Tuesday, June 23, 2015

#ITLQBM - The Side Effects of Charleston (Pt 1)

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015 news broke that a shooting took place at a historic church in South Carolina. I had noticed it while doing school work and reading, it wasn't until I looked up to see what really happened. 

"At around 9:05 p.m. EDT on June 17, 2015, the Charleston Police Department responded to calls of a shooting at Emanuel AME Church. A man described as white, with sandy-blond hair, around 21 years old and 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm) in height, wearing a gray sweatshirt and jeans, opened fire with a .45-caliber handgun on a group of people inside the church at a Bible study attended by Pinckney. The shooter then fled. The shooting was the largest mass murder at an American place of worship, alongside a 1991 mass shooting at a Buddhist temple in Waddell, Arizona.

For nearly an hour prior to the attack, the shooter had been present and participating in the Bible study. A total of thirteen people attended the Bible study, including the shooter. According to the accounts of people who talked to survivors, the shooter asked for Pinckney and sat down next to him, initially listening to others during the study. He started to disagree when they began discussing Scripture. Eventually he stood up and pulled a gun from a fanny pack, aiming it at 87-year-old Susie Jackson. Jackson's nephew, 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders, tried to talk him down and asked him why he was attacking churchgoers. The shooter responded, "I have to do it. You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go." When he expressed his intention to shoot everyone, Sanders dove in front of Jackson and was shot first. The suspect then shot the other victims, all the while shouting racial epithets. He also reportedly said, "Y'all want something to pray about? I'll give you something to pray about." He reloaded his gun five times. Sanders' mother and his five-year-old niece, both attending the study, survived the shooting by pretending to be dead."

It was on this night that the discussion of race, the confederacy, mental health of the Black community and a host of other under lying issues that have always been around came to the fore front. Race and racism became a big deal in response to my and many other posts by People of Color and there were reactions by our White counterparts that ranged from ally to extremely sensitive "I am not a racist reactions. I called someone out on their White Privilege and they claimed that I was calling them racist. While racism and privilege tend to intersect, it does not mean that all White people are racist. ALL White people have White Privilege, this is NOT a diagnosis, it is a FACT.

While some some may not see inequality among the races here in the United States, it does exist. Last week's event exposed something that never ceased to exist within the social fabric of our country. As a Black person I am constantly subjected to systemic and structural racism. I know that I have said a mouth full, so before I go any further, here are some terms:

Race is a social concept, is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics.

Racism is the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit white people in western countries beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.

White supremacy or white supremacism is a form of racism centered upon the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior in certain characteristics, traits, and attributes to people of other racial backgrounds and that therefore whites should politically, economically and socially rule non-whites.

The Confederate States of America (CSA or C.S.), commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized confederation of secessionist American states existing from 1861 to 1865. It was originally formed by seven slave states in the Lower South region of the United States whose regional economy was mostly dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system of production which in turn largely relied upon slave labor.

The order of secession resolutions and dates are:

1. South Carolina (December 20, 1860)
2. Mississippi (January 9, 1861)
3. Florida (January 10)
4. Alabama (January 11)
5. Georgia (January 19)
6. Louisiana (January 26)
7. Texas (February 1; referendum February 23)
– Ft. Sumter (April 12) and Lincoln's call up (April 15)
8. Virginia (April 17; referendum May 23, 1861)
9. Arkansas (May 6)
10. Tennessee (May 7; referendum June 8)
11. North Carolina (May 20)

For now I will leave you all with this post to marinate on, and In part two I will tie all of these terms and then some together...


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