Charleston Shooting: Is Our Media Racist?
- Malachi Butt-Mukete
If you ever wondered what racial tension was like during the Civil Rights movement, no need. It’s being replicated right now across the United States.
On Wednesday evening, nine church-goers were murdered by a 21-year-old white man. It was the latest tragedy to hit the black community and it wasn’t long until #CharlestonMassacre was trending on social media worldwide.
Dylann Roof, has now been charged with nine counts of murder after discharging a firearm inside the historically black, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He is thought to have spent at least an hour with the bible study group in Charleston, South Carolina, before he opened fire.
The attacker was seen wearing a jacket, adorned with both the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa. There can be no doubt that the attack was a racially motivated act of terrorism (although the mainstream media seem to have omitted that word from their reports.)
In the wake of this tragedy, before the families of the deceased have even had a chance to mourn the loss of their loved ones, attempts have been made by the mainstream media and the “#AllLivesMatter” mob on Twitter to derail the issue. It appears, when a white man shoots nine black people in a racist killing spree, we must first try to understand; what severe psychological disorder he must be suffering with, how many black mates he has, or how great his grades were in school.
In stark contrast, when an innocent black man is killed by police; we are fed stories of how he/ she had once smoked weed, had a fight in the 8th grade, or has a criminal record, in an attempt to legitimise the murder.
The Black Lives Matter Campaign has never been more important than it is now. The most disturbing aspect of this case, is that the police were able to arrest Roof, without the use of ANY force. Whilst the scene of “crimes” (the crime being attending a pool party or standing on the sidewalk) with black people at the centre, usually result in violence and in the worst case scenario, death.
Are we to pretend that race plays no part in this? Are we to be distracted (as the media seem to be trying so hard to do so) and centre the whole conversation about the case on gun control? How long will we ignore the fact that black people are viewed as second class citizens?