The shooting in Charleston, South Carolina at Emanuel A.M.E. Church is just another example in a long line of examples that proves Americans are still plagued by issues of race, mental illness and a fundamental misunderstanding of history and current events. When you have someone like 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof who suffers from all three it can turn into a deadly situation.
Roof allegedly told the victims before the shooting, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go,” said Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of the church’s slain pastor.
It is clear from that statement alone that Roof is delusional and delusional people with guns don’t mix well.
First, African-Americans didn’t ask to be here. While America likes to call herself a nation of immigrants, one thing African-Americans aren’t is immigrants. Immigrants don’t arrive looking for a better life shackled and in chains.
Second, the last thing Blacks are doing is taking over anything. While I wish that were true, it simply isn’t the case. Our numbers are getting lower with each census.
Third, on the subject of rape. Who was raping whose women first? Yes—that part. I seriously doubt there’s a contingency of Black men in South Carolina walking around hunting for white women to rape. That’s the mental illness I spoke of earlier.
Fourth, I think it’s fair to say Rachel Dolezal just got bumped as being the nation’s most hated white person. In a weeks’ time, there are now two completely crazy and delusional white people who are bringing national and international shame to their race and who are an embarrassment to the good white people of America who get it.
But still, Black folks everywhere need to be on alert. It’s clear we are still very much hated in every part of this country and that there are mentally ill people with guns willing to commit domestic terrorism to act on that hate.
Jasmyne A. Cannick is a native of Los Angeles and writes about the intersection of race, pop culture, class, and politics. She was chosen as one of Essence Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World and One of the Most Influential African-Americans in Los Angeles Under 40. She can be found online at jasmyneonline.com. Follow her on Twitter @jasmyne and on Facebook at facebook.com/jasmynecannick.