After several weeks and months of not getting around to it, the Mrs. and I finally sat down to watch Hidden Figures. Lately, I have been contemplating the plight of the American woman and her historic, and current roles of wife, mother, sister, friend, colleague and so much more in our society.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement that has swept our world over the last year, I have found myself wondering how I have wronged, disrespected, and been insensitive to females over my lifetime.
On December 15th, 2016, Dylann Roof, of Columbia SC, was found guilty on all thirty-three federal charges against him that spawned from the “Charleston Church Shooting” hate crimes in Charleston, South Carolina.
On June 17th, 2015, Roof, a white 21-year old, entered “Mother” Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, attended Bible Study, and during the closing prayer and benediction, he commenced to shoot and kill nine parishioners before fleeing the scene. All victims were black.
The victims were: Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Thompson, and the Senior Pastor and State Senator, Clementa C Pinckney. They now are forever known as the Charleston 9.
During court proceedings and recorded testimony, Roof claimed that he wanted to incite a “race war.” Roof owned a website, which he called, “The Last Rhodesian,” where he expressed neo-Nazi sentiments, and posted pictures with white supremacist-type symbols. He also outlined his manifesto against non-white races.
I recently watched the 2014 film Selma, which stars Michael Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey, and Common. The stage is set around Selma, Alabama, Edmund Pettus bridge, and the infamous "Bloody Sunday" march that took place there in 1965.
Two characters touched me: Jimmie Lee Jackson, and James Reeb, who both lost their lives marching against voting discrimination. Jackson, a black Alabaman, who marched with his mother and grandfather, was shot by a Alabama State trooper; and Reeb, a white Bostonian minister, was beaten to death by White Supremacists. Watching and studying these two lives after watching the film, and the glaring lack of justice in their murders, was eye-opening.