June 19, 2015

Charleston Shooting

I had an outfit post originally scheduled for today. The photos were taken a few hours before the Charleston shooting, blocks away from Emanuel AME Church. The shooting took place less than a half mile from our apartment. Wednesday evening was terrifying and deeply saddening. We went to bed around ten, followed shortly by the search helicopters circling overhead. I spent the majority of the night awake, in the middle of a manhunt, scanning Twitter for as much information as possible. 

This is the second tragedy we've lived through in the past year. Last fall Hannah Graham, a UVa. student was abducted and killed. Though we had never met him, her murderer lived on our street. On September 19th I walked out of my apartment bombarded by camera crews, the Charlottesville Police Department, and the FBI. I drove away in tears, and went to work that day in fear, afraid to go home. 

But this time is different. The pain is more extreme and the evil is greater. This attack was based on hatred and racism. The shooter chose the oldest African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Southern United States. The shooter picked politicians, community leaders, co-workers, neighbors, parents, and grandparents as his victims. The shooter hoped to incite terror and fear. 

I tried to write a much longer post, but then I deleted it. The only message I can offer is a call to action: now is the time to end our complacency about gun violence and racism in America. If the events of last night cannot serve as a call to action, what will? 

Pray for the grieving families and victims of gun violence, and if you are able, please donate to help cover funeral costs of the victims families. The website is currently under construction, but checks can be mailed to: 

Mother Emanuel Hope Fund 
C/O City of Charleston 
P.O. Box 304 
Charleston, SC 29402

Peace be with you. 

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