TRAGEDY: 9 Dead After Mass Murder Inside Historic Charleston SC Church; Hate Crime/Racial Terrorism Suspected

The steeple of Emanuel African Methodist Church, Charleston, SC
The steeple of Emanuel African Methodist Church, Charleston, SC

At around 9pm EST on June 17, a mass shooting happened at Charleston, South Carolina’s historic Emanuel AME Church (aka “Mother AME”). 9 parishioners are confirmed dead, including State Sen. Clementa Pinckney (D-45), who was senior pastor.

Charleston P.D. have already called this a “hate crime”, and has issued a reward for the capture of the suspect:

The church is historic for being the oldest African-American-founded edifice in Charleston, having been co-founded by Denmark Vesey (who was later executed by South Carolina over accusations of plotting a slave rebellion) in 1816 as a founding affiliate of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination. Apparently, this act of mass violence took place exactly 193 years and a day from the planned rebellion. The present building was rebuilt in the 1890s by Vesey’s son.


The hashtag going up about this incident is #AMEShooting, with commentators like Joshua DuBois documenting the chilling violence:

Further, many commentators reacted to the tendency for mass news media to reserve use the word “terrorism” for mass violence incidents perpetrated by those not of European descent:


The search continues for the perpetrator of this incident. Given that it was a brazen act of mass murder in a building with such a long history of standing up against mass abuse, it would seem appropriate to end this post with a Bible quote:

But one can also end this post with an exhortation to follow the news of this incident and to watch the late Sen. Rev. Pinckney talk about the history of his church: 


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