Obama: "We Are Not Cured" of Racism
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! | Video Interview
President Obama spoke openly about racism in the United States during a podcast with comedian Marc Maron. In the interview, recorded two days after the Charleston massacre, Obama said, "Racism, we are not cured of, clearly. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say 'n*****' in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior." We get a response from the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re speaking on this day after the Republican governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, reversed her position and said that the Confederate battle flag must come down off the grounds of the South Carolina state Capitol, but she’s putting it to the Legislature first. I want to go back to President Obama’s interview with Marc Maron on his podcast, WTF.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives, you know, that casts a long shadow, and that’s still part of our DNA. That’s passed on. We’re not cured of it.
MARC MARON: Racism.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We are not cured of, clearly. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say "n*****" in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. We have—societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior.
AMY GOODMAN: This clip is being played across the country, I dare say in many parts of the world, President Obama using the N-word. And I wanted to get first a response from Reverend Dr. William Barber, head of the state chapter of the NAACP in North Carolina, speaking to us from Raleigh. Your response?
REV. WILLIAM BARBER: Well, first of all, the context of what President Obama is saying is exactly right. He’s saying that to talk about race, we have to move away from just thinking it’s the extreme—i.e. just a flag, or i.e. just saying the N-word. We have to recognize, as I said earlier, what Lee Atwater explained about the Southern strategy, that Kevin Phillips designed in 1968. He said, "I know how to win the South, but we have to move away from talking about race openly. We can’t do like George Wallace or Goldwater. We have to find a way to talk about race without sounding like it." And he listed a number of things—tax cuts, forced busing, states’ rights—as code language for talking about race. Ronald Reagan used it when he started his campaign. He did not—he went—he started his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi. And he never said the N-word, but he used all of the code words. And by being in Philadelphia, where Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman were killed, it was clear.
And so, today, what the president is saying, you’ve got to look at structural, systemic racism. That’s what that young man meant when he said, "Somebody’s trying to take over and destroy my country." He had heard politicians and others saying the president is ruining the country; he’s a socialist; he’s a communist; Medicaid, healthcare reform, is destroying the country; if we raise the wages, it’s destroying the country. Only the willfully deaf, said one author that wrote a book called Racism Without Racists, cannot hear the racialized implications of that kind of rhetoric, in that kind of policy, which is why I agree with the president that we have to talk about race in terms of systemic racism and institutional racism. For instance, why is it that of the 24 states that are denying Medicaid expansion, six out of 10 African Americans live in those states? Why is it that we talk about entitlements in a way that suggests that it’s about them? The very programs that lifted up white Americans in the '40s and ’50s, after the ’60s, became an anathema in certain arenas. Why is it that we don't talk about the fact that our schools are resegregating faster now than they were in the 1970s?
We have to talk about wage disparity, both generally for all Americans, but then the disparate impact upon black people and brown people. And we’ve got to get black and brown and poor white people to understand that, in many ways, we are being played by an oligarchy that knows how to use these racialized code words to create wedge issues rather than to create the kind of moral transformative fusion of blacks, whites and browns that need to happen in this country, particularly in the South, to move us forward.
Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,100 public television and radio stations worldwide. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its "Pick of the Podcasts," along with NBC's Meet the Press.
"While stories about guns generate clicks and sound-bytes, not every every shooting is a referendum on gun policy. Rather, the gun debate too often hijacks conversations, serving as a stand-in for the discussions we desperately need to be having — and actions we should be taking — about race, violence and inequality. That’s not to say we shouldn’t talk about guns, but when it is the only debate we are capable of having, that is a problem. Calling this incident out as racial terrorism, embedded in a deep, unsavory but persistently relevant history, is a first step."
--Jennifer Carlson, "Charleston isn’t really about gun control. It’s about racial violence"--Washington Post
President Obama has once again shown a profound political and moral cowardice and fear based EVASION OF REALITY in categorically refusing to talk publicly in explicit and unambiguous terms about the real reasons behind the vicious racial terrorism committed by the arch white supremacist ideologue and mass murderer Dylann Roof. By focusing only on gun control concerns (a legislative and political effort that has been a spectacular failure for his administration given the overpowering financial and political opposition to any and all forms of gun control proposals by the national gun lobby led by the NRA and the craven prostrate subservience to its madness by politicians in not only the Republican/Tea party but among many representatives in the Democratic Party as well) Obama has once again shamefully sought to cloak his outright fear of the rhetorical and political white backlash of the national racist rightwing forces in and out of government by making the utterly absurd and cowardly claim that the murders of the nine black members of Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC. last wednesday night was simply the result of a lack of proper gun control and that if this legislation had been in place the event would never have happened or at least could have been averted somehow.
Of course in this instance (and in all instances like this one) NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. For the ugly fact is whether Obama or anyone else wants to face it or not is that the .45 handgun that Roof used in the murderous rampage was a gift from his father for his 21st birthday just two months ago and as such the firearm was not only legally registered in this particular case but that it wouldn't have made a difference in any event given the murderer's clearly stated determination to murder black people in Charleston regardless of the nature of the weapons chosen. Keep in mind that in many previous instances of racial terrorism in this country's evil history BOMBS and other weapons of mass destruction have more often been used in effectively engaging in the politics of mass murder. One could take the Oklahoma Federal Building bombing by Timothy McVeigh in April of 1995 and the infamous bombing of the 16th Street Baptist church that murdered four black girls, ages 11-14 in Montgomery, Alabama in September of 1963 as just two notorious examples in what have literally been thousands of bombings of black communities, churches, business centers, as well as the assasinations and attempted assassinations of black political and civic leaders over just the past 200 years in the U.S. alone. The point being that Roof and others like him were not--and I might ominously add here--WILL NOT be deterred by any gun control legislation either now or in the future given what the real motivation was and is in these racist and terrorist acts--which of course is NOT to say of course that national gun control is not desperately needed in a country as bloody and obsessed with guns and both homicide and suicide via gun violence as is the United States.
So given these overwhelming facts and the real historical, social, cultural, ideological, and political CONTEXT of these specific and particular FACTS in this heinous mass murder in South Carolina, what are we make of not only Obama's but far too many other public figures, black and white, COWARDLY REFUSAL to openly and honestly address and publically confront the REAL REASONS why nine innocent black human beings were slaughtered in their own church by an all too typical and extremely familiar white supremacist beast masquerading as a human being (if one knows anything about African American history at all).
Because unless and until the President as well as all the rest of us in this criminally violent and brazenly oppressive white supremacist society begin to face, confront, and actually deal with the horrific reality of who and what we are and have become in this monstrous veil of tears and mass destruction we call "our country" no amount of rhetorical evasion, social posturing, and cowardly denial of what actually exists and why is going to save us.
Charleston isn’t really about gun control. It’s about racial violence
The debate about guns ignores the major crisis we're facing
by Jennifer Carlson
June 19, 2015
The Washington Post
It’s been just a day since a gunman burst into the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., killing nine. But already, the media is abuzz with its usual response to mass shootings. On the one hand, pro-gun proponents bemoaned “pistol-free zones” like churches, where guns aren’t allowed. If the victims had been armed, they argue, this violence could have been prevented. Gun control advocates, on the other hand, lamented that easy access to guns emboldened criminals to carry out “unthinkable” crimes. Even President Obama linked the shooting to gun violence, saying “at some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.” Now Wayne LaPierre has explicitly blamed the massacre on there being too few guns in the church that night.”
But turning this shooting into a referendum on the gun debate misses the point. It obscures a deeper, more uncomfortable conversation about race that can’t be resolved by passing gun laws or loosening gun restrictions. Too often, the gun debate serves as a powerful device for avoiding explicit challenges to racial violence, whether by adhering to a colorblind narrative of “good guys” and “bad guys” (at best) or playing into racial imagery (at worst). Instead of rehashing a hackneyed gun debate that has never taken us very far in national conversations on race and racism, we should be explicitly addressing the core issue at stake: racial violence.
To say it differently, this isn’t a story about guns. It’s a story about racial terrorism.
What we know so far is that suspect Dylann Roof targeted the Emanuel AME Church both a place of worship and a historical site of black empowerment. He sat quietly for an hour, then broke out into gunfire, reloading his gun five times. As his victims pleaded with him to stop, he refused.
“I have to do it,” he reportedly said. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” He apparently wanted to spare at least one woman, so she could recount to others what happened in the church. If you substitute a noose for a gun, Roof’s actions are a shockingly unsurprising repetition of a long-standing history of Southern horrors; his desire to punish African Americans for the alleged rape of white women (“our women”), the fears of African Americans “taking over” government institutions, the insistence on using the public spectacle of white-on-black violence not just to victimize individuals but to warn and intimidate entire groups of Americans — all of these are textbook elements of the rampant racial terrorism marking the South (and, in some cases, the North) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Extralegal violence — whether in the form of rope, clubs, guns, fists, knives or other weapons — sustained this racial terrorism in Jim Crow America. According to the Equal Justice Initiative, 4,000 lynchings occurred from 1877 to 1950 in just 12 states. Race riots — such as the “Burning of Black Wall Street” in 1921 — decimated black wealth and destroyed black communities. Meanwhile, “racial cleanings,” as Elliot Jaspin explains in “Buried in Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleaning in America,“ compelled the forced expulsion of African Americans from towns across the South and the North. Each of these served to reinforce segregation and racial subordination.
Against this historical backdrop, the Charleston shooting is far from inexplicable, as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said.
The FBI keeps a tally on “hate crimes:” Not only do racially motivated crimes constitute roughly half of hate crimes reported to police, but African Americans are by far the largest group of victims — 65 percent in 2012 among race-motivated hate crimes. While a majority of hate crimes go unreported, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates around 200,000 to 300,000 happen every year, the vast majority of which are robberies, sexual assaults, aggravated assaults, simple assaults and murders.
But even as America continues to be haunted by a violent past, there is a key difference: In the past, the state was at best complicit and at worst actively involved. Today, the police chief of Charleston called the massacre as he saw it: a “hate crime” that “no community should have to experience.” Naming these acts as hate crimes is a first step in coming to terms with a violent past that continues to haunt us.
Like racial disparities in violence more generally, racial terrorism is not inevitable, but it can only begin to be addressed if we are willing to first forefront a conversation about the valuation of human life in the United States and how race continues to shape it. We need to have these conversations and use them to direct initiatives that can reduce violence across racial lines. While stories about guns generate clicks and sound-bytes, not every every shooting is a referendum on gun policy. Rather, the gun debate too often hijacks conversations, serving as a stand-in for the discussions we desperately need to be having — and actions we should be taking — about race, violence and inequality. That’s not to say we shouldn’t talk about guns, but when it is the only debate we are capable of having, that is a problem. Calling this incident out as racial terrorism, embedded in a deep, unsavory but persistently relevant history, is a first step.
Jennifer Carlson is author of Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline"
ONLY IN AMERICA (spelled as usual with three Ks): Take an openly reactionary Republican governor and proud member of the Tea Party right who has always been openly supportive of the confederate flag--as recently as three days ago in fact (Gov. Nikki Haley) along with an equally reactionary and Tea Party endorsed black Republican politician (Senator Tim Scott) who was appointed as senator in 2013 after South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley named him to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint [Scott ran in a special election in 2014 for the final two years of DeMint's second term] and who is and has always been openly reviled as a groveling "Uncle Tom" by a very substantial majority of black voters in South Carolina since his political career began over 20 years ago. Then take these two notoriously rightwing politicians plus a large and equally shameless group of other Republican/Tea Party leaders and mix them vigorously in with a genuinely progressive/liberal group of other black and white South Carolina politicians and activists. Then add the threat of absolutely certain national demonstrations and economic boycotts that would have ensued if the arch conservative Governor and Senator plus other white state representatives and the general business community in the state had not finally insisted that the confederate flag be finally taken down from flying over the state house.
Finally add the certain political and economic pressure the Bush family dynasty undoubtedly put on Governor Haley, Senator Scott and other major South Carolina Republican political leaders to take down the flag because JEB BUSH fears (rightly as it turns out) that any refusal to do so at this point by his party would absolutely ensure that he would be defeated for the Presidency against Hillary Clinton in 2016 and you have the net result that more than even the hen horrific deaths of nine black human beings at the hands of a 21st century white supremacist who believed fervently in the confederate flag and all it has stood for throughout its notorious history and you have a political compromise regarding the removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds that is deeply mired in the opportunism, evasion, hypocrisy, dishonesty, bad faith, and moral posturing that defines American politics at its core.
So now the confederate flag will finally be taken down some 150 years after the Civil war of 1861-1865 and the military defeat of the treasonous Confederacy (or a "mere" 53 years late if you count the official decision by the state of South Carolina to publicly demonstrate their intense allegiance to the doctrine and practice of White Supremacy as well as determined racist opposition to Jim Crow segregation by hoisting the flag over the statehouse in 1962.
It would be 'nice' to think of course that these rancid politicians are finally doing what should have been done nearly two centuries ago or that they're now doing it because they simply believe in the end of Jim Crow/Apartheid policies, values, and behavior, but let's not be coy or delusional about the real reasons why they've chosen to do it nowand just remind ourselves once again in our history that as Frederick Douglas in 1852 "without struggle there is no progress" and just leave it at that. Because as any sane person who has ever been oppressed knows THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES/ A LUTA CONTINUA...
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY NEVER FORGET HOW OR WHY THESE NINE PRECIOUS BLACK LIVES WERE SNUFFED OUT OR WHO AND WHAT DID IT TO THEM AND THE REST OF US...
Nikki Haley, South Carolina Governor, Calls for Removal of Confederate Battle Flag
by FRANCES ROBLES, RICHARD FAUSSET and MICHAEL BARBARO
JUNE 22, 2015
New York Times
Gov. Nikki Haley, center, embraced Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, surrounded by Democratic and Republican lawmakers at the State House on Monday. Credit Tim Dominick/The State, via Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Gov. Nikki R. Haley called on Monday for South Carolina to do what just a week ago seemed politically impossible — remove the Confederate battle flag from its perch in front of the State House building here. She argued that a symbol long revered by many Southerners was for some, after the church massacre in Charleston, a “deeply offensive symbol of a brutally offensive past.”
“The events of this week call upon us to look at this in a different way,” said Ms. Haley, an Indian-American, who is the first member of an ethnic minority to serve as governor of the state as well as the first woman.
She spoke at an afternoon news conference, surrounded by Democratic and Republican lawmakers including both of the state’s United States senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, an African-American. “Today we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it’s time to move the flag from the capitol grounds,” she said.
It was a dramatic turnabout for Ms. Haley, a second-term Republican governor who over her five years in the job has displayed little interest in addressing the intensely divisive issue of the flag. But her new position demonstrated the powerful shock that last Wednesday’s killings at Emanuel A.M.E. Church have delivered to the political status quo, mobilizing leaders at the highest levels.
Gov. Nikki R. Haley, Republican of South Carolina, on Monday called for removal of a Confederate battle flag from the State Capitol grounds.
by Reuters on Publish Date June 22, 2015. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
On Monday, the White House announced that President Obama will travel to Charleston on Friday and deliver the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, the slain pastor of the Emanuel Church and a state senator. The political aftershocks from the shootings were also felt in Mississippi, where the House speaker, a Republican, unexpectedly declared in a statement Monday night that the Mississippi state flag, which includes the Confederate banner, “has become a point of offense that needs to be removed.”
Interviews suggested that Ms. Haley’s rapidly evolving position on the flag was shaped by several factors: the horror of seeing the unsmiling gunman posing with it in photos; her conversations with congregants at the church; intensifying pressure from South Carolina business leaders to remove a controversial vestige of the state’s past; and calls from leaders of her own party, including its leading presidential contenders, urging her to take it down once and for all.
The result on Monday was a moment of political and racial drama, and a signature moment for Ms. Haley, who blended the traditional values of the South — faith, family, empathy — into a powerful call for taking down the flag as a gesture of unity, healing and renewal.
She acknowledged that some South Carolinians respect and revere the flag not as a racist symbol but as “a way to honor ancestors.” However, she added, the flag, “while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.”
The suspect in the Wednesday massacre, a 21-year-old itinerant landscaper named Dylann Roof, had posed for numerous photos with the Confederate battle flag. In the aftermath of the shootings, protesters on the streets and on social media demanded that the flag — which was unfurled over the State House in 1962, largely as a symbol of defiance of efforts to expand the civil rights of black Americans — finally be removed.
Divisive Symbolism of a Southern Flag
“Ms. Haley,” declared one prominent sign outside the church, where mourners had piled thousands of flowers. “Tear down that flag!”
The sentiment, over the years, was held by African-Americans and most liberal South Carolinians. The N.A.A.C.P. declared an “economic boycott” of the state in 1999 that remains in effect. But some white Southern voters consider the flag to be a symbol of the sacrifice of their Civil War ancestors, not of racism. As a rule, white Southerners tend to vote Republican, and over the years they have helped defeat Republicans who have tried to diminish the flag’s prominence.
In the days since the shooting, the Republican presidential hopefuls Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida have issued vague or equivocal statements, perhaps wary of losing support in the crucial South Carolina primary. (Mr. Bush, who ordered the removal of the flag from the Florida statehouse while governor, said he was confident that South Carolina would “do the right thing,” while Mr. Rubio said the state would “make the right choice for the people of South Carolina.”)
But inside the governor’s office, Ms. Haley’s phone line lit up with messages from national Republican officials offering words of condolence, among them Mr. Bush, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mitt Romney, all current, likely or former candidates for president, and Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. In some cases, there was also something else: subtle encouragement to dispatch the flag.
Mr. Romney, a financial backer of Ms. Haley’s campaigns, was explicit, according to an adviser: The flag, he believed, had to come down, a message he delivered Saturday morning on Twitter to an extraordinary response. Thousands of people, including Mr. Obama, retweeted the message, many of them heralding his stand.Photo
Jennice Barr, 10, wrote on a board in front of Emanuel A.M.E. Church, where nine were killed. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Over the weekend, Ms. Haley and her staff reached out to top officials like Representative James E. Clyburn, the ranking African-American member of Congress, sounding them out on the issue, and on Monday, she summoned officials to her office and told them of her decision: It was time for the Confederate flag to stop flying over the historic building’s grounds. Every leading South Carolina politician — stunned by the massacre, moved by the church’s demonstration of grace and fearful of the repercussions from inaction — agreed.
“If you want to credit anybody here, credit the families of the victims and the church members who displayed Christianity and love,” Mr. Graham said. “The politicians followed their moral authority.”
The repercussions from the church attack went beyond politics. Walmart said Monday that it would remove all Confederate battle flag merchandise from its stores.
Some opposition remains within the legislature. State Senator Lee Bright, a conservative lawmaker from Spartanburg, said it was unfortunate that the flag issue was being taken up in the midst of so much grief. He said supports the flag as a symbol of the state’s history.
The Confederate battle flag outside the State Capitol in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday. Credit Jason Miczek/Reuters
“There are those of us who have ancestors that fought and spilled blood on the side of the South when they were fighting for states’ rights, and we don’t want our ancestors relegated to the ash heaps of history,” he said. “Through the years, the heroes of the South have been slandered, maligned and misrepresented, and this is a further activity in that.”
However, a leader of the Sons of Confederate Veterans group in South Carolina, while signaling his disappointment in the governor’s recommendation, said the organization — which prominently features the battle flag at the State House on its website — said he expected his group’s members would go along with whatever decision was made.
“With the winds that started blowing last week, I figured it would just be a matter of time,” said Ken Thrasher, the lieutenant commander of the group’s South Carolina division. “Whatever the legislature decides to do, we will accept it graciously.”
Mr. Thrasher said he and others in his organization were “saddened, but we’re going to move forward.”
“We’re not a racist group,” he added.
The Shootings in a Charleston Church
Where the attack happened, some statistics behind hate crimes, and maps of Charleston’s shifting population.
Cornell William Brooks, president and chief executive of the national N.A.A.C.P., who hails from South Carolina, said Monday that the governor “had done what was needed. She, as a governor of a Southern state, has done a very Southern thing,” he said. “And here’s what I mean: The South is known for its hospitality, and what could be more hospitable than to be inclusive? Bringing that flag down is a symbol to the rest of the country. It’s a symbol that South Carolina stands with inclusiveness.”
The fate of the recommendation in the Republican-dominated General Assembly is far from certain. Some senior Republicans in the state were concerned about the scope of the eventual bill. And others were frustrated that Mr. Scott, the only black Republican in the United States Senate and a popular figure among conservatives, did not speak at the news conference.
The governor made her announcement nearly 15 years after a delicate compromise took effect in South Carolina: The American and state flags remained above the State House, but the Confederate battle flag was moved to a position in front of the building. In a reflection of the sensitivity of the debate, the agreement was detailed — it called, for instance, for the battle flag to be flown 30 feet in the air from a flagpole set 10 feet from the base of the Confederate Soldier Monument — and it sharply restricted when war memorials across the state could be “relocated, removed, disturbed or altered.”
The agreement also required that any changes be subject to two-thirds votes in each chamber of the legislature.
On Monday, a number of state legislators, including some Republicans, said the two-thirds requirement may not be legally binding. But Ms. Haley said she would like the legislature to act soon. State Senator Tom Davis, a Republican who supports the proposal, said there were a number of potential procedural complications.
The General Assembly is currently in session by virtue of a “sine die” resolution that allows lawmakers to take up specifically enumerated issues. To address the flag issue, Mr. Davis said, the resolution would have to be amended — and that, he said, would take a two-thirds vote in each house.
As a candidate in 2010, Ms. Haley said the issue had been “resolved to the best of its ability” by the compromise a decade earlier. As a candidate in 2014, she said that when she was trying to recruit business to the state, “not a single C.E.O.” had mentioned the flag as a potential sticking point.
On Monday, Ms. Haley mentioned her ethnicity, and that of Mr. Scott — who also called for the removal of the flag in a statement Monday — as part of an argument that the state had changed for the better.
Shortly after the governor’s announcement, drivers honked their horns as they drove past the State House, in apparent support of her decision.
Jayne Williams stood beside the Confederate flag, with small American flags assembled in tiny flower pots — one for each of the Emanuel victims. She held a sign that said, #Its ComingDown.
Frances Robles reported from Columbia, Richard Fausset from Charleston, S.C., and Michael Barbaro from New York. Reporting was contributed by Richard Pérez-Peña from New York, Alan Blinder from Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker from Washington.
A version of this article appears in print on June 23, 2015, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Governor Joins the Call to Take Down Rebel Flag.
Let's see now...How does one properly respond to this?...O yeah, I know. The phrase "Do miracles never cease?..." comes to mind. But in fact this gesture is in my view far too little far too late for a truly lame and self serving President who has never possessed the fundamental courage and commitment to do what is either necessary or right with respect to serious questions of social and economic justice—and especially with regard to those issues and concerns dealing directly with black people as citizens or human beings in this country. But as we say "it is what it is", right? BTW I really hate that phrase...
President Obama to deliver slain pastor’s eulogy in Charleston
by Juliet Eilperin
June 22, 2015
The Washington Post
President Obama, with Vice President Biden, pauses while speaking in the White House briefing room Thursday. (Susan Walsh/AP)
This story has been updated.
The president will deliver the eulogy for Pinckney, a state senator and pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he was killed.
Pinckney, 41, was leading a Bible group when a white gunman opened fire inside the historic African American church on Wednesday, killing nine.
In a statement last week, Biden decried "the senseless actions of a coward" and recalled that he last saw Pinckney at a 2014 prayer breakfast in Columbia.
"He was a good man, a man of faith, a man of service who carried forward Mother Emanuel’s legacy as a sacred place promoting freedom, equality, and justice for all," Biden said.
The president also noted that he and first lady Michelle Obama knew Pinckney.
The pastor's funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at TD Arena on the College of Charleston campus.
Speaking on the South Carolina Senate floor just weeks before his death, Pinckney said that his faith required forgiveness, even of those who kill.
"The Lord teaches us to love all," he said, "and we pray that over time, justice will be done."
READ MORE: Clementa Pinckney, preacher and legislator, spoke out for justice
The pastor killed in Charleston gave a chilling speech on racism a few weeks ago
Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.
Campaign Donations Linked to White Supremacist
by ERIC LICHTBLAU
JUNE 22, 2015
New York Times
The leader of a white supremacist group that has been linked to Dylann Roof, the suspect in the murder of nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church last week, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns, including those of 2016 presidential contenders such as Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul, records show.
Mr. Cruz, a Texas senator, said Sunday night that he would be returning about $8,500 in donations that he had received from the Texas donor, Earl Holt III, who lists himself as president of the Council of Conservative Citizens.
“We just learned this evening that Mr. Holt had contributed to the campaign,” a spokesman for the Cruz campaign said in an email to The New York Times. “We will be immediately refunding all those donations.”
The Guardian first reported on Mr. Holt’s donations to the Republican contenders.
A manifesto that appeared on a website registered to Mr. Roof said that the manifesto’s author had first learned of “brutal black-on-white murders” from the Council of Conservative Citizens’ website.
Mr. Holt, in a statement posted online in his name, said he was not surprised to learn that Mr. Roof had found out about “black-on-white violent crime” from his group because, he said, it was one of the few that had the courage to disclose “the seemingly endless incidents involving black-on-white murder.” But he said his group does not advocate violence and should not be held responsible for the shootings.
The group is regarded by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leading authority on hate crimes, as a white supremacist extremist organization that opposes “race mixing” as a religious affront and that vilifies blacks as an inferior race.
Spokesmen for Mr. Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, and Mr. Paul, a senator from Kentucky, did not respond to requests for comment on the donations.
Mr. Holt, who identified himself in some donation records as a Texas “slumlord,” has also given money to a number of other current and former Republican members of Congress, including Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, former Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Representative Steve King of Iowa, and former Representative Todd Akin of Missouri.
A version of this article appears in print on June 22, 2015, on page A12 of the New York edition with the headline: Campaign Donations Linked to White Supremacist.