To the editor:

Please allow me to offer a few comments about the deplorable massacre in South Carolina. My observations attempt to go beyond the obvious injustice that occurred there and beyond the fact that racism is certainly still alive in the hearts of some misguided individuals and groups.

I happened to be watching TV on the day the bond hearing for the perpetrator was held. That judge took the unprecedented approach of allowing the families of the victims to speak and even address their remarks directly to the accused. One after another, the aggrieved relatives pointed out the incredible sorrow that this young man had brought to their families but, amazingly, they also found in their hearts the ability to forgive him on a personal level and to allow the legal system and, ultimately their God, to deliver appropriate justice.

What an example these fine people gave to all of us. If anybody could be expected to lash out in anger about anything it would be the families of these nine victims of an obviously racist act. Instead, they showed what absolute class people can have if they truly live the precepts they were discussing in that Bible study.

It struck me that the people of Charleston and of South Carolina (of all races and ages) opened their hearts to the families of the victims without reservation. All (with the possible exception of a few extreme “nut cases”) recognized that what had happened was an unspeakable injustice from any viewpoint.

These folks did not see fit to respond to the death of these innocent people by rioting or looting stores. They did not blame the actions of one pitiable loser on an entire race or on society in general. Sad to say, some self-appointed liberal elites, sleazy politicians, and the usual race-baiting “leaders” find it hard to imagine that the “nonviolence” teachings of the Rev. King could actually produce something positive as it appears to be doing in this instance.

Admittedly, I have never lived the experiences that many African Americans have, so I have little credibility to comment. I do think, however, that I am qualified to observe the obvious. I can sum it up in one question: “Which vision in the public’s mind is likely to bring lasting justice and harmony among the races … the one we saw in Ferguson and Baltimore or the one we witnessed in Charleston?”

Denny York

Russia, Ohio

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