Race Forward Condemns Charleston Church Murders

There is a universal truth and that truth is: we all desire to be safe.  And no place is that desire more deeply held than in a place of reverence, a place of worship. That is why Race Forward joins the Charleston community and the nation in condemning the horrific murder of 9 churchgoers at Emanuel A.M.E. Church on Wednesday night. We offer our deepest condolences to all impacted directly and indirectly.

Unfortunately, racism is something that people of color live with every day. Whether we want to admit it or not, racism is deeply woven into the fabric of this country. There are times in our history, however, when racism and hate rise to such a fever pitch that it cannot be explained away, it cannot be conveniently disguised, it cannot be ignored. This is one of those times. 

As we struggle in the days and weeks to explain this unspeakable action, let us collectively resist the desire to dismiss the actions of the shooter in Charleston as “extreme acts of a deranged gunman.” Instead, let's ask questions about our collective responsibility to prevent incidents like this, about the role of our institutions in upholding discrimination, whether deliberate or not, and about the impact of our collective decisions.  Let's ask the questions that will affirm the universal need - and indeed the right - for all people to feel safe. Let's ask the questions that result in finding solutions. 

Rinku Sen

Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation