Emanuel AEM church

Charleston Massacre Roundup

These are the victims of last night’s racist terrorist act at Emanuel AME church in Charleston. Our hearts go out to their loved ones. 

A week that began with public grappling with race as absurdity has concluded with shock, yet again, with race as the catalyst for tragedy. The existential question of who is black has been answered in the most concussive way possible: the nine men and women slain as they prayed last night at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, South Carolina, were black. – Jelani Cobb

Here are 10 other domestic terror attacks by extreme Christians and right-wing white men.

“Where are the white fathers? When will white leaders step up?”

You won’t hear the white male shooter, identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, described as “a possible terrorist.” And if coverage of recent shootings by white suspects is any indication, he never will be. Instead, the go-to explanation for his actions will be mental illness. He will be humanized and called sick, a victim of mistreatment or inadequate mental health resources. Activist Deray McKesson noted this morning that, while discussing Roof’s motivations, an MSNBC anchor said “we don’t know his mental condition.” That is the power of whiteness in America. – Anthea Butler

The shooter reportedly told a surviving witness, “You rape our women, you’re taking over our country. You have to go.”  gives a history lesson — as Gene Demby and Rebecca Traister also did not too long ago — on how the protection of white women from Black men has long been used to justify racist violence in this country.

Dear white men: “You need to talk to other white men about how you don’t own white women.”

A couple pieces on the history of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. “Emanuel AME isn’t just a church; it’s…a historic symbol of black resistance to slavery and racism.”

A couple profiles of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of Emanuel AME and a state senator, who was among those killed.

People keep saying that we need to “have a conversation about race” in this country, but what we need to have is a conversation about white supremacy. To be sure, the mass murder at the Emanuel A.M.E. church is an act of white supremacist terrorism. The white man who did this is a terrorist with a political agenda to kill black people. When one segment of the population can easily — and legally — buy and carry deadly weapons and almost never seen as suspect while another segment of the population is always a target of violence, even in a place of worship, that is white supremacy. Yet, for the most part, we have no way to talk about this kind of systemic racism in US culture. When most (white) people hear the term “white supremacy” they think of the people in robes and hoods, not the white men pictured above. – Jessie Daniels

President Obama made a statement highlighting the need for gun control. “Let’s be clear —this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries…It is in our power to do something about it….At some point it is going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it and shift how we deal with gun violence collectively.” Meanwhile here’s a look at South Carolina’s gun laws.

There is a timidity that the country can no longer afford. This was not an unthinkable act. A man may have had a rat’s nest for a mind, but it was well thought out. It was a cool, considered crime, as well planned as any bank robbery or any computer fraud. If people do not want to speak of it, or think about it, it’s because they do not want to follow the story where it inevitably leads. It’s because they do not want to follow this crime all the way back to the mother of all American crimes, the one that Denmark Vesey gave his life to avenge. What happened on Wednesday night was a lot of things. A massacre was only one of them. – Charles P. Pierce

Nine heartbreaks, according to Latoya Peterson.

Header image credit: BBC

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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