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Mother Emmanuel AME, Charleston SC

Mother Emmanuel AME, Charleston SC

Our prayers go out to all concerned, including the families and friends of the deceased that they may ultimately realize that Higher Understanding, which lies beyond all loss.

Nearly a week ago, on June 18, 2015, Dylann Roof, a young White man age 20, shot and killed nine people, including their pastor, at this historic African American church in Charleston, S.C. during Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting. Such prayer meetings have been a revered practice in the traditional African American church since its inception, thus intensifying the shock.

According to subsequent reports, the deranged killer, who had made “racist comments before he started” the carnage, basically claimed that he was acting in the name of White supremacy. The next morning, he was spotted by a local White citizen on her way to work; who then followed him, gets his license number and referred it to the police, which led to his immediate arrest in Shelby, N.C.

Now considered a pivotal moment in Race Relations in America, what was meant for destruction by a self-styled narcissist, who mentioned that he wanted to start a race war, is now having its opposite effect as it should.

Meaningful demonstrations in support for the friends and families of the victims, and the community at-large, abound from people of all races everywhere.

Conversations about racism dominate the news coverage; yet, seemly now with a much deeper perspective of this historic problem…often called “America’s original sin”.

While calls from government officials and private citizens to remove the Confederate battle flag, a highly contentious Civil War relic that is flying near the State Capitol, are now moving forward in honor of the “best among us” that were tragically shot down by madness.

Moreover, some local lawmakers commenting on the rising urge to remove the historic flag also attribute a change of heart to the heartfelt forgiveness offered up to the killer of their loved ones during his court appearance by the victims’ families; and the fact that this atrocity occurred in a church of all places, which is held so dear by so many people.

And so, in keeping with the church’s motto of the hour: “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper…” (Isaiah 54:17), we prayerfully move forward with hope, peace and universal love towards all.

UPDATE 6/25: With great moral courage, members return the next week to Mother Emmanuel AME and resume their Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting.  According to Martin Savidge of CNN, Rev. Goff begins saying: “We realized the tragedy here will never be the same, but we are moving on.”  With open arms, Rev. Goff reverently states, “We reclaim this space for God.”

UPDATE 6/28: While the physical remains of the nine slain members of Mother Emmanuel AME are eloquently interred, their spirit of compassion and justice amid civic adversity will forever inspire us.

During his eulogy of Rev. Clementa Carlos Pinckney, seems these healing words of President Obama say it all: “…Slavery was wrong, the imposition of Jim Crow after the Civil War, the resistance to civil rights for all people was wrong.”

Albeit an American tragedy, ‘the Beautiful Nine’ (coined by Rev. Al Sharpton) have not died in vain. We are awake now and thus can no longer hide America’s shameful disease of racism, which was born of slavery its original sin.

Slavery and Jim Crow (its diehard offspring) were wrong, plain and simple!

Yet, the sacred medicine of Truth, ever ready to be born, heals us all.

LAST UPDATE, 7/3/2015: Good News, sure to uplift us all! Anonymous Donors gift over $3 million to establish a college and advanced degree scholarship fund for members of the Mother Emmanuel AME Church, including the families of the victims of the June 17, 2015 tragedy.

The Scholarship Fund is named for Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney who, “So profoundly embodied the values that bind us together as Americans.”

The Donors wish the church members to know, in part, “That others, most of whom do not share their race or religion, who do not come from South Carolina, abhor the injustices from which they have suffered and admire the ways the African-American community has enriched our nation.”  Read here for more information.

© Delores L. Adams and The Aunt Jemimah Post 2012-2015. All rights reserved.

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