It’s been all over the news that a white man walked into a church last Wednesday, sat with the African American people for an hour, and then opened fire on them. Also reported is that the man desired to start a “race war.” In the face of this tragic event and precious lives that were lost, Charleston and the surrounding area has joined together, hand in hand, arm in arm … heart to heart. I’ve never been more proud to be from the state of South Carolina than I am right this very minute due to this.
While the nation has watched to see what South Carolina’s response is going to be to the attack on the most historic AME church in Charleston, they didn’t see riots. They didn’t see torching businesses. And, they didn’t see looting. Instead, they saw a community come together. They witnessed whites and blacks hugging on the streets and walking hand in hand across the bridge in Charleston on Sunday to show that we ARE united.
Praise God – UNITED WE STAND!!!
If what the media says is true and this white man wished to start a race war, he LOST because if anything, this tragedy has united people from different backgrounds, cultures, and races. We stand together as one race – the human race!
The victim’s families have said, “I forgive you.”
Can you imagine losing your loved ones in this way, and yet, you forgive the shooter? Would you be so quick to have those words pass through your lips? Think about it. If your family member had been gunned down, would you be able to say to the person that took their life that you forgive them … and would you honestly mean it? THAT is a tough one. But, that is what we, as Christians, are to do. We cannot harbor ill feelings or hatred in our hearts.
This tragedy has brought up other debates such as the argument that we need to ban all guns now. It has also brought up the debate on whether the confederate flag should be removed from our state house. There are varying opinions on both of these issues. Guns don’t kill people – people kill people. While this young man was given a gun for his birthday a few short months ago, I’m sure his father had NO idea that his son was going to carry out such an evil plan. He had no way of knowing unless his son verbalized it, and if he did, I’m sure the father didn’t say, “Atta boy!” This man, I believe, truly had NO idea what he was doing by placing this gun into his son’s hand. He had NO idea that a few short months later, his son would claim the lives of nine innocent people as they sat inside their church worshipping God.
Yes, this man did have pictures that have come out in the media now where he was bearing the confederate flag. I have seen pictures of him holding the gun with the flag in the picture nearby. So, yes, the flag is up for debate once more.
It is sad that the confederate flag is supposed to be a symbol of our history, and yet, to so many African Americans, it is offense due to what, in their mind, it represents. One thought is, if it is that offensive, why NOT take it down? Honestly. If it is causing that much of a problem, just take it down. If it is a constant reminder of slavery, although my family didn’t own any slaves to the best of my knowledge, then take it down. Why keep a constant reminder for things to continue to be stirred up? If this will end racism, TAKE THE FLAG DOWN! Sadly, though, no matter if the flag remains or if the flag is taken down, racism will not be eliminated. It will still surface and rear it’s ugly head in other ways. If there was a sure fire way to end racism, I would be the first in line … sign me up!
Oh how I wish racism didn’t exist.
We haven’t seen the end of it yet, and I’m sure the shooting last Wednesday will continue to be a topic of conversation for quite a while to come. Right along with banning guns and removing the flag from the state house.
In the mist of all of this, I will choose to focus on the group of 9,000 that stood along the bridge in Charleston hand in hand on Sunday. I will also turn my attention to the church bells that were ringing all over Charleston in memory of the nine that lost their lives last Wednesday.
I will choose to focus on South Carolina being united, standing together in love … sweet love.