Quantcast
Connect with us

Hillary Clinton denounces Charleston shooting as act of ‘racist terrorism’

Published

on

While campaigning near Ferguson, Clinton definitively labelled the killing of nine black churchgoers, as politicians and pundits remain divided on semantics

Hillary Clinton has branded the murder of nine black churchgoers in Charleston an act of “racist terrorism” and linked the attack to America’s wider problem of entrenched racial inequality.

Clinton was in South Carolina not far from the Emanuel AME church, last Wednesday, just a few hours before an accused white supremacist joined a Bible study in its basement and opened fire.

“That night word of the killings struck like a blow to the soul,” Clinton said on Tuesday. “How do we make sense of such an evil act? And act of racist terrorism, perpetrated in a house of God?”

Commentators have been divided over whether the atrocity, allegedly perpetrated by a 21-year-old South Carolina man, Dylann Roof, constituted an act of terrorism. The Justice Department said it was investigating the mass shooting as a possible case of domestic terrorism, while the the FBI’s director, James Comey, said he does not believe the atrocity fits that definition because it was not, in his view, “a political act”.

However on Tuesday, Clinton adopted the language used by many other liberals since the comedian Jon Stewart compared Roof’s alleged massacre to terrorism committed by Islamic jihadists in a widely shared monologue .

ADVERTISEMENT

Clinton’s main rival for the Democratic nomination for president, Bernie Sanders, was quicker off the mark, labelling shooting an act of terror within 24 hours of the attack.

The former secretary of state and first lady also suggested the shooting at the Emanuel AME church was connected to broader racial challenges in the country.

“I know it’s tempting to dismiss a tragedy such as this as an isolated incident, to believe that in today’s America bigotry largely behind us, that institutionalised racism no longer exists,” she said. “But despite our best efforts and highest hopes, America’s long struggle with race is far from finished.”

Clinton made the remarks during a visit to a suburb of St Louis, Missouri, not far from Ferguson, where rioting broke out last year following the police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old, Michael Brown.

ADVERTISEMENT

Despite the shooting and its aftermath being brought up several times during a question and answer session, Clinton did not address the topic head-on. She did not mention Brown, or the civil disorder that spread through the St Louis area after his death in August – and again, in November, when no charges were brought against Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown.

The only apparent reference to police shootings was a veiled reference. “We must do all we can to be sure our communities respect law enforcement, and that law enforcement respects the communities they serve,” she said.

Clinton’s willingness to address the broader issues of racial disparities head-on has been contrasted with her failed presidential bid in 2008, which she lost to Barack Obama. During that race Clinton, who was politicised during the 1960s civil rights movement, fumbled over race issues, a controversy that was compounded when her husband, then p resident Bill Clinton, criticised Obama in terms that some believed were racially tinged .

This time around, Clinton’s campaign believes she has found her stride on the issue of race, speaking forcefully about the need for reform of the criminal justice system, for example, shortly after rioting broke out in Baltimore.

ADVERTISEMENT

Surveys also show Clinton enjoying broad and deep support among black and minority communities, in contrast to Sanders, who trails far behind in polls of Democratic primary voters and gains most of his support from white, low-income and middle-class supporters.

Despite being widely trailed in advance, Clinton’s speech at Florissant’s Christ the King United Church was brief – lasting around 20 minutes – and did not explore racial disparities in a huge amount of depth.

The event was, instead, more in keeping with the intimate listening tour that marked the start of her campaign.

“We need to confront the deep-seated biases and prejudices that still live within too many of us,” Clinton said in one exchange with local leaders gathered on stage with her at the church. “It is something that is hard to talk about. And honestly I think the vast majority of us could pass lie detector tests if we were asked. We’d say ‘of course not, I’m don’t have any prejudice of bias’, but we do. And we know we do if we’re really honest with each other.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The speech also touched upon Clinton’s own Christian beliefs and Methodist background, quoting Martin Luther King Jr, the archbishop Desmond Tutu, and John Wesley, a co-founder of the Methodist church. Clinton praised the families of victims of the Charleston shooting for publicly offering forgiveness to Roof.

Relatives of the shooting took turns to tell the alleged killer they forgave him during a court appearance on Friday . “Isn’t it amazing, remarkable even, when fear, doubt, desire for revenge, might have been expected, but instead forgiveness is found?” she said.

“Although a fundamental part of our doctrine, its practice is one of the most difficult things we are called to do.” Clinton added: “Their act of mercy was as stunning as his act of cruelty.”

Clinton also endorsed efforts by retailers such as Walmart and Amazon to prevent sales of the Confederate flag – and welcomed moves in South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol building. “It shouldn’t fly there, it shouldn’t fly anywhere,” she added.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s horsewhip-carrying chief of protocol will resign after intimidating State Department staff: report

Published

on

President Donald Trump's chief of protocol plans to step down just ahead of the G-20 summit in Japan, according to Bloomberg News.

Sean Lawler, whose job includes assisting the president in diplomatic talks overseas and with foreign leaders in the White House, faces an investigation from the State Department's inspector general for intimidating subordinates, including carrying a horsewhip around the office.

The president reportedly did not care for Lawler, at one point asking officials why he still works at the White House.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Jerry Falwell, Jr blasted as ‘un-Christian prat’ after trying to defend Donald Trump in battle with Southern Baptist ethics chief

Published

on

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. was ripped online for attempting to rationalize President Donald Trump's detention camps for children.

Dr. Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, posted on Twitter an Associated Press story on the "perilous conditions" at a Texas Border Patrol station holding 300 children.

"The reports of the conditions for migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences. Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this," Moore wrote.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

How one woman taunting a homeless McDonald’s employee turned his life around

Published

on

A woman in Fayette County, Georgia recently took to Facebook to disparage a McDonald's worker who was sleeping in the restaurant. "I go and tell an employee there is someone is asleep in their booth and her response was 'oh yeah, we know hee hee, it's ok' and I said 'not really but whatever,'" she wrote.

It turned out the sleeping employee, Simon Childs, is a 21-year-old homeless father who had recently lost his mother and was trying to catch some rest between multiple shifts at the restaurant.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

Learn how you can help.
close-link