As we mourn the death of Sandra Bland who was arrested one week ago today, and Eric Garner who was killed one year ago today, let us remember also the Charleston 9. One month ago today, nine precious lives were lost after a man who had been welcomed with open arms methodically gunned each one of them down. That this unspeakable horror occurred in the most sacred of spaces gives evidence to fact that Black bodies cannot be safe anywhere as long as the violence of racist patriarchy is nurtured and sustained.
In order to truly mourn the loss of the 6 women and 3 men who lost their lives, we must continue to acknowledge that what happened in Charleston was not an isolated incident. We know that many times in our history, the instincts that label Black bodies as problematic populations are evident in the actions of killers without a badge as well in the mindsets of those who have acted with one.
Today we reject the murderous intentions of Dylan Roof to turn turn their deaths into symbols of genocide and fear. We cannot allow it. Nor can we succumb to the impulse of many to turn away from this vicious embodiment of anti-Black racism. Join us today in honoring the lives of the Charleston 9 and all those who have lost their lives to anti-Black violence. Download the picture at the top of this post and join us in tweeting and sharing it on social media throughout the day along with the hashtag #RememberCharleston.
And for those who can, join us this evening (Friday) for a virtual vigil by tweeting or posting each of their names beginning at 9:05pm EST, exactly one month after their lives were stolen from them along with the hashtag #RememberCharleston.
Together, let’s continue saying their names and honoring their lives by taking a stand against racism and patriarchy in all its manifestations.