OP-ED: Amazing Gracefulness of Emanuel AME Church



The horrific, senseless racist attack that took the lives of nine innocent souls while they were praying in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., points to what can happen when we don’t adequately address race relations –especially in a country that prides itself on democracy and progressive forward thinking.


However, in the midst of this tragedy, courageous souls of that congregation displayed an amazing gracefulness by offering forgiveness and reconciliation.



We have heard many who point to guns, flags, fringe hate groups as the culprit, while missing the root causes that give strength to the perceived need for guns, confederate flags and hateful groups to shield their insecurities.


There’s an underlying cause that prevents people from acknowledging the reality of race relations around the world.


Richard Johnson
Richard Johnson


It seems most people cling to a belief that we are living in better and different times.



I wholeheartedly disagree with this assertion. The indisputably evidence of the hate mongering and belief in racial superiority is for form a staple of eminent prestige and a path for some to progress off the backs, sorrow and pain of minorities.



We’re taught to learn forgiveness, patience and understanding while the beneficiaries of social tyranny and racial hostilities prosper from the suffering of others.



Obviously everyone should employ forgiveness and reconciliation. The question is: at what cost?



I fervently believe that if change is to be effective, forgiveness and reconciliation has to be mutually employed by all.


Praying for mercy can always be a proper course of action. Yet if those who promote a discourse of change refuse to do all that is required to make meaningful progress, then ultimately it will be a wasted effort that serves only the interest of racist elements and evildoers that inspires discontent among all righteous people.



What transpired in Charleston will continue to happen until this nation steps forward to engage the real problems head on.



The only medium for corrective change has to begin in each and everyone’s own heart to heal the wounds of division and dismay, stemming from embedded racism in our society.



Prayer without action limits change and forestalls progress.



The fact that the hideous crime was done at the perceived soft underbelly of society – in a church, at a time of prayer – says a lot about our failings in regard to the need to empower our churches.



Don’t be misled into believing that the person who chose this place of worship did it randomly. No! He selected this site because he felt that it was a weak unguarded spot, in more ways than one.



We need to be more cautious in all our dealings. If not, all is lost.



Now that the South Carolina legislature has voted to remove the confederate flags, when will they move to remove barriers preventing Blacks and Browns from voting?



The struggle for reconciliation continues.



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