The white culture of violence: Charleston Massacre, one year later

CHARLESTON, SC––The African nation was in utter shock, sadness and anger this time last year as news of a massacre spread across the country. 

“A white gunman opened fire inside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal [aka Mother Emanuel] Church in Charleston, South Carolina, slaughtering nine black women and men.” (The Burning Spear)

Twenty-one-year-old Dylann Roof, on the evening of June 17, 2015, murdered nine Africans as they participated in bible study.

“He caught us with our eyes closed,” said Felicia Sanders, one of three survivors that Roof decided to spare so that they could tell what happened. “We were just about to say the prayer to be released and he caught us with our eyes closed.”

 The nine victims, African women and men of various ages, were: Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54); Susie Jackson (87); Ethel Lee Lance (70); Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49); Clementa C. Pinckney (41); Tywanza Sanders (26); Daniel Simmons (74); Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45); and Myra Thompson (59).

White media and the police were quick to reduce this terrorist attack against Africans to a mere “hate crime.” U.S. president Barack Hussein Obama characterized the attack as “senseless murders” during his press statement the day after.

On the contrary, this was a thought-filled, carefully calculated terrorist attack, engineered by Dylan Roof. Interrogations with Roof after his arrest determined he had been planning the attack for about six months. He researched the Mother Emanuel Church, and targeted it because of its “role in African-American history.”

In his online manifesto, discovered after the attack, Roof stated:

“I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites [sic] in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”

According to a childhood friend of Roof’s, he stated that “blacks were taking over the world” and would rant about the Baltimore Uprising and the shooting of Trayvon Martin. He concluded in his online manifesto that Trayvon’s murderer George Zimmerman had been in the right.

Gun control is not the solution

The question of gun control is always raised by colonial media, subsets of the white ruling class and neocolonial representatives after mass shootings and domestic terrorist attacks. The Charleston Massacre was no exception.

During his press statement following the attacks, the U.S. president stressed the need for gun control. He “ignored the fact that whites have murdered Africans in the U.S. and elsewhere with an assortment of weapons, including ropes, fire, floggings and anything else that had lethal consequences.” (The Burning Spear)

Increasing gun control will not stop domestic terrorist attacks against Africans. The white population has been committing horrendous acts of violence against Africans for centuries with a multitude of weapons, methods and objects.

Additionally, whenever new “control” laws are created by the State, historically, these laws function to oppress, control and incarcerate Africans, while leaving the white population generally unaffected. To see an example of this one only needs to look at the drug control regulations of the 1970s.

It must be mentioned that the 1967 Mulford Act was passed and signed into law, by then-governor, Ronald Reagan as a direct response to disarming the members of the Black Panther Party and ending their police patrols, where BPP members would carry loaded guns as they responded to scenes of police arresting Africans.

The African People’s Socialist Party is clear that gun control already exists for Africans in this country.

Like our Chairman, Omali Yeshitela, stated at our Party’s January 2016 Annual Plenary:

“The white people got the guns…They kill you in your community and tell you that you need gun control. No, you need to control the guns that’s in the hands of that white man who does damage to us. So don’t let anybody come to us and tell us that the problem is gun control. The problem might be white control…It has nothing to do with guns.”

The solution to domestic terror lies in overturning colonialism and the white culture of violence

White people have a “notorious aptitude for killing in cold blood,” said Jesse Nevel of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement. This is reflected in their extensive cultural history of committing violence against Africans and other colonized people.

This culture of violence can be traced as far back as 600 years, since the beginning of our colonial relationship with whites, when white people stole Africans and decimated the Indigenous population of the Americas.

Slavery, lynchings, and police and civilian murder of Africans are all instances where white people carry out violence in order to maintain their powered position in society.

Dylann Roof is one current-day representation of the white culture of violence. Other such representations include George Zimmerman, the man who murdered Trayvon Martin; Michael Slager, cop murderer of Walter Scott; Timothy Loehmann, the cop who murdered Tamir Rice; Darren Wilson, Mike Brown’s police killer; Bob Gualtieri, sheriff who murdered three black girls; and countless others.

Make no mistake, white people carry out these violent acts, especially against Africans, because they have the political power to do so. White people have all the political power, and Africans have none.

Although violence that white people commit against Africans and other colonized people is indeed engrained in their culture, the solution is not a cultural one.

The solution must be political.

Africans and other colonized people must overturn the colonial relationship that colonized people have with imperialism and parasitic capitalism.

The white nation also has a responsibility to overturn this colonial relationship, as this is the only manner in which their culture of violence will be healed. Dismantling colonialism will offer white people an opportunity to re-join the rest of humanity and have a peaceful world without attacks such as the Charleston Massacre.

This underscores why gun control is not a viable solution. Controlling guns––mere objects––does nothing to affect the colonial system which is the profound contradiction and the primary catalyst for the culture of violence ingrained in the white population.

Africans Charge Genocide

Four months after the Charleston terror attack, the African People’s Socialist Party launched, through our mass organization, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), our “Africans Charge Genocide” campaign.

Africans Charge Genocide is a strategic move of our Party to utilize the platform of the United Nations (UN) to bring to international light the countless historic and current genocidal crimes being committed by the State, and the general white population, against Africans.

We are clear that the Charleston attack, on top of being a domestic terrorist attack, was also an act of genocide. Jorden Giger, Chair of the ACG working group states, “Our campaign is aggressively working to also make this clear to the rest of our African Nation. The African masses must understand that what we’ve endured since our extraction from Africa constitutes genocide.”

The Africans Charge Genocide campaign is centered around our petition, which we aim to receive 1 million signatures by September 2017, so that we can present it to the UN. We encourage all our readers to visit to read, sign and share our petition. Charge the State with genocide!

One year after Charleston

June 17, 2016 marks one year since the terrorist attack at the AME Church.

African people remain in the same oppressive conditions.

Africans experience terror and genocide at the hands of white people on a daily basis and police continue to murder Africans with impunity.

Roof was charged by the Department of Justice (DOJ) with murder, attempted murder and use of a firearm, all in the commission of a hate crime. His state trial will begin on January 17, 2017.

The DOJ, however, did not charge Roof with domestic terrorism, nor include terrorism in the indictment.

The African People’s Socialist Party understand that we cannot depend on the State to bring us justice.

Our Party maintains, and has maintained for over 40 years, that the only way for Africans to be liberated from our oppressed conditions, is through revolution. Revolution means completely overturning the capitalist-colonialist system which exists entirely at our expense.

Since the attacks in Charleston, our Party has grown tremendously! We have an influx of excited, new, young forces who are ready to dismantle colonialism once and for all. Our growth is continuous, as the African masses become more aware and concerned of our colonial reality.

Our Party is struggling for power in our own hands. Join the only Party that is struggling to overturn colonialism––the African People’s Socialist Party!


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