There is so much weighing on my heart this morning as I write this post. I woke to the horrific news coming out of Charleston and my heart just broke. It is 2015 and we are still living in a world filled with hate. We are living in a world where hate crimes still happen and people have to live in fear while going about their every day lives. I have seen so much anger about this crime, and I regard it with so much understanding.
As it’s Thursday, the day of my weekly advice posts, I have advice on how to handle this.
Band together. We are all one people, created equal, living in the same country, trying to live our lives. Do not place blame on a particular race, and do not distort the story because of race. To the media outlets reporting on the shooting- practice how to fairly cover the story. Recognize that it was a hate crime based on religion and race, but be careful of wording. This man who committed the crime was hateful- that’s all there is to it.
I have also seen so much blame placed on white people- their lack of reactions, their unjust treatment of the situation, etc, which is just another form of racism. By separating blacks and whites, you are othering and creating distance between the races. Racism goes both ways. It is terrible that someone should target a black community solely because of their race, but it is also terrible that the white race is grouped together as the blame or as reacting a certain way, when each individual person in any race is their own person, with their own thoughts and feelings. By grouping these races together, It further separates people who are already far too distanced from one another. This is segregation, plain and simple. At a time like this, we should all be coming together in the hopes of building a better future for everyone.
It is clear that the black race is being unfairly treated. Statistics make that clear- that while crimes are happening all over the country, predominantly it is the black race that is being affected most. And that just shouldn’t be the case. In a world where crime and hate is inevitable- it will happen and it will be terrible- the best we can do is seek equal treatment for all, regardless of race. News stories should cover these crimes the same, regardless of the race or gender of those involved. They should all receive equal attention. Stereotypes need be put aside. Anger toward a particular race should be forgotten- it is unfounded and irrational. Yes, be angry. Rightfully so, as it is clear that not everyone is being treated fairly. But in your anger, fight together for a just cause, instead of turning on one another. Look toward preventing future crimes- whether it involve police wearing cameras, stricter gun laws, better training in the police force, etc.
But mostly, my advice is to recognize that people in the Charleston community are suffering. Friends and family were brutally murdered, and it is them that we should be putting first. It is them we should be praying for. Put all else aside and come together to support this community that is suffering right now. This was a horrible crime, and we are all suffering and heartbroken.