Thursday Reads: A Sad Day

Split Sadness, Nicki Sands

Split Sadness, Nicki Sands

A Sorrowful Good Morning.

The top story this morning is the shocking mass murder of 9 people in a predominantly black church in Charleston, South Carolina yesterday. Authorities are calling it a hate crime. The shooter has not yet been caught, but surveillance photos of him and his care have been released.

Reuters reports: Manhunt follows attack on historic black South Carolina church.

Police in Charleston, South Carolina, were searching for a white gunman on Thursday who killed nine people in a historic African-American church, in an attack that police and the city’s mayor described as a hate crime.

The shooter, a 21-year-old white man with sandy blond hair, sat with churchgoers inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for about an hour on Wednesday before opening fire, Police Chief Gregory Mullen said.

The victims included Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor and a Democratic member of the state Senate, his cousin and fellow state senator, Kent Williams, told CNN.

The gunman is extremely dangerous, Mullen said, and police did not have a sense of where he might be.

“This is an unfathomable and unspeakable act by somebody filled with hate and with a deranged mind,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley told reporters.

Six females and three males died in the attack, Mullen said.

AP photo: Police talk to a man outside the Emanuel AME Church following a shooting, June 17, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina.

AP photo: Police talk to a man outside the Emanuel AME Church following a shooting, June 17, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina.

More from The Washington Post: 9 dead in ‘hate crime’ shooting at historic African American church in Charleston.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Police widened the search Thursday for a gunman who opened fire and killed nine people during a prayer service at a historic African American church in downtown Charleston, in one of the worst attacks on a place of worship in the United States in recent memory.

At least one other person was injured in the Wednesday night assault, which began about an hour after the assailant entered the church and observed the service, authorities said.

“We believe this is a hate crime; that is how we are investigating it,” Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said at a dawn news conference.

What a horrible crime. I hope they catch this dangerous young man soon.

Officers in fatigues, some with dogs, said they were searching “near and far” for the gunman, described as a clean-shaven white male in his early 20s with sandy blond hair and a slight build. Police said he was wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and Timberland boots. He is believed to be the only shooter.

At a nearby Embassy Suites, which was serving as an informal headquarters for church members, people began sobbing and screaming as they learned details about what had happened.

“We just left speaking to members of the families,” Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley (D) told reporters overnight. “It was a heartbreaking scene I have never witnessed in my life before.” ….

Though authorities did not release the names of the victims, the church’s pastor, Clementa Pinckney, who is also a South Carolina state senator, was missing after the shooting, and some members of the congregation feared the worst. Indeed, House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford said Pinckney was among the dead, and friends started posting “RIP” condolences on social media.

Suspect police are searching for in connection with the shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina is seen from CCTV footage released by the Charleston Police Department June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Charleston Police Department

Suspect police are searching for in connection with the shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina is seen from CCTV footage released by the Charleston Police Department June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Charleston Police Department

From ABC News: Police Release Photos of Charleston, South Carolina, Church Shooting Suspect.

The suspect was described as approximately 5-foot-9, wearing a sweatshirt with distinctive markings and Timberland boots, police said. Joining the search were the FBI and state law enforcement.

Police also said the car he was driving had a “very distinctive” license plate. Officials would not elaborate on the make and model of the car.

“This is an all-hands-on deck effort with the community and law enforcement,” Mullen said.

Police said they had set up a tip line — 1-800-CALL-FBI — advised the public to be alert and said to call 911 and not approach.

How many more of these mass shootings do we need to have before we do something to control access to guns in this country? This time it’s a hate crime too. If this isn’t terrorism, what is?

Rev. Clementa Pinckney

Rev. Clementa Pinckney

According to The Chicago Tribune, Rev. Clementa Pinckney had sponsored a bill to have police officers wear body cameras.

Pinckney 41, was a married father of two who was elected to the state House at age 23, making him the youngest member of the House at the time.

“He never had anything bad to say about anybody, even when I thought he should,” Rutherford, D-Columbia, said. “He was always out doing work either for his parishioners or his constituents. He touched everybody.”

The attack came two months after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, by a white police officer in neighboring North Charleston that sparked major protests and highlighted racial tensions in the area. The officer has been charged with murder, and the shooting prompted South Carolina lawmakers to push through a bill helping all police agencies in the state get body cameras. Pinckney was a major sponsor of that bill.

I’m feeling incredibly sad. I don’t know what else to say.

And now this from Raw Story: Shooter opens fire on church in Memphis hours after terrorist kills nine in Charleston.

During choir practice in Memphis, a gunman opened fire. A bullet remains lodged in the wall of the church, CBS reports.

As of press time, police are at the St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church on Pendleton Street making inquiries and collecting information. WREG reports officers were called to the scene at 6:45 a.m. on Thursday.

No one was injured during the shooting.

News of the Memphis shooting spread quickly on social media this morning, in a country grappling with this Wednesday’s shooting by a white man in Charleston, South Carolina whoopened fire in a black church and killed nine people.

Read some of the tweets at the link. And please be careful in Memphis, JJ.

More News:

I’m going to give you the rest of the news in a link dump. I have to rush around today, because I’m getting ready to leave for Indiana tomorrow to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday. Her birthday was June 10, but we’re having a big party on the 27th. I have to get out there early to help get things organized.

Hollywood Reporter: Donald Trump Campaign Offered Actors $50 to Cheer for Him at Presidential Announcement.

The New York Daily News: Five-decade study links pesticide DDT to breast cancer.

The Washington Post: The $10 bill will soon feature a woman. But the debate is only beginning.

A racial incident involving police and black teenagers in Cincinnati: What really happened at Fairfield pool?

The New York Times: Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change.

The Guardian: Pope’s climate change encyclical tells rich nations: pay your debt to the poor.

The New Republic: The Last Time Conservatives Dismissed a Major Encyclical, It Ended Terribly for Them.

Salon: Fox News as we know it may be screwed: Roger Ailes’ stunning rebuke could spell the end. With Rupert Murdoch stepping aside, Roger Ailes will now report to Murdoch’s Fox-hating sons.

New York Magazine: Roger Ailes’s Demotion Signals Power Shift Within Murdoch Empire.

CNN: Brian Williams expected to stay at NBC (but he won’t be a news anchor).

WPTZ Channel 5: No evidence escaped prisoners have left area, police say. 600 officers still searching for David Sweat, Richard Matt.

The Washington Post: Why Roger Goodell might be in tough spot on Tom Brady suspension.

CBS News: American Enterprise Institute finds Wells Report ‘deeply flawed.’ They found no evidence that the Patriots’ footballs were even deflated.

What else is happening? Please share your thoughts and links in the comment thread below.

78 Comments on “Thursday Reads: A Sad Day”

  1. Delphyne49 says:

    The violence is just unfathomable. The kid has been identified, according to Raw Story.

  2. Delphyne49 says:

    BB – have a safe trip and Happy Birthday to your mom!

  3. Fannie says:

    Ditto BB, have a great trip, and a safe one. Hugs to your 90 year old Mother!

  4. janicen says:

    I’m surprised you were able to get a post up with how busy you are, bb but thank you. It looks like this young man’s mind was twisted by hate filled messages. He will be caught soon but the lives of so many are changed forever because of his monstrous actions.

  5. janicen says:

    I just got a text from the NYT. They got him. I’ll find a link.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks. The kid looks like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange.

      From the Raw Story article:

      His car has a “Confederate States of America” license plate on the front bumper.

      • dakinikat says:

        Did you see that his friend considered his “southern pride” and racist jokes unremarkable? Good grief!

        My relatives that signed the Constitution were the Pinckeys from South Carolina. I’m pretty sure the pastor and I are connected some how by the past sins of the Confederacy one way or another. It really makes you realize that Fox news and Republican politicians weaponize these loser white males by filling their crack-laced heads with anger and resentment and they aim them at the poor, the disenfranchised and folks they have more in common with than they realize.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          All of us who live in the South understand the code embedded in the term Southern Pride. WTF is Southern Pride? It’s nothing but those who still hold onto white supremacy. They are the same people who brandish their confederate flag for any and every occasion. I think you had an occasion back a couple of years ago when a few of those South Carolina Southern Pride folks, otherwise known as secessionists, were posting here and you blocked them. Do you remember??? They’re all full of that “South gonna rise Again” rhetoric and bragging about how many of them there really are when we know they’re a dying breed. I imagine we’ll find out this kid was influenced by one or more of these folks and when/if we do I hope it raises the curtain on these people once and for all.

          • dakinikat says:

            Yes. Nikki Haley lets that flag fly over the Capitol too. Yet she asks how can this happen?

          • ANonOMouse says:

            And she showed up at a press conference this morning in Charleston all teary eyed. It made me sick to watch her. The festering racism against Obama that the right uses to blame him (the black man) for everything that’s wrong in America pushes the button of these loons and now the right stands back and acts horrified? They play with that fire then act surprised when it burns? To my mind what happened last night in Charleston is act of domestic terrorism driven by white supremacy and those who push those buttons EVERY FUCKING DAY, 24/7/365, share in the blame.

        • bostonboomer says:

          I think police attitudes toward African Americans that have been so much in the news for the past couple of years give encouragement to these white supremacist crazies too.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Jesus, he really does. All he needs are false eyelashes.

    • janicen says:

      The text says they got him 200 miles away in a town in NC, Shelby, NC.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Father of Charleston terrorist Dylann Roof gave him a gun for his 21st birthday

    Suspected Charleston terrorist backed apartheid states — including the Confederacy

    • bostonboomer says:

      I didn’t realize that Hillary had cancelled her events because of this shooting. Is that true? If so, Pierce is right. She should have been there to talk to the people who are grief stricken and fearful.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I can’t find that she cancelled anything. Bush did. I think she may have left the state before the shooting, but I’m not sure yet. The call about the shooting came in to police at 9:05 last night.

        • janicen says:

          She left before the shooting as I understand it.

        • babama says:

          Yes, she had left:

          She took the time to speak (by phone) with Walter Scott’s mother while there yesterday.

          This sort of cheap shot is beneath Pierce. It’s no stretch to imagine the accusations that would fly if she was to insert herself into the situation. Bush.3 was right to cancel his event. Candidates take a backseat. Listening to the local news, it is evident that Charleston has a strong social justice community. I trust their leaders to lead. This is a tragedy and President Obama is the appropriate comforter in chief today. His remarks were spot on. Hillary knows that, and Charles ought to.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I agree. I’m sorry Pierce felt he had to lump Hillary in with Jeb.

          • Fannie says:

            I hope he gets it right, because that isn’t fair to Hillary. However, without reading his article, I thought maybe those that are from the SC, and are paid servants should show up, as did Jim Clyburn.

            Bush, did cancel early on. Here again, I wasn’t thinking of campaign speeches, but compassionate voices!

      • Fannie says:

        Jeb Bush cancelled out for today. He’s the one who missed out on the opportunity to give a compassionate speech to the community. Notice Jim Clyburn was there giving a speech, hear Pres. Obama’s speech. Ain’t it strange, Lindsey Graham is no where to be seen, and neither is the Tea Party elect, Tim Scott.

        Hillary did respond with condolences. I just worry about her, the hatred for her is at a all time high too, and she could be targeted.

        Dlynna Stormin Roof, is part of the White Supremacy movement, and something like 200 exist in SC.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      From what I’ve read and heard, Hillary was gone from SC before the shooting.

  7. Sweet Sue says:

    And once again, if we rail against the availability of lethal weapons to all and sundry, we’re “politicizing” the murders of nine innocent people.
    Guess, I’ll go watch Nikki Haley cry her crocodile tears on TV.
    So sad to see a once mighty county crumble from within.

    • Fannie says:

      I called her office, told them to take down the Confederate Flag.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        Good, I wonder how much pro gun legislation she’s signed since taking office.

        • Fannie says:

          O, they can carry in restaurants. She’s gonna push for churches to be included.

          • Sweet Sue says:

            Well sure, Fannie, all it takes to stop a bad man with a gun is a good eighty seven year old woman with a gun!

          • NW Luna says:

            Only provided you have a crystal ball and have your gun out first before the bad guy.

            You’d think that mass shooting at the military base would have shut the gun nuts up, but no. Moregunsmorgunzmorgunz they drool.

      • babama says:

        Thank you Fannie! I hope that becomes a movement. It’s the least that could change from this.

        • Fannie says:

          I sure want to see “change” too. After all we are living in the 21st century.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Haley is a fucking hypocrite. Acting all teary eyed during the press conference, while being the only Governor in the United States that still honors the Confederacy by flying it’s sick, demented flag. Goddam it!!!!! TAKE THAT GODDAM FLAG DOWN!

      • babama says:

        She really does come across like a poster child for white fragility!

        I have felt for a long time that Neo-Confederates (and I’ve met more than a few here in CA and WA State where I was born) need a good hard reminder that the Civil War is over and they lost. Period.

        I’m beyond sad and angry today, this tragedy makes me even more determined to push back stronger and longer, that’s how I can honor the lives lost. At this point I’m all about the future for the children, mine, my grands, and all those who are going to come after me for generations to come. That’s what I live for and I’m not quitting.

        One of the best things I read today:

        • bostonboomer says:

          Great article. Thanks for the link.

          It’s about the kids for me too. I want those who come after me to live in a better world than this.

      • NW Luna says:

        WTF, actually flying a Confederate flag? Shameful and horrible.

        I do not understand why that isn’t treason.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          The SC State Legislature passed a bill a few years back to allow them to Fly the Confederate flag at the State Capital over the Confederate soldier monument. It had flown over the Capital building itself until 2000. That flag has no place on the grounds of any State Office building in any State. That damned war has been over for 150 years. It’s about time the fools who identify themselves as aligned with the Confederacy get the picture that those days are gone FOREVER.

          Nikki Haley. Take the Goddam Confederate Flag Down.

    • roofingbird says:

      Amongst those killed was a state senator and it was in the name of cleansing the world…an assassination. That’s pretty political.

      • Well do you think Ricky Perry has iced the cake?

        “In an interview today with Steve Malzberg of Newsmax, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry described the mass shooting at an African American church in Charleston earlier this week as an “accident” that was possibly caused by the over-prescription of medication. ”


        “Instead of talking about guns, Perry said, we should be talking about prescription drugs: “Also, I think there is a real issue to be talked about. It seems to me, again without having all the details about this, that these individuals have been medicated and there may be a real issue in this country from the standpoint of these drugs and how they’re used.”

        He said that such drugs are responsible for high suicide and joblessness rates, adding that “there are a lot of issues underlying this that I think we as a country need to have a conversion about rather than just the knee-jerk reaction of saying, ‘If we can just take all the guns away, this won’t happen.’”

        He added that while the shooting was “a crime of hate,” he didn’t know if it should be called a terrorist attack.”

      • roofingbird says:

        I guess it depends on which cake, JJ. The cake of mass sheep thinking? Yes.


  8. Sweet Sue says:

    Ah yes, Senate Bill 308 in 2014 and a special thank you from the NRA.
    Keep dry eye crying on television, Nikki.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Hillary Clinton: U.S. must face ‘hard truths’ after South Carolina shooting.

    Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton said on Thursday after a deadly shooting in a South Carolina church that the United States must face “hard truths” about race and violence.

    “We have to face hard truths about race, violence, guns and division,” she told a Las Vegas conference of Hispanic elected officials. “How many innocent people in our country from little children, church members to movie theater attendees, how many people do we need to see cut down before we act?”

    • janicen says:

      That’s very similar to Obama’s statement I watched earlier today. I don’t know who said it first, but they are obviously in agreement.

  10. babama says:

    Given a State Senator was murdered, why is this not being called an assassination?

    Why are we not hearing the words “Domestic Terrorism”?

    When comes the public discussion about what is wrong with disenfranchised young white men and the pathologies of the white American family and white American culture?

    Fox news, right wing media, and the Republican party have been whipping up resentment, hatred and fear for years now. The GOP has made obstruction, disenfranchisement, and undermining government and the President the centerpiece of their agenda. Even to the point of openly advocating rebellion and secession! When does that get called out? When is enough, ENOUGH? When comes our American “at last, have you no shame” moment?

    There is blood on their hands today. Again. When will it end?

    • janicen says:

      Let’s face it, we’re lucky there is any sympathy at all and a noticeable lack of victim blaming. That’s only because it happened in a church. If some white dude went up and shot 9 black people at a picnic or standing on a sidewalk, this would not be looked at as such a tragic event. Questions would be asked, “What did they do to incite him?” “Was this a drug deal gone bad?” The fact that they were Christians studying the bible carries a lot of weight in this country.

  11. Sweet Sue says:

    Our country is broken. Ultimately, does it matter whom we elect as President with those freaks in the House of Representatives?
    Don’t get me wrong; I’ll crawl over glass to vote for HRC, but I’m losing heart.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s how I felt when I wrote this post. It’s so incredibly discouraging.

  12. bostonboomer says:

    Dylann Roof Was Planning Charleston Shooting ‘For Six Months,’ Roommate Says

    “He was big into segregation and other stuff,” Tyler said. “He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself.”

    Tyler said he met Roof, a Lexington, South Carolina native, through a good friend. He also said Roof’s parents, with whom he said the suspect was “on and off,” had previously bought him a gun but never allowed him to take it with him until this past week.

    What kind of person wants a roommate like that? Why didn’t he tell someone?

    • Sweet Sue says:

      And he never thought of contacting the FBI.

      • bostonboomer says:

        One of his friends, Derrick “D-Gutta” Pearson, wrote on his own Facebook page on Thursday morning that he was “wondering why I woke up to 15 friend requests,” adding that he didn’t know where Roof was.

        Pearson warned people to stay away from Roof if they saw him, writing that it was “obvious lives do not matter to him.” Pearson also published a photo that appeared to show Roof sitting on the hood of a black car with a license plate that says “Confederate States of America”, a reference to the pro-slavery forces from the U.S. Civil War….

        A childhood friend with whom Roof had recently become reacquainted said Roof started railing about the Trayvon Martin case in recent weeks, complaining about black people “taking over the world” and about the need for someone to do something about it for the sake of “the white race.”

        • NW Luna says:

          Sick, sick. WTF is the matter with people that they can’t see the danger and alert the authorities to watch these crazies?

  13. Sweet Sue says:

    So, I googled as you do, and, sure enough, Darling Nikki has an A+ rating with the NRA.

  14. Boo Radly says:

    BB – happy birthday wishes for your Mom. Have a safe journey. Thank you for taking the time to post this. I have been watching on CNN as this event unfolds. I am devastated, lived in the South for decades and viewed ‘Southern Pride’ at a very early age. It sickened me than. But,
    it is within all social levels. You would be shocked at the people who ‘practice’ it. I was terribly wrong thinking that things had changed. Horrific.

    Can this event be catalyst to evince changing the gun laws? Base it on moral principles?

  15. Boo Radly says:

    His roommate said he planned this for six months. Said he was going to kill blacks and then kill himself?? Why did he not report it? What makes a 21 year old hate some much?

  16. Boo Radly says:

    *some = so

  17. RalphB says:

    A comment on an NYT story about the Charleston terrorist massacre is perfect.

    I am Irish. For many years in my native land the Rev. Ian Paisley spouted bigoted hatred about Catholics in Northern Ireland, but then claimed innocence when some militant sectarian group massacred Catholics. Speech was not murder, he said. He would never condone killing, he said. Then he went right back to feeding the attitudes that spawned the killing. Few were fooled.

    We should not be fooled in America today.

    In this country the “mainstream” right-wing has made an industry of demonizing African-Americans as “thugs” and criminals – just look at the divergence in tone between the recent coverage of Ferguson or Baltimore and the (mostly white) biker massacre in Waco, TX. For decades, white America has been told that black Americans are lazy leeches, dependent on hand-outs funded by your hard-earned taxes to bankroll their immoral lifestyles.

    The first black president was greeted by the right not only with diehard obstructionism but a chorus of color-coded abuse (“lazy,” “food-stamp president” etc) and questions about his very American-ness: he was “not one of us,” a foreigner adhering to a foreign religion who has no right to be president.

    The siren song of racial hate relentlessly put out by the “mainstream” right finds echo in the gunshots that rang out in Charleston.

    Rightists will, of course, deny the connection, the way Paisley did. But we are not fooled.

  18. Beata says:

    BB, we are having very heavy rain and flash floods across the state and throughout the Ohio Valley. With luck, the bad weather will be over by the time you get here. If it isn’t, stick to the main highways and you should be fine. Take care and enjoy your mother’s birthday celebration.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, Beata. I heard about it. I take the northern route on I-90, so I hope I’ll be OK. I know they had flooding in Cleveland a few days ago, but the forecast looks OK today and some thunderstorms tomorrow. I will be careful.

  19. RalphB says:

    Australian comic sxplains why the rest of the world thinks the US is nuts on gun laws.