pigmentation, it has to be what kind of person you want to be, what kind of nation we want to be. Democrats and Republicans play on both of those parties in terms of running away from the vicious legacy of white supremacy until it hits us hard. Thank God for Ferguson. Thank God for the young folk of all colors. Thank God for Staten Island and fighting there. Thank God in Baltimore, now the precious folk in Charleston.

President Obama delivers the eulogy for the dead in Charleston…

 

RESIDENT OBAMA: Giving all praise and honor to God.

(APPLAUSE)

The Bible calls us to hope, to persevere and have faith in things not seen. They were still living by faith when they died, the scripture tells us.

(APPLAUSE)

They did not receive the things promised. They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.

We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith, a man who believed in things not seen, a man who believed there were better days ahead off in the distance, a man of service, who persevered knowing full-well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would deliver a better life for those who followed, to Jennifer, his beloved wife, Eliana and Malana, his beautiful, wonderful daughters, to the Mother Emanuel family and the people of Charleston, the people of South Carolina.

I cannot claim to have had the good fortune to know Reverend Pinckney well, but I did have the pleasure of knowing him and meeting him here in South Carolina back when we were both a little bit younger…

(LAUGHTER)

… back when I didn’t have visible gray hair.

(LAUGHTER)

The first thing I noticed was his graciousness, his smile, his reassuring baritone, his deceptive sense of humor, all qualities that helped him wear so effortlessly a heavy burden of expectation.

Friends of his remarked this week that when Clementa Pinckney entered a room, it was like the future arrived, that even from a young age, folks knew he was special, anointed. He was the progeny of a long line of the faithful, a family of preachers who spread God’s words, a family of protesters who so changed to expand voting rights and desegregate the South.

Clem heard their instruction, and he did not forsake their teaching. He was in the pulpit by 13, pastor by 18, public servant by 23. He did not exhibit any of the cockiness of youth nor youth’s insecurities. Instead, he set an example worthy of his position, wise beyond his years in his speech, in his conduct, in his love, faith and purity.

As a senator, he represented a sprawling swathe of low country, a place that has long been one of the most neglected in America, a place still racked by poverty and inadequate schools, a place where children can still go hungry and the sick can go without treatment — a place that needed somebody like Clem.

(APPLAUSE)

His position in the minority party meant the odds of winning more resources for his constituents were often long. His calls for greater equity were too-often unheeded. The votes he cast were sometimes lonely.

But he never gave up. He stayed true to his convictions. He would not grow discouraged. After a full day at the Capitol, he’d climb into his car and head to the church to draw sustenance from his family, from his ministry, from the community that loved and needed him. There, he would fortify his faith and imagine what might be.

Reverend Pinckney embodied a politics that was neither mean nor small. He conducted himself quietly and kindly and diligently. He encouraged progress not by pushing his ideas alone but by seeking out your ideas, partnering with you to make things happen. He was full of empathy and fellow feeling, able to walk in somebody else’s shoes and see through their eyes.

No wonder one of his Senate colleagues remembered Senator Pinckney as “the most gentle of the 46 of us, the best of the 46 of us.”

Clem was often asked why he chose to be a pastor and a public servant. But the person who asked probably didn’t know the history of AME Church.

(APPLAUSE)

As our brothers and sisters in the AME Church, we don’t make those distinctions. “Our calling,” Clem once said, “is not just within the walls of the congregation but the life and community in which our congregation resides.”

(APPLAUSE)

He embodied the idea that our Christian faith demands deeds and not just words, that the sweet hour of prayer actually lasts the whole week long, that to put our faith in action is more than just individual salvation, it’s about our collective salvation, that to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and house the homeless is not just a call for isolated charity but the imperative of a just society.

What a good man. Sometimes I think that’s the best thing to hope for when you’re eulogized, after all the words and recitations and resumes are read, to just say somebody was a good man.

(APPLAUSE)

You don’t have to be of high distinction to be a good man.

Preacher by 13, pastor by 18, public servant by 23. What a life Clementa Pinckney lived. What an example he set. What a model for his faith.

And then to lose him at 41, slain in his sanctuary with eight wonderful members of his flock, each at different stages in life but bound together by a common commitment to God — Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, DePayne Middleton Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel L. Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Thompson.

Good people. Decent people. God-fearing people.

(APPLAUSE)

People so full of life and so full of kindness, people who ran the race, who persevered, people of great faith.

To the families of the fallen, the nation shares in your grief. Our pain cuts that much deeper because it happened in a church.

The church is and always has been the center of African American life…

(APPLAUSE)

… a place to call our own in a too-often hostile world, a sanctuary from so many hardships.

Over the course of centuries, black churches served as hush harbors, where slaves could worship in safety, praise houses, where their free descendants could gather and shout “Hallelujah…”

(APPLAUSE)

… rest stops for the weary along the Underground Railroad, bunkers for the foot soldiers of the civil-rights movement.

They have been and continue to community centers, where we organize for jobs and justice, places of scholarship and network, places where children are loved and fed and kept out of harms way and told that they are beautiful and smart and taught that they matter.

(APPLAUSE)

That’s what happens in church. That’s what the black church means — our beating heart, the place where our dignity as a people in inviolate.

There’s no better example of this tradition than Mother Emanuel, a church…

(APPLAUSE)

… a church built by blacks seeking liberty, burned to the ground because its founders sought to end slavery only to rise up again, a phoenix from these ashes.

(APPLAUSE)

When there were laws banning all-black church gatherers, services happened here anyway in defiance of unjust laws. When there was a righteous movement to dismantle Jim Crow, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached from its pulpit, and marches began from its steps.

A sacred place, this church, not just for blacks, not just for Christians but for every American who cares about the steady expansion…

(APPLAUSE)

… of human rights and human dignity in this country, a foundation stone for liberty and justice for all.

That’s what the church meant.

(APPLAUSE)

We do not know whether the killer of Reverend Pinckney and eight others knew all of this history, but he surely sensed the meaning of his violent act. It was an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…

(APPLAUSE)

… an act that he imagined would incite fear and recrimination, violence and suspicion, an act that he presumed would deepen divisions that trace back to our nation’s original sin.

Oh, but God works in mysterious ways.

(APPLAUSE)

God has different ideas.

(APPLAUSE)

He didn’t know he was being used by God.

(APPLAUSE)

Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer would not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group, the light of love that shown as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle.

The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness. He couldn’t imagine that.

(APPLAUSE)

The alleged killer could not imagine how the city of Charleston under the good and wise leadership of Mayor Riley, how the state of South Carolina, how the United States of America would respond not merely with revulsion at his evil acts, but with (inaudible) generosity. And more importantly, with a thoughtful introspection and self-examination that we so rarely see in public life.

Blinded by hatred, he failed to comprehend what Reverend Pinckney so well understood — the power of God’s grace.

(APPLAUSE)

This whole week, I’ve been reflecting on this idea of grace.

(APPLAUSE)

The grace of the families who lost loved ones; the grace that Reverend Pinckney would preach about in his sermons; the grace described in one of my favorite hymnals, the one we all know — Amazing Grace.

(APPLAUSE)

How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

(APPLAUSE)

I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.

(APPLAUSE)

According to the Christian tradition, grace is not earned. Grace is not merited. It’s not something we deserve. Rather, grace is the free and benevolent favor of God.

(APPLAUSE)

As manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. Grace — as a nation out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us for he has allowed us to see where we’ve been blind.

(APPLAUSE)

He’s given us the chance where we’ve been lost to find out best selves. We may not have earned this grace with our rancor and complacency and short-sightedness and fear of each other, but we got it all the same. He gave it to us anyway. He’s once more given us grace.

But it is up to us now to make the most of it, to receive it with gratitude and to prove ourselves worthy of this gift.

For too long, we were blind to the pain that the Confederate Flag stirred into many of our citizens.

(APPLAUSE)

It’s true a flag did not cause these murders. But as people from all walks of life, Republicans and Democrats, now acknowledge, including Governor Haley, whose recent eloquence on the subject is worthy of praise…

(APPLAUSE)

… as we all have to acknowledge, the flag has always represented more than just ancestral pride.

(APPLAUSE)

For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression…

(APPLAUSE)

… and racial subjugation.

(APPLAUSE)

We see that now.

Removing the flag from this state’s capital would not be an act of political correctness. It would not an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be acknowledgement that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong.

(APPLAUSE)

The imposition of Jim Crow after the Civil War, the resistance to civil rights for all people was wrong.

(APPLAUSE)

It would be one step in an honest accounting of America’s history, a modest but meaningful balm for so many unhealed wounds.

It would be an expression of the amazing changes that have transformed this state and this country for the better because of the work of so many people of goodwill, people of all races, striving to form a more perfect union.

By taking down that flag, we express adds grace God’s grace.

(APPLAUSE)

But I don’t think God wants us to stop there.

(APPLAUSE)

For too long, we’ve been blind to be way past injustices continue to shape the present.

(APPLAUSE)

Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty…

(APPLAUSE)

… or attend dilapidated schools or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career.

Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate.

(APPLAUSE)

Perhaps it softens hearts towards those lost young men, tens and tens of thousands caught up in the criminal-justice system and lead us to make sure that that system’s not infected with bias.

(APPLAUSE)

… that we embrace changes in how we train and equip our police so that the bonds of trust between law enforcement…

(APPLAUSE)

… and the communities they serve make us all safer and more secure.

(APPLAUSE)

Maybe we now realize the way a racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it so that we’re guarding against not just racial slurs but we’re also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal…

(APPLAUSE)

… so that we search our hearts when we consider laws to make it harder for some of our fellow citizens to vote…

(APPLAUSE)

… by recognizing our common humanity, by treating every child as important, regardless of the color of their skin…

(APPLAUSE)

… or the station into which they were born and to do what’s necessary to make opportunity real for every American. By doing that, we express God’s grace.

(APPLAUSE)

For too long…

(APPLAUSE)

For too long, we’ve been blind to the unique mayhem that gun violence inflicts upon this nation.

(APPLAUSE)

Sporadically, our eyes are open when eight of our brothers and sisters are cut down in a church basement, 12 in a movie theater, 26 in an elementary school. But I hope we also see the 30 precious lives cut short by gun violence in this country every single day…

(APPLAUSE)

… the countless more whose lives are forever changed, the survivors crippled, the children traumatized and fearful every day as they walk to school, the husband who will never feel his wife’s warm touch, the entire communities whose grief overflows every time they have to watch what happened to them happening to some other place.

The vast majority of Americans, the majority of gun owners want to do something about this. We see that now.

(APPLAUSE)

And I’m convinced that by acknowledging the pain and loss of others, even as we respect the traditions, ways of life that make up this beloved country, by making the moral choice to change, we express God’s grace.

(APPLAUSE)

We don’t earn grace. We’re all sinners. We don’t deserve it.

(APPLAUSE)

But God gives it to us anyway.

(APPLAUSE)

And we choose how to receive it. It’s our decision how to honor it.

None of us can or should expect a transformation in race relations overnight. Every time something like this happens, somebody says, “We have to have a conversation about race.” We talk a lot about race.

(APPLAUSE)

There’s no shortcut. We don’t need more talk.

(APPLAUSE)

None of us should believe that a handful of gun safety measures will prevent every tragedy.

It will not. People of good will will continue to debate the merits of various policies as our democracy requires — the big, raucous place, America is. And there are good people on both sides of these debates.

Whatever solutions we find will necessarily be incomplete. But it would be a betrayal of everything Reverend Pinckney stood for, I believe, if we allow ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again.

(APPLAUSE)

Once the eulogies have been delivered, once the TV cameras move on, to go back to business as usual. That’s what we so often do to avoid uncomfortable truths about the prejudice that still infects our society.

(APPLAUSE)

To settle for symbolic gestures without following up with the hard work of more lasting change, that’s how we lose our way again. It would be a refutation of the forgiveness expressed by those families if we merely slipped into old habits whereby those who disagree with us are not merely wrong, but bad; where we shout instead of listen; where we barricade ourselves behind preconceived notions or well-practiced cynicism.

Reverend Pinckney once said, “Across the south, we have a deep appreciation of history. We haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history.”

(APPLAUSE)

What is true in the south is true for America. Clem understood that justice grows out of recognition of ourselves in each other; that my liberty depends on you being free, too.

(APPLAUSE)

That — that history can’t be a sword to justify injustice or a shield against progress. It must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, how to break the cycle, a roadway toward a better world. He knew that the path of grace involves an open mind. But more importantly, an open heart.

That’s what I felt this week — an open heart. That more than any particular policy or analysis is what’s called upon right now, I think. It’s what a friend of mine, the writer Marilyn Robinson, calls “that reservoir of goodness beyond and of another kind, that we are able to do each other in the ordinary cause of things.”

That reservoir of goodness. If we can find that grace, anything is possible.

(APPLAUSE)

If we can tap that grace, everything can change. Amazing grace, amazing grace.

Amazing grace…

(SINGING)

(APPLAUSE)

… how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now, I see.

(APPLAUSE)

Clementa Pinckney found that grace…

(APPLAUSE)

… Cynthia Hurd found that grace…

(APPLAUSE)

… Susie Jackson found that grace…

(APPLAUSE)

… Ethel Lance found that grace…

(APPLAUSE)

… DePayne Middleton Doctor found that grace…

(APPLAUSE)

… Tywanza Sanders found that grace…

(APPLAUSE)

… Daniel L. Simmons, Sr. found that grace…

(APPLAUSE)

… Sharonda Coleman-Singleton found that grace…

(APPLAUSE)

… Myra Thompson found that grace…

(APPLAUSE)

… through the example of their lives. They’ve now passed it onto us. May we find ourselves worthy of that precious and extraordinary gift as long as our lives endure.

May grace now lead them home. May God continue to shed His Grace on the United States of America.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King said:

“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.”

Think it’s time Cornel West heed those words.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 177 other followers