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Nine Dead After Church Shooting In Charleston

Source: Handout / Getty

When white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof was captured and questioned about his role in the AME Emanuel Church massacre that left nine dead in Charleston, South Carolina, he told the police that he “targeted a historic African American church” and “that he wanted to start a race war.” Yet some media claimed that this was not about race.

According to a report by The Superficial, not only did a regular Fox News anchor say this was not about racism, he had the unmitigated gall to suggest that it was an attack on Christianity, and not black people.

On a Wednesday edition of Fox News, anchor Steve Doocy parted his lips to say this:

“Extraordinarily, they called it a ‘hate crime,’ and some look at it as, ‘Well, because it was a white guy and a black church,’ but you made a great point earlier about the hostility towards Christians. And it was a church. So maybe that’s what they were talking about. They haven’t explained it to us.”

Further, the terrorist, who certainly earned that name, especially because he left one victim to tell the tale saying, “I have to do it. …You rape our women and you’re taking over the country. You have to go,” has still gotten the benefit of the doubt in the press when it comes to what may have driven him to commit such a heinous crime.

But before we get to that, I have to ask what is this Jedi Mind Trick that white people play that says that if they say racism doesn’t exist that it magically disappears? Honestly, it’s actually a very smart way to continue to perpetuate the very privilege that denies black people meaningful redress, but guess what? We ain’t buying what you’re selling.

Oh, but it gets better.

Today’s New York Daily News ran a story on Saturday morning with the headline: “Accused Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof Raised In Home Destroyed By Domestic Violence: Report.”

Oh, was his home “destroyed” by his bad step-papa? And does that explain why he cut down women, men and children in cold blood. In a church of all places? By the way, this same newspaper will call a black or Hispanic suspect a “thug” or “animal” in a minute — all day every day — but Roof’s evil gets a pass because, well, we have to explain why a good white kid would go astray.

Forget about the fact that many black and Hispanic young adults and teens constantly face trauma, churned out by the violence of substandard education, police brutality, piss poor health options, and food deserts (by the way, a by-product of this mysterious racism that doesn’t exist), but if and when they act out, they are labeled “animals,” “thugs” and “predators” who are denied the benefit of the doubt, humanity, and often any semblance of due process before they are cut down, locked up, or thrown away.

Not to be outdone, on today’s Washington Post, a headline read: “A Young Life That Had Quietly Drifted Off Track.” Is this killer now being characterized as “a young life”?

Say word.

I guess people will do anything to unconsciously uphold this notion of whiteness as pure and that something really really really bad has to happen to besmirch it. It MUST be explained, because hey, we all know that white serial killers don’t really mean it. They just have mental issues, or bad homes, or maybe a bad day. Whereas blackness (or non whiteness – let’s talk about the Boston Marathon bombers, who were called “terrorists” almost from the gate) starts as something corrupt.

Pop media maven AG Huggins broke it all the way down on her Facebook page today:

Remember the New York Times piece written about Mike Brown being “no angel”? Ha! Mike Brown was not only a high school graduate on his way to college who was killed in cold blood by state violence. Dylann Roof was a delinquent, drop out and drug head. His racist violence is being sanctioned by the state. And the media, humanize and justify one while dehumanizing and demonizing the other.

To the mainstream media: I know that Dylann Roof may look like the majority of you (or your sons), but let’s call a spade a spade. And a degenerate terrorist a killer that, too.

SEE ALSO:

AME Shooting: Dylann Roof Charged With 9 Counts Of Murder, May Face Death Penalty

Tragedy In Charleston: Moment Before Church Shooting Captured On Snapchat, Gunman Planned Massacre For Months

Confederate Flag Still Flying At South Carolina Capitol After Church Massacre

Hate Crime In Charleston: 9 Dead In Shooting At Historical African American Church, Suspect In Custody

AME Shooter Left One Woman Alive To Report Tragedy, Family Of Victims Speak Out

Angela Bronner Helm is a Harlem-based writer, editor, journalism professor and media consultant. Follow her on Twitter @anjiihelm or on Instagram. The struggle continues. 

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