Why not? Well, I submit it is because Christians in the South, both black and white, love each other and they love Jesus. They are wise enough to not react to outside agitators and not burn their own town. And, to a certain extent, Blacks in the South, still know their place.
But, there has been major progress in the South. Dr M L King said "the South will solve its race problem long before the North." In the South Blacks and white have lived next to each other forever, and most white babies were suckled by Black nurse maids. And Sunday morning is no longer the most segregated time of the week.
It is inspiring and encouraging to see the mutual respect that white and Black Christians show each other. The memorial service at Emmanuel AME was beautiful to watch. Black and white Christians singing and praying together.
God is love. His truth is ever lasting and His mercy endures forever. Bravo Charleston. You have shown the world that Love is stronger than hate; Black and white Christians can live together in peace.
People are praying for racial accord in a city that built its initial fortunes on slavery and has been shaped in part by racial tension and violence since its founding in 1670.
Charleston Appeals for Unity as Services Honor Shooting Victims
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church reopens; parishioners and civic leaders vow to build racial accord
At Emanuel AME, a rapturous and racially diverse crowd packed the church, dancing, singing hymns and shaking tambourines to show that the killings could not shake the resolve or faith of one of the oldest black churches in the nation.
Churchgoers lined the walls and crowded the balcony in bow ties and three-piece suits. Hundreds of people stood in the streets, near speakers, to listen to the service. Numerous police officers guarded the proceedings, and teams of grief counselors were on hand.
“A lot of people expected us to do something strange and break out into a riot,” the Rev. Norvel Goff said from the pulpit. “Well, they just don’t know us. They don’t know us because we are a people of faith.” He praised the city for responding with love and compassion.
The minister also vowed to pursue justice for those slain. “We’re going to be vigilant, and we’re going to hold our elected officials responsible to do the right thing,” he said, calling for justice for “those who are still living in the margins of life.”
Charleston built its initial fortunes on slavery and has been shaped in part by racial tension and violence since its founding in 1670. The first shots of the Civil War were fired here, and much of its robust tourist industry plays to notions of a genteel antebellum South, a gentility that was propped up by the institution of slavery.
Over the past few decades the city has changed dramatically, with major companies relocating to the region and upscale shops and vogue restaurants dotting the downtown.
Large banners appeared on some buildings after the shootings, urging racial harmony. An interracial rally was planned for Sunday evening across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, a dramatic span that dominates the city skyline.
Yet outer neighborhoods and nearby communities are impoverished, and many say racial tensions fueled by economic disparities and other issues linger beneath the surface.
A little more than a mile away, about 150 parishioners, almost all of them white, gathered for Holy Communion at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, one of the oldest parishes in the city. Both George Washington and Robert E. Lee once prayed at this ornate church, built in the 1700s, and Charles Pinckney, a signer of the Constitution and a prominent slave-owner, is buried in the adjacent graveyard.
Alfred T.K. Zadig Jr., the 47- year-old rector of St. Michael’s, said he was having dinner only a block away from Emanuel when the shooting took place Wednesday night, and the tragedy made him realize how little connection he had to the city’s black churches.
“I did not know one single person in that church,” said. Mr. Zadig, who has been St. Michael’s rector for eight years. The church now is committing itself to building a relationship with Charleston’s black churches, including contributing money to help Emanuel and inviting members of Emanuel to preach at St. Michael’s, the pastor said.
(By Cameron McWhirter, Josh Dawsey and Mara Gay)