Republican behavior in the aftermath of the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina last night is solidifying its reputation as the party of racism. It has been disheartening to watch, Republican after Republican official, Conservative after Conservative media outlet and personality, engaging in “davkaism” at one of America’s darkest hours by toeing a line whereby the cause of the pain of the Black community will not be acknowledged, not even for the briefest of moments, by citing the reason why nine people’s lives were snuffed out.
Even Senator Lindsey Graham, the Senator, whose state it is is that nine Black people were slain inside a historic church, initially did the right thing, by posting a statement on his Senate website:
But then, Graham took it all back in one last little crass sentence:
“(CNN) Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said his niece, Emily, was in an 8th grade English class with Dylann Roof, the suspect in the Charleston church massacre.
“He was quiet, strange, very unsocial and everyone thought he was on drugs,” Graham, a U.S. Senator from South Carolina, said of the suspect in an telephone interview with CNN, relaying the description from his niece Emily and sister Darline Graham Nordone.” […]
“”I just think he was one of these whacked out kids. I don’t think it’s anything broader than that,” Graham said. “It’s about a young man who is obviously twisted.”
“No one at home [in South Carolina] believes this represents us. We don’t want to be judged by him,” Graham said.”
To deny that the Charleston massacre was a hate crime is racist. To provide alternative explanations for Dylann Roof’s behavior when none are needed is racist. To absolve the perpetrator of his hate by assigning weirdness and the suspicion of drug use is a racist act.
TPM quotes, via ABC News, Dylann Roof’s roommate as saying:
“Dalton Tyler told ABC News that he’d known Dylann Storm Roof for about seven months to a year. Tyler told the news outlet that he last saw Roof about a week ago and knew he’d been planning something like the Charleston church attack “for six months.”
“He was big into segregation and other stuff,” Tyler told ABC News. “He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself.””
While Fox News may engage in selective reporting, Senator Graham may not make statements that minimize the heinous nature of the crime that was committed by one from among his community. Yes, racism is alive and well in South Carolina. What happened at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is a hate crime that was planned and executed by a white supremacist named Dylann Roof.
Own it, Senator Graham! Own it! Then, ask why anyone who, like Roof’s roommate, knew of Roof’s plans, did not report him. They too have a part in the hate crime they did not prevent and are a stain on your community.
Fox’s Steve Doocy: It’s Extraordinary That Charleston Church Shooting Is Being Called A Hate Crime | Video | Media Matters for America
A striking image that shows politics never rests — even amid Charleston’s tragedy
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