The country woke up this morning to more madness. A white, apparently deranged young man in South Carolina, killed 9 people at a Bible study in a historic Black church. Police are calling it a hate crime.
More details will obviously come in but here is what is undeniable. Our country is out of control. We have lost our way and it is not by accident. We as a people have chosen to allow our nation to be violent, hateful, prejudiced, bigoted, unjust, and inhuman.
When this young man is caught, if he does not end up shooting himself in some cowardly panic, let the psychiatrists do their analyses. Let law enforcement prescribe the punishment. Let those who want to coddle him because they’ll say he’s insane do so. Let the gun lovers make excuses for him as they always do. Let the whites clamor on about mixed messages and make their phony allowances for him as they will. But here is the reality. This guy is the product of an unapologetic racist society. He is the result of our primitive and absurd gun culture. And these things—both racism and guns—are more than accepted now, they are encouraged. And they are pervasive. They are rooted in our society in such a way they are no longer questioned or opposed by any authority or power in this country. Not by the government. Not by Congress. Not by police. Not by the church. Not by anyone of any influence.
What is being done to Black people in America is obscene. And I put it squarely at the feet of those in power. Congress is a crowd of weak, greedy, useless law makers. They are an ongoing example of bitter conflict and biased attacks on those they don’t agree with. They have shown nothing but contempt for our country. They have not passed one law that has helped the country move beyond its racism or its hatefulness or its glaring inequalities. They are a disgrace.
Police and law enforcement continue to brutalize Blacks all across the country and it gives cowards like this white gunman in South Carolina the idea that he can go kill Blacks wherever they are. Not even church is a sanctuary from our narcissist obsession with guns and hate. And yes, Texas lawmakers, you too are responsible for this mayhem. What ignorance you have shown in passing an open carry law in our state. And what indifference to the safety of our people. Those who support this bizarre law are either seized with fear and so insecure they should barely be able to function in society. Or else they’re just arrogant and calloused and are ready to use their gun freedom to do what this guy in South Carolina has done. Kill people they hate. There are no other reasons for the law.
Christians and the Church are responsible too. Where is the outrage from them against a society so grossly immoral it cheapens the lives of Black people every single day in this country? Christians are impotent against today’s evils. They are powerless. Their God sits somewhere isolated from it all. Or else their God is covered in tears from the shamelessness of so many uninvolved followers in the horrific inhumanity in this country against people of color and other minorities.
The murders inside the Emmanuel African Methodist Church can no longer be ignored by a society comfortable with its racism and prejudices and hatred. It is time to demand more from those in power and from ourselves. It is time to expect voters to vote with a conscience and not with the shallow and destructive emotions of resentment, competition, bigotry and bias. It is time to be real about our feelings about people of color. It is time to admit we are a broken society fighting against a better future.
If this cowardly act of violence is in any way defended or calmly dismissed, then let’s stop calling ourselves a democracy. Let’s stop the Christian nation nonsense. Because if nothing changes we are no longer neither.
© 2015 Timothy Moody