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Charleston’s terror

the economistVie, 19/06/2015 - 06:10

“I HAVE to do it,” explained the gunman to those gathered at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on the evening of June 17th, “you rape our women and you’re taking over our country.” The shooter, allegedly a 21-year-old white supremacist named Dylann Roof, then killed nine of the people he had sat in prayer with for the previous hour. “Even in this day and age people are so trusting,” says one local resident, “if only they hadn’t let him in. This is the kind of thing that happens elsewhere. Not in Charleston.”

But in the haze of a sweltering Southern day, proceedings in the city began to mirror those seen after past shootings in other places. The governor and the mayor expressed their pain and shock. Journalists and photographers swarmed about the bright white church on Calhoun Street. Lilies, roses and carnations lay by its entrance; cameramen stalked those trying to leave others. Barack Obama encapsulated the scene’s morbid familiarity in a condolence speech: “I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” he said wearily. Indeed, the president has spoken on such occasions 14...Continue reading


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