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UNAC statement on Charleston

UNAC statement on Charleston

UNAC statement on Charleston
June 23
20:35 2015

It is systemic racism that killed the nine Black church members in Charleston, South Carolina just as it is systemic racism that killed Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and other Blacks, perhaps as many as two per day in 2015. The mainstream media and the politicians will deny this and claim it is the act of a lone, crazy individual or due to the lack of gun control laws, not the system that accepts South Carolina flying the confederate flag at its Capitol.

The shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was reminiscent of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed four children in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, prior to the end of Jim Crow in the South. Has the U.S. moved back to that period in our history? Are the killings of Blacks today any different than the lynchings of several decades ago? Just as the Birmingham bombers of 1963 were initially not prosecuted by the racist justice system, not one cop has been convicted for the many killings of unarmed Blacks, some caught on video.

Dylann Roof, the shooter of nine people in Charleston, will be prosecuted. His prosecution will be used to claim that we have moved past racism in South Carolina and the United States. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley claims, “We’ll never understand what motivates anyone…[to]take the life of another.” Yet this racist governor defended the flying of the confederate flag at her Capitol, one day before the shooting. She presides over a state that has 36% of its Black population living under the poverty level, according to official statistics. This is twice the rate of whites.

Had it been a Muslim firing the shots, he would be called a terrorist; bombs might be dropped on one country or another, and anti-Muslim statements would be heard widely. This is the same racism that oppresses Blacks in the United States and justifies wars abroad as part of the phony “War on Terror.” But where is the government’s will to stop this real terrorism right here in the U.S.?

UNAC urges people to protest this killing in South Carolina and to keep up the protest against the epidemic of cop killings in Black communities. We urge everyone to make arrangements to join us and more than 100 other groups in Newark, NJ on July 25 for the Million People’s March Against Police Brutality, Racial Injustice and Economic Inequality (http://njpop.org/wordpress/).

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