Dylann Roof, a 21 year-old white man who allegedly shot and killed nine black church-goers during Emanuel AME’s bible study on Wednesday evening, was captured nearby Thursday morning in Shelby, NC. The Charleston Police Department believe the murders to be racially motivated as Charleston Police, Chief Greg Mullen confirmed “We believe this is a hate crime; that is how we are investigating it,” at a news conference.
And it didn’t take long for people’s powerful reactions and thoughts on the massacre to pour in on Twitter. Holding the #1 trending spot, #CharlestonShooting had many expressing outrage at the initial lack of coverage, and even built to those calling out giants like Fox News and CNN once again supporting a white male perpetrator with black victims being disregarded. Echoing the misfortunes of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott and countless others, many believe this was a racially-motivated hate crime that went too far.
Celebs reached out to the victims of the massacre, taking to Twitter to share condolences.
And throughout the day, it was easy easy to see the frustration regarding media’s and the country’s collective response to white male criminals permeate much of the grief posted on social media.
People compared the coverage Muslim and black shooters receive to the very different, gentle (or even more honest) “slap on the wrist” punishments and excuses that are often given to white male murderers.
There is no denying that an epidemic of black people being subjected to violence or, worse yet, murdered by white perpetrators is not only a contemporary issue, but something that can be traced back nearly 200 years. Slavery, lynchings, and the days of JIm Crow have manifested itself into institutionalized racism, in which white police officers use excessive violence, pool parties are racial battle grounds and white 21 year olds become terrorists.
These tweets remind everyone that this hate crime is not only painfully reminiscent of the South’s dark history with racism, but makes those think, racism never had it’s ending point.