I’m not going to beat around the bush: I’m pissed off. Last night, Dylann Storm Roof, a 21-year-old white man, allegedly shot and killed nine people at Emanuel AME Church, a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The victims included Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator. Y’all, a five-year-old girl had to play dead for survival. This is just next level disgusting. Luckily, Roof was caught a few hours ago in North Carolina, but that didn’t do much to quell the anger that I and so many other black people feel right now. The only thing that’s making me feel a little better is obsessively checking Twitter as a necessary outlet for my rage. It might seem counter productive to retreat to an endless cycle of depressing, cynical tweets as a way to deal with my crappy mood, but it’s better than pretending that nothing is wrong.
From the jump, ever since I found out that the suspect was white and that a black church was attacked, I knew in my heart that this was racially motivated. Even President Obama touched on America’s dark history of racially motivated crimes taking place in churches during a press conference this afternoon. This gut feeling has been validated now that we know more about the alleged murderer. There’s a photo of him rocking a jacket donned with apartheid era flags of South Africa as well as Rhodesia, a former British, white colony before it gained independence and became Zimbabwe. If that’s not side-eye worthy enough, former classmates of Roof claim that he would always tell racist jokes. Oh, but the ultimate racist BS to come from this so far is in what eye witnesses to the church massacre heard Roof say before opening fire: “I have to do it…You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
Racist alert. Racist alert. RACIST ALERT.
Of course, people have already painted this guy as troubled and mentally ill. Others are insisting that this isn’t necessarily a hate crime. Basically, the same ol’ benefit of the doubt that is always given to white dudes who pull off mass murders. Meanwhile, unarmed black people are killed by the police and they’re demonized instantly.
If you’re seeing a lot of idiotic comments on social media or IRL, or you just want to rage a little with me, check out these 23 amazingly relevant tweets about the Charleston shooting. They’ll definitely make you think…and sort of hate everything.
1. Uncomfortable truths.
When white people are killed in such a horrific manner we mourn as a country, when black ppl are murdered we have to mourn as a community.
— India (@IndiaDionna) June 18, 2015
Was already weary. Was already heavy hearted. Was already tired. Where can we be safe? Where can we be free? Where can we be black? — solange knowles (@solangeknowles) June 18, 2015
3. Racism is alive and well in our generation, everyone. Don’t ignore it.
that monster was born in 1994 but y’all keep on with this lie that racism is dying off with old white people — van damn (@allprologue) June 18, 2015
4. Like clockwork.
Stages Of White Violence Denial-are we sure he’s white? Deflection-Does race matter? Doting-he was a nice boy Defamation-Blk on Blk crime! — DarkSkintDostoyevsky (@daniecal) June 18, 2015
5. WONDER HOW THAT HAPPENED.
we’ll never know why a young white man from a reactionary, gun-loving, white supremacist culture turned out to be a mass murderer — misanthropologist (@fluttersnipe) June 18, 2015
6. Things that make you go, “Hmmmm.”
It’s interesting to see who this has had an effect on, & to who it is just another story on another day… — Devonté Hynes (@devhynes) June 18, 2015
A racist can walk into a church, say “I’m killing y’all because of racism.” And media will be like “but what was his motive?” — Elon James White (@elonjames) June 18, 2015
8. This, along with the “he was quiet” angle are going to drive me crazy.
amazing how a black person can’t even walk down a street and survive but a white person can murder nine black people and get captured alive — darrylayo (@darrylayo) June 18, 2015
10. People hate to admit when white people’s hate and violence is racially motivated. No clue why!
“Sure he had flags of apartheid states on his jacket, loved the confederacy and told lots of racist jokes, but I wouldn’t call him a racist” — Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 18, 2015
11. Must be nice.
I’m not even really mad at the people who are just rolling along like nothing happened. I’m jealous. I wish my heart gave me that option. — Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) June 18, 2015
12. Unreal and disgusting.
13. This is why your racist dad freaks me out.
Racism is not a quirky character flaw or a mental illness. It is evil, insidious shit that kills people. Write that down. — JNG (@thewayoftheid) June 18, 2015
A guy in a full KKK outfit could drop a bomb on a HBCU and I’d have at least 5 people tell me it’s not about race lol — The Mighty O (@OkeraJ) June 18, 2015
15. Yes, white feminists need to denounce the fact that the protection of their womanhood was used as an excuse to murder black people.
This is not new. Using white women's sexual purity as a justification for harming black bodies is a centuries-old American tradition.
— Chloe Angyal, PhD (@ChloeAngyal) June 18, 2015
16. Find the lie.
White man kills Black people: He was misunderstood & needed help! Black person killed by White cops: BUT HE STOLE A TOOTHBRUSH IN 2ND GRADE — Aggressive Asian (@JennLi123) June 18, 2015
18. White people are never generalized in the same violent way.
19. Also, how is this race baiting when this is literally about race?
20. Thank you.
This is: 1. A hate crime. 2. Domestic terrorism. Do not allow it to be called anything else. — Shaun King (@ShaunKing) June 18, 2015
21. SO MUCH TRUTH.
14 years after one idiot sets his shoe on fire, we’re still stripping down at airports. An epidemic of mass shootings…? We change nothing. — Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) June 18, 2015
22. And one of the most grim truth bombs of all…
23. WOOP, THERE IT IS.
— Common Black Girl (@CommonBlackGirI) June 18, 2015
What’s your reaction to the shooting? What role do you think race plays in the media coverage and reaction? Tell us in the comments!