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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

GOP candidates, conservative pundits, and congressional Republicans have blamed the shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina last Wednesday on just about everything — including opioid abuse, Caitlyn Jenner, and anti-Christian sentiment — everything, that is, except the proliferation of guns and the persistence of racism in America.

After days of misdirection, euphemism, and evasion, Republicans are slowly coming around to the idea that the massacre was, in fact, a racially motivated act of domestic terrorism.

They’re even beginning to tentatively acknowledge, one by one, that the Confederate flag, currently flying on the lawn in front of the state Capitol, is worth reconsidering, as it is a symbol in line with the white supremacist ideologies espoused by the confessed shooter.

Hillary Clinton has had no such problems, speaking forcefully of the roles that racism, unchecked guns, and unacknowledged white privilege play in American culture, and how they contribute to violence and tragedy.

Speaking at an annual conference of mayors in San Francisco Saturday, the Democratic candidate was more upfront, saying that “race remains a deep fault line in America.”

“For a lot of well-meaning, open-minded white people,” she said, “the sight of a young black man in a hoodie still evokes a twinge of fear.” She cautioned that while media coverage of discrimination can “evoke sympathy, even empathy” from white viewers, it will rarely spur them to action, or to admit their own privilege. “We can’t hide from any of these hard truths about race and justice in America,” Clinton said. “We have to name them, and own them, and then change them.”

She also called for “common-sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the violently unstable while respecting responsible gun owners.” She expressed her wish that the gun debate would be more “informed by evidence,” not “inflamed by ideologies.”

Photo: A note on the sidewalk memorial on Friday, June 19, 2015, includes photos of the 9 who were killed at the “Mother” Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, SC. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

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Copyright 2015 The National Memo
  • stcroixcarp

    Thank you, Hillary.

  • TZToronto

    I’ve been saying all along that the elephant in the room continues to be ignored–well, there are two elephants, racism and guns. America is not a post-racial country, although many minority people have managed to succeed in a society dominated by a white majority. Well know that America is post-racial when the racial or ethnic identity of people is no longer part of the news story (e.g., He’s the first Hispanic to be elected dog catcher in Des Moines.) The ubiquity of guns and their possession by people who should have no access to them makes gun violence almost inevitable. People who say that open-carry in churches (and schools and libraries and fast-food restaurants and movies and hospitals and department stores and factories and offices and sporting events and public transit, etc.) would mean fewer gun deaths, especially by wannabe mass murderers, are deluding themselves. When everyone is carrying a gun, guns will be used–especially with stand-your-ground laws in effect.

    • hicusdicus

      I’ve been saying all along as long as there are people with different color skin there will be racism. We can stop violence that resorts to a gun the same way we have stopped violence that resorts to automobiles. Just pass more laws.

    • Dominick Vila

      I agree. As long as we continue to see each other as different sub-species, with different rights and privileges, the issue of racism will persist and, very likely, grow during times of social or economic instability. A society that does not categorize its members by ethnicity may be a chimera, at a time when hatred and a propensity to violent solutions prevail, but it is a goal we must pursue if we want to survive as a society.

  • Justin Napolitano

    Way to go Hillary.