All are welcome to a community reflection about the massacre at the AME Church in Charleston, and and expression of love and solidarity and compassion for the victims and their families.
We will meet at 6 pm on the grass above the "Welcome To Bellingham" mural, on the grass above the "Welcome To Bellingham" mural at 101 Boulevard, Bellingham, WA 98225.
A couple of key points to keep in mind while talking about the massacre at the AME Church, Dylan Stone Roof and this moment:
-- This attack had everything to do with race. The far-right and the republican party aren’t coordinated, but they share the same beliefs. The language he was using was the language of the white power movement and right wing talk radio. He wanted to start a race war.
-- Dylann Roof is not just one extremist, he was created and shaped by the same racist society that teaches all white people to hate and fear Black people. Roof was taught his beliefs. Black people are being killed and violently mistreated by the police everyday. The connection between his actions and the actions of the police undergird our society.
-- Emphasize the importance of lifting up lives and humanity of black people, black women and girls. It is not our Our job to police black people and the black response to this hateful action. There is a lot of fear and anger and trauma that is coming out right now and we need to let that happen.
-- Now is the time to take action, to take collective responsibility for organizing white communities and calling white people in. Undoing institutional racism is our job. We need to figure out how to take this racist system down. What do we want our legacy to be?
"DEAR WHITE PEOPLE: Difficult as it may be, you and I MUST listen to and grapple with the words that Dylann Roof spoke as he began shooting the people who warmly, graciously welcomed him into that Bible study circle at Emmanuel AME Church: “You are raping our women and taking over the country. You have to go.” Those words are a mirror for us as a people – as white people. Those words are not only the isolated rantings of a tormented soul. We can’t simply scratch our heads and wonder how someone could be so hate-filled. We can’t only conclude that we need stricter gun control. We don’t need to interview his family and friends to understand where those words came from. The words Dylann Roof spoke are quite literally the white narrative that has undergirded and sustained systemic racism for centuries. That narrative continues unabated. Those words represent the fears and stereotypes that undergird present day racial profiling, state sanctioned violence, and mass incarceration. Those words feed anti-immigrant hysteria. Those words ring out in the chant, “Give us our country back.” Dylann Roof’s words are a mirror we must face as a people -- as white people -- if we are going to do the deep work required of us. None of us is exempt from this work. You and I and all of us must do this." ~ Melanie Morrison, Executive Director, Allies for Change
179 S State St Bellingham WA 98225
101 Boulevard, Bellingham, WA 98225
Bellingham, WA 98225
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