A Lesson From Charleston



Sunday afternoon I was listening to a local radio talk show on the way to the grocery store. The topic, not surprisingly, was this week’s murders at the AME Church in Charleston, SC. The exact station and host don’t matter (I don’t work for any radio station, so there’s no benefit to me to give any host a plug), but something that a caller said really caught my attention.

A female caller was wondering aloud why there were no “black lives matter” protests in Charleston, a la the lawlessness in Ferguson or Baltimore. Then she got even more provocative, (paraphrasing now) saying that many in the “black community” are disappointed at the level of forgiveness and unwillingness to become violent shown by the congregation – especially by relatives of the victims.

Statements made by members of the victim’s families at the arraignment of the suspect could only be described as inspirational. Obviously hurting to the depths of their souls, having just lost loved ones in the last place that anyone would expect such brutality, they all expressed forgiveness, prayers for the shooter’s soul, etc. I wonder how many of us would be so strong in the face of such trauma.

But the caller I heard on that radio talk show was not inspired. She gave away her Progressive bent when she added to the comments above by saying the reason for the aforementioned disappointment was (paraphrasing again) that the ‘white community expects the black community to just take their bullets without response.’

Her comment ignores the indisputable fact that the vast majority of bullets “taken” by blacks are fired by other blacks. But there is a bigger issue here. The “white community” didn’t murder those people, one evil young man did and the process by which he will pay for his actions is underway.

This woman, and anyone of like thought, is at worst as much of a racist as the young man that pulled the trigger in that Bible study room last Wednesday evening. At best, she is a terribly misguided Progressive. (Yes, I understand that’s redundant.) She is exhibiting one of the most common traits of Progressives: assigning individual rights and traits to groups.

Take Affirmative Action, for example. Progressives believe that it is perfectly fair to take from one group to give benefits to another. But it is individuals, not groups that experience the benefit or the punitive effect of such policy. Such thinking is the antithesis of Dr. King’s wish that we may all be judged by the “content of our character” instead of what we look like.

Again, there’s a bigger issue: Are we safer, stronger, or in any way better off as a society having teachers, doctors, and fire fighters that are less qualified than someone else who applied and was turned away because someone thought the fire department should “look” a certain way?

There’s a lesson to be learned from this random caller to a random radio show. In spite of the rhetoric with which we are endlessly bombarded, it illustrates once more which side of the political aisle sees people for what they look like and which side sees character and qualifications first.

There’s a bigger lesson coming from Charleston. To the congregation of the AME church, thank you for acting like the adults in the room. Your behavior in the wake of this tragedy is an inspiration to all of us. May God help you get through this very difficult time.