Charleston shooting devastates

The Director of the FBI has stated that the Charleston shooting is not terrorism because it was not trying 'to influence a public body or citizenry', quoting from the agency's definition of terrorism. It should be obvious that this is, at best, public relations nonsense. It was a racist, violent, hateful, and political expression of hate aimed at denying rights and freedoms from black Americans. The inhumanity of these murders is only exacerbated by the acquiescence to racism by authorities, the media, and much of society.

Page content

Racism remains prevalent – within government, within law enforcement, within business, within the school system. Violent mass acts of racism are, and will always be, political statements that “influences public bodies and citizenry”. To say anything different amounts to tacit endorsement of the racist status quo.

While actions such as these should result in deep introspection on issues of race and class (for the two are deeply intertwined), a lack of gun regulation in the US is another major piece of this that needs to be seriously confronted. Astute comparisons have been drawn between the security state’s over-reaction to things such as the shoe bomb that resulted in everyone having to remove their shoes at the airport, and the state’s non-reaction to individual and politically motivated mass shootings. The political economy of state reaction to violence must be brought into the debate.

Click here to get What’s Left in your Inbox every Sunday

More: 9 killed in South Carolina church shooting

More: [[][‘He was my hero’: Charleston mother hails 26-year-old killed shielding victims]]

Follow: #BlackLivesMatter

Commentary: Ashleigh Shackelford