US Pres Obama On Charleston Killings: ‘Afro-Americans Founded Church To Seek Liberty’
“This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty,” said United States President Barack Obama who broke his silence an hour after the capture of a suspect on the tragic death of nine people on the evening of June 17 at Charleston Church during a prayer meeting.
“This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery. When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret,” the President lamented.
Being the first African-American President of the world’s most powerful country, Mr. Obama highlighted his condemnation of the mass killing.
He carried on further: “When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps. This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.”
And while the President expounded that black communities “have had to endure tragedies like this too many times,” he made a truly significant point and wisely said:
“We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It does not happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”
Despite efforts, the African-American communities have always been on the headlines either as the culprit or the victim, albeit there were also reports saying to the effect that Afro-Americans who have been sentenced to death were in the end, found to be innocent. Of course, there were equally many whose guilt were not established beyond reasonable doubt but then they were not given the chance at life simply because they were already executed long before new evidences found could disprove their guilt.
“The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked. And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals,” said the President, not hesitating in expressing emotions.
The U.S. leader also said that he and First Lady Michelle Obama were friends with Reverend Clementa Pinckney who was among those tragically murdered while being gathered in a prayer.
New said that Dylann Roof was arrested in Shelby, North Carolina which is 395 km away from the crime scene. He remains to be in police custody.