Friday, June 19, 2015

Cowardly Right Goes Haywire Trying To Deny That Racism Played A Part In Murders At Historical Black Church

On Wednesday night Dylann Roof entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston South Carolina and sat with parishioners who had gathered there for Bible study. After about an hour he stood up and announced that he was there "to shoot black people." Roof then proceeded to gun down nine innocent and unsuspecting people. The victims, all African Americans, ranged in age from 26 to 87.

It was reported by one of the survivors that one of the churchgoers pleaded with the Roof to stop, Johnson said the gunman replied: "'No, you've raped our women, and you are taking over the country ... I have to do what I have to do.' And he shot the young man."

With that Roof left the church and simply drove away.

In the 14 hours before he was captured the 24 hour news channels were left to their own devices to make sense of the heinous act. Many news outlets connected the dots and with the added insight that the Charleston police chief had immediately labeled the shootings a "hate crime" properly deduced that the shootings were racially motivated.

One channel however did not draw that conclusion. Fox News.

The stable of Fox's news anchors and pundits seemed to twist and contort themselves in an effort to blame anything but the obvious. 

Steve Doocy, a Fox & Friends co-host, who found it "extraordinary" that the Charleston Church shooting was being called a hate crime and instead believed it might have been politically motivated citing that Hillary Clinton had just visited the church's pastor and State Senator who had been killed in the attack. 

Later Doocy would suggest that religion was the likely motivation for the attack saying...

"And some look at it as, well, it's because it was a white guy, apparently, and a black church. But you made a great point just a moment ago about the hostility toward Christians, and it was in a church, so maybe that's what it was about."

Brian Kilmeade, Doocy's co-host, also tried to cast doubt on the idea that the gunman was motivated by race, asking a guest...

"Is it a church that has white congregants as well as black?"

Alveda King, a Fox News contributor and conservative activist with the group Priests for Life, appeared on “Fox & Friends” this morning, where she linked the shooting to abortion rights: 

You kill babies in the womb, kill people in their beds, shoot people on the streets so now you go into the church when people are praying.”

E.W. Jackson, a conservative preacher and Fox News regular, was asked by the Fox & Friends what his opinion was on the shooting and with strict adherence to the narrative replied...

I have to tell you that I’m deeply concerned that this gunman chose to go into a church, because there does seem to be a rising hostility against Christians across this country because of our biblical views. And I just think that it’s something we have to be aware of and not create an atmosphere where people take out their violent intentions against Christians.”

Heather Childers, another Fox News host, acknowledged that officials are treating the shooting as a hate crime, but stayed with the theme of the day and wondered...

"Could the shooter have been motivated by pure hatred for religion?"

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board wrote in their Thursday edition that they had taken a hard look at the killing of nine people at a historically black church and concluded that...

"What causes young men such as Dylann Roof to erupt in homicidal rage, whatever their motivation, is a problem that defies explanation."

It was not only right wing news outlets that seemed to be doing everything in their power to not state the obvious. Right wing, conservative politicians also seemed to be loath to call the attacks racially motivated. 

Bear in mind that these statements were made after the killer was caught and his racist motives were made abundantly clear.

Jeb Bush, while speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition summit in Washington on Friday, said…

"I don't know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who committed these atrocious crimes," 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a GOP presidential candidate, tied the shooting to a lack of faith among Americans during a speech Thursday at a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington.

"What kind of person goes into church and shoots nine people? There’s a sickness in our country, there’s something terribly wrong, but it isn’t going to be fixed by your government. It’s people straying away, it’s people not understanding where salvation comes from."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), another 2016 presidential candidate, told CNN that he saw the killings as an isolated act by a deranged individual.

"I just think he was one of these whacked out kids. I don't think it's anything broader than that. It's about a young man who is obviously twisted."

In addition Graham said this two days later after apparently picking up on Fox News' "religion narrative" and then deciding to add a little bit of ISIS terror just to take it up a notch…

"I just cannot explain this. I go to the mid-east a lot, I've seen hate up close. I've seen communities killed because they were a different religion and you think well that's just over there… Well sometimes it's just not over there."

Rick Santorum, also running for the White House, said hatred spurred the killings, and went on to suggest the motive may have been hatred of religion.

This is one of those situations where you just have to take a step back and say we -- you know, you talk about the importance of prayer in this time and we’re now seeing assaults on our religious liberty we’ve never seen before. It’s a time for deeper reflection beyond this horrible situation.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who is expected to announce plans for the 2016 presidential race soon, seemed uninterested in commenting on the shooter's possible motive during an interview with Fox News...

"Let's be honest, there's evil in the world. What you're seeing today, what we saw last night, that was evil. ... Law enforcement will figure out what his so-called motivations were. We shouldn't try to pretend we're going to understand his mind."

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) told CNN that he didn't "have a clue" about Roof's potential connections to white supremacists or racist groups. Instead, he pointed to Satan...

"I don't know what was going through the kid's mind, but [it's] certainly the act of a deranged human being, and this level of malice I think is unfathomable in this community, in this nation. It is ... clearly the work of the devil."

Rick Perry, Govenor of Texas and GOP presidential candidate went completely off the rails and called the shootings an "accident" and then avoided the entire subject altogether by attacking President Obama. Here is what Perry said while discussing the tragedy on a radio show...

This is the M.O. of this administration, any time there is an accident like this — the president is clear, he doesn’t like for Americans to have guns and so he uses every opportunity, this being another one, to basically go parrot that message,”

Now that Dylann Roof has been caught and there is no doubt that his crimes were committed for no other reason that the color of the victim's skin it will be interesting to see if these cowards change their tune or if they continue to pander to the Republican parties old, white, racist base.

• Updated 6/20/15

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