Tavis Smiley: In S.C., Brutal Black Reality Returns After Dolezal Farce


Black America is under attack. Unsafe. Unprotected. Subject to random violence.

Life has a funny way of reminding us what really matters.

Over the last week we have been inundated with news stories about the curious case of former Spokane, Washington, NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal and the farcical notion of her being “transracial.”

Sure, we were deceived, but nobody died.

When I saw the headline, “9 Dead in Hate Crime Shooting at Historic African American Church in Charleston,” my heart heaved. Not another mass killing. Not more gun violence. Not in another black church.

Sadly, yes, yes and yes.

Why is it that black wounds never get to heal? We ricochet from one atrocity to the next, never with time to fully process the pain of one deadly insult before the next indignity comes along.

Black America is under attack. Unsafe. Unprotected. Subject to random violence. Hated for who we are.

Nothing is sacred.

One has to be careful not to get ahead of the story that will surely develop in the coming days as we learn more about the alleged killer, who reportedly sat for an hour in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston before he opened fire on the prayer group.

However, we do know that the victims are all black and the alleged assailant is white. Hence, the Department of Justice and the FBI immediately launched a hate crime investigation. For a nation that loves to lecture others on hate crimes, one would think that we would be a bit more civilized.

We know that six black women and three black men were killed in this bloody massacre. Just more evidence that black fellow citizens, especially black men, are the disproportionate victims of gun violence in America. Even if they’re praying in church.

We know that Congress failed to pass several gun control measures, including expanded background checks on gun purchasers and bans on assault weapons and limitations on high capacity gun magazines, in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. If they couldn’t pass legislation after the massacre of 20 children, do you think it’s likely that anything will happen now that 9 Americans were killed in a black church?


Apathy is the worst form of violence.

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SOURCE: USA Today – Tavis Smiley

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