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Grieving the Victims of the Charleston Church Terrorist Attack

Grieving the Victims of the Charleston Church Terrorist Attack

By on June 18, 2015 in civil rights

On this first day of Ramadan, our nation grieves the victims of a terrorist attack that took place at an historic Charleston Church in South Carolina, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church . My friend and fellow interfaith peace lover, Larry Perlman, put to words what I could not say better! With his permission, I am posting his sentiments on my blog as I share these sentiments and feel them deeply. Thank you, Larry. May the families of the victims be comforted and may our fight against bigotry and extremism never waver! Amen. ~Yasmina

#Charleston #CharlestonShooting

“9 innocent people were brutally murdered in South Carolina yesterday. By all accounts, it looks like they were murdered because of the color of their skin. And in what should have been the sanctuary of their church, no less.

White privilege is a convenient thing. It gives me a panoply of options to respond to this atrocity, including:

(a) No response it all: “It happened to ‘them,’ not me, so why do I care? There are people murdered all the time in the U.S. Oh look, a cute cat picture on Facebook.”

(b) Attribute it to mental illness: “So sad, but he was clearly a crazy lunatic. I hope they catch him. No greater lessons to learn.”

(c) Make excuses: “So sad. But let’s not jump to conclusions. Maybe the church owed him money. Or, maybe he had a personal dispute with the pastor. Why does everything have to be about race?”

I could choose any of those options and move on. That’s my luxury. But I refuse to do so. Because this attack was no different than a pogrom or a terrorist bombing. No different at all. My fellow Americans were killed by someone who apparently refused to see these victims as his fellow Americans. And so, it needs to be said:

– If you think we are in a post-racial society and all of our country’s deep, painful legacy of race relations and inequality have been resolved, you are part of the problem.

– If you think that only people who are not white and are not Christian or Jewish can be terrorists, you are part of the problem.

– If you think that it is okay to live in a country where there are absolutely no checks on the ability of a 21 year old racist murderer to have easy access to firearms, you are part of the problem.

– If you think that peacefully and legitimately protesting incidents of possible police brutality somehow justifies violence against those who make their protests, you are part of the problem.

And so, I speak up – which is still a relatively simple option, but a necessary minimal option. Clearly, I am angry and dismayed. I will continue to speak up and I will also aim to identify ways in which I too may be inadvertently part of the problem. And, I will think of ways to turn my anger and dismay to positive action. I encourage others to do the same.” ~Larry Perlman

Featured image credit: CNN

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About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Writer and Muslim Activist. I'm also a Board Member of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign. Follow my blog at yasminareality.com or follow me on Twitter: @yasmina_reality. I'm also now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YasminaReality Peace! .

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