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Charleston SC Shows Courage and Grace in the Face of Adversity

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 22, 2015

van jonesIt is difficult to contemplate even the smallest sign of something positive coming from last week’s tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina when a despicable human being, a racist, entered a church and killed nine innocents of African-American descent because of the color of their skin.  Yet there are some green shoots rising from the carnage, as expressed by Anthony Van Jones who said when interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper:

“The white community here is as heartbroken as the black community is here.  If they can come together here, if they can reach out to each other here, they can show justice and love and support here, then why can’t we do that in Washington, D.C., and across the country where, frankly, the reasons for the divisions are harder to understand.  Here you can understand division.  There’s none.  There’s none.  So something is happening here in Charleston, and I’m proud that we’re showing it.

You have an ideology of hatred and an ideology of love.  An ideology of blame that is about racial hatred — we have to say that.  But we also have ideology right here behind us of racial reconciliation.  You can’t appreciate the beauty of what you have behind you right now until you really name the hatred and the evil that happened just right behind us a few days ago.  It’s the ability to talk about both that gives us the ability to find meaning and to move forward truly together.

Those leaders in the country, both parties of all races who don’t want to deal with both — the fact of the racial hatred, but also the potential for racial reconciliation — I think are letting the country down.  But people on the street — white people on the street here — are showing more courage and more leadership and more honesty than I’ve seen in the halls of Washington, D.C., and they need to be given respect for that and hopefully we can take this spirit forward.”

While this Blog rarely agrees with Van Jones who veers strongly to the Left, his eloquent words concerning the aftermath of the Charleston tragedy are eloquent and from his heart.  The Country’s leadership in Washington could say it no better.

Today, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from that state’s Capitol grounds.  This is an appropriate gesture for the victims of the racist attack in that state.  Gov. Haley is to be congratulated for taking this direct response which certainly will be appreciated by the African-American community and others in the state.

Why is it that the good people of Charleston of all colors have responded so gracefully to an unfathomable tragedy?  Why is their reaction so different from Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD to their challenges?  These questions are significant, but must be sidelined until the victims can be appropriately mourned.

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