Skin colour effect

The events in Charleston, South Carolina, where a 21-year-old shot nine African Americans in one of the town’s most historic black churches have shaken my comfort as I travel towards the state of California, just below.

Getting closer to Miami, and pit-stopping halfway to releasea 9-hour drive ahead, I stopped in a motel in a small town of 7000 inhabitants. ‘Perry’ is also a town that has seen blacks being attacked in the past.

Although not a churchgoer, the news that perpetrator, Dylann Roof, had carried out his massacre in the name of making a statement against the black community had me query his action, but also had me think twice about walking into a black church, just because I didn’t want to bring any ill feeling to any of the churchgoers.

On the contrary to what he might have thought, doing so not only perpetrates fear for the locals, but as days go by, also brings the black community closer together, out of union for their ethnicity.

Being white, this is perhaps the first time I have been in a position of being the ‘outsider’, of being the person who is looked upon with a dismissing eye because of their skin colour. Because as I stood there listening to the proceedings, I wondered what people thought of me; if they were looking at me just because I was a foreigner in their church, or if they had an internal fear inside, as if they were waiting to see my actions. Or maybe it was just me making a big deal out of nothing.

The case has been classed as a ‘hate crime’, and the trial is get to begin. Roof purposely left survivors in the attack so that they could convey what had happened, and pass on the message that ‘blacks are taking over the country’, and that this has to end. On the contrary, this sounds like the beginning of something very different. You have no glory Roof.

*** Published in the Cyprus Weekly

Print Friendly


Comments are closed.