Charleston SC (Storch Report) –I was struck beyond belief by the outpouring of forgiveness amidst the incomprehensible amount of grief the next of kin expressed today to the slaying of nine black persons during a racist hate crime here in a church that welcomed the white assassin with open arms during a bible study and couldn’t help but think, if this doesn’t bring a nation together nothing will.
Because these statements are so powerful, they must be read before any others with a political agenda:
The daughter of Ethel Lance, one of the nine church members killed on Wednesday, was the first family member to speak. It was emotional. “I forgive you. You took something really precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you and have mercy on your soul. It hurts me, it hurts a lot of people but God forgive you and I forgive you.”
Anthony Thompson, representing the family of Myra Thompson echoed the statement. “I forgive you, and my family forgives you. We would like you to take this opportunity to repent. Repent. Confess. Give your life to the one who matters the most, Christ, so he can change your ways no matter what happens to you and you’ll be OK. Do that and you’ll be better off than you are right now.”
Tywanza Sanders’ mother, Felecia Sanders, said: “We welcomed you Wednesday night in our Bible study with open arms. You have killed some of the most beautifullest people that I know. Every fiber in my body hurts, and I will never be the same . . . Tywanza was my hero. But as they say in the Bible study, we enjoyed you, but may God have mercy on your soul.”
The granddaughter of Daniel Simmons said: “Although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate . . . everyone’s plea for your soul is proof that they lived and loved and their legacies will live and love. I want to thank the court for making sure that hate doesn’t win.”
The sister of DePayne Middleton Doctor said: “I’m a work in progress, and I acknowledge that I am very angry. She taught me that we are the family that love built. We have no room for hate so we have to forgive . . . I also thank God.”
I guess I don’t understand such forgiveness in the light of such heinous crimes, but these black people from the holy city of Charleston and the historic Emanuel A.M.E. Church do, and they can express their feelings even before they have buried the bodies of their loved ones.
I acknowledge that the previous quotes were reported by USA Today.
This occurred today in what was an unusual bond court appearance for the alleged confessed killer Dylann Roof. I don’t know why we journalists use alleged when the killer confessed to the murders. It must have something to do with lawyers.
It is being reported that this was an unusual bond hearing because it allowed statements from the next of kin of the deceased by Chief Magistrate James Gosnell. He defended his actions by saying, ” I set the tone of my court. I’m a Charlestonian. Our community is hurt. Our community gets hurt. People have to reach out and tell them: It’s good to grieve, it’s best to learn how to forgive. There is a judicial process that will be taking place. You saw what these people did today. These people, people of Charleston, our citizens, they hurt but they will learn how to forgive. That’s difficult.”
I think it is important to read these comments, especially as they come so close to the tragedy these families are suffering and dealing with. They weren’t written by some slick speech writer, with a political agenda, they come from the heart with the intent to unify, not divide.
However, the President of the United States, a black man, Barack Hussein Obama, as always and in contrast had a political agenda in his comments on Thursday.
Now I will be upfront with you, I am taking the quotes I am selecting for this column to some degree out of context. More so with Obama, less so with the people of Charleston.
If you would like to read his winded transcript it is available from the AP online.
Nevertheless, here is Obama’s political divisive agenda, delivered at the most inappropriate of times, in contrast to the unifying comments of Charlestonians:
“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hand on a gun.
“Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear. At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.
“And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of these avenues right now. But it’d be wrong for us not to acknowledge it, and at some point, it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”
Oh, then he went on to discuss the racial divide, citing that it took place in a black church as though we were not aware of that and further fueling racism.
I question his statement that this type of violence does not happen in other advanced countries and with what he perceives at this kind of frequency. I would cite London and Paris for some historical research.
Nevertheless, the contrast between Obama’s political agenda always seems to rear its ugly head even among tragedy, for this administration’s motto is “to never let a good crisis go to waste.” He has proven this point once again while black Charlestonians have taken the high road of unification rather than divisiveness and should be applauded for their statesman-like religious learning’s and comments.