by Jeff Lightsy Jr.
Before I begin this story I would like to send my thoughts and prayers out to any and every individual who was impacted by the events that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina on the night of June 17, 2015. I can’t even imagine the pain that you all are going through right now. What I can describe is the pain that our race is going through collectively. This tragic event affects those in Charleston the most of course, but it also affects blacks across this country. It leaves us asking the questions, ” What must we do to be safe in America?” Or even better, “Can America protect us?”
If you grow up black in America you know that racism is still prevalent. Recently the struggle between black Americans and police officers have been highlighted.. Those encounters have left us thinking that we can’t even trust the people whose sole job is to protect and serve. Now, being a black person in South Carolina you are being slaughtered by white American citizens. Lets not forget South Carolina is the same state that Walter Scott was slain by a police officer while unarmed.
It is one thing to be racist against a group of people. It is another thing to go into their place of worship, partake in prayer with them for over an hour, and to then kill them simply because they are black. This is exactly what the suspect Dylan Roof did. Just as a black man in America the question is raised all the time why our people seem angry and upset. When people like Dylan Roof exist this is exactly why. These “hate crimes” happen way to often to black people in America. We just don’t call it a hate crime when it involves a police officer, but it’s exactly that. As people we just want justice and to know that this country, the one we all claim is the greatest in the world can actually protect us from our oppressor.