I do not usually rewrite these after publishing — but a flurry of comments that followed my original publication required it. Too many politicians are somehow unable to bring themselves to place Roof where he belongs in the continuity of White Supremacists in our history. It must be called out.
On June 17th, 2015, the 21 year-old Dylann Storm Roof, entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The church, led by the Reverend Clementa Pickney who, in addition to his pulpit, was a state senator, is the oldest traditionally Black Church in the South and has long been a fixture of the struggle for emancipation and civil rights during its almost 200 year history. According to witnesses, Roof sat down with the dozen people participating in weekly Bible study for nearly an hour before he stood up, took out his pistol and began shooting. Before he was done, he had reloaded multiple times and left 9 people dead, including Reverend Pickney. Survivors quickly reported that when his victims implored him to stop, Roof told them, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country.”
Roof’s victims are Tywanza Sanders
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