By VERNE STRICKLAND usa dot com June 18, 2015
Lots of conflicted feelings run through me this evening as I hear the news of the horrible mass shooting at the historic AME Zion Church in Charleston, SC.
Watching NBC News tonight, I was impressed by the comments of South Carolina Democratic Congressman James Clyburn, who was interviewed by Savanna Guthrie.
He spoke in the main as a peacemaker, describing how the multi-racial congregation sat -- not in racial clusters during services there -- but in randomly dispersed fashion, black and white comfortably shoulder to shoulder.
“Racial harmony in Charleston, after bleak years, began in the churches. And the path back for us will begin there again,” he said.
U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) did not evidence bitterness in his comments as he spoke with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. Scott came before cameras in Charleston, where he had taken part in a service of reconciliation.
“There has been a sad history of racial strife here in the past,” he said, “but if you want to see the future of togetherness and harmony in Charleston, I beg you to remember our gathering today, where black and white came together holding hands, and prayed for peace and calm. I pray God will grant this prayer.”
Dr. Ben Carson, black Republican contender for the presidency, said the problem isn’t guns, as alleged by President Obama and Hillary Clinton. “The problem that goes to the heart of this matter is the heart itself,” said Carson, a GOP frontrunner. “The change has to start at the roots – families, churches and schools, both black and white.
The problem didn't develop inside the lovely Christian church. It came from outside. And I think that is important. A 21-year-old white man, Dylann Storm Roof, reportedly melted into the church throng, from which position he randomly opened fire at convenient human targets. At last count he had allegedly murdered nine congregants.
A reporter on Greta's Fox News program said that there had been a search of the shooter's home, where racially-charged material were found. Roof has been charged with a hate crime.
What’s my take on all this? Well, as conservative writers are advised when a black mob torches a town or kills a white policemen – that should not condemn the black community at large. I haven’t always made this distinction, but it certainly is true.
So – to Charleston. The despicable actions of one young misguided white man should in no way paint the white race as bigoted and dangerous. Most just want to go about their lives peaceably and not instigate trouble. Innocents are often drawn into the maelstrom through no fault of their own. They would only read about a violent racially-charged act like the one attributed to Dylann Roof. I know they would be horrified by mass murder like this. And angry – no less horrified and angry than when blacks wantonly kill innocent whites, who have not knowlingly provoked an attack. It cuts both ways.
As far as the Charleston tragedy goes, I can expect professional black race-baiters, whose names and reputations are too well-known, to be headed toward this lovely port city to fan the flames of hatred. If they are not on the scene as I write this, they will be. As Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel likes to say: “No good crisis should ever go to waste.”
Early indications give no hint that Charleston will explode in flames, looting and assaults at the hands of roving, lawless blacks and professional agitators. And I hope not. It would serve no purpose but to further distance the black community from the white.
That has not been a concern of those who trashed Ferguson, New York, Baltimore and other vulnerable cities. So there is a scary history where a spark of violence has erupted into a conflagration.
This is not a church matter just because it happened in a church. But because it did, somehow I feel that the Christian hearts of those who visit the House of the Lord will take a forgiving and wise view of where the path should now lead outward from this historic black church in Charleston’s lovely Low Country.
Thank you, Jesus.