SaharaTV correspondent Rudolf Okonkwo spoke with Bakari Sellers, a Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, who spoke about the recent terrorist attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church—an historically Black church located in Charlestown, South Carolina. The gunman, Dylann Roof, murdered 9 Black and African American worshippers during their Wednesday evening Bible study.
It has emerged that the terrorist sat quietly with the worshippers for the duration of their study, before opening fire on the unarmed civilians. It was also revealed that the terrorist reloaded his gun no less than five times before eventually leaving the church. Photos of the gunman revealed him wearing the flags of Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa—both were regimes that aspired for the complete separation of races and White Supremacy.
Representative Sellers emphasized during his interview that he sought to “focus on celebrating the nine lives of those who died” during this attack. He added that he “was not concerned about his [Dylann Roof, the terrorist] feelings.”
When asked about the presence of White Supremacist sentiments in some elements of American society, Representative Sellers said “I don’t know why someone would be filled with so much hate.”
Sellers also said “this young man was only 21 years old and born in the 1990’s. It’s not as if he had experiences through Jim Crow and segregation. So we don’t know why. But one thing we’re not doing is focusing too much on him. We’re taking this time to celebrate the 9 lives that were lost.”
Representative Sellers, when asked whether Blacks could be safe in America given the church attack and police harassment, told SaharaTV “Unfortunately, the answer to that is yes [whether Blacks were not safe in America]. If a Black person can’t be safe in a church in America then where can you be Black in America. It’s a tough setting.”
He also said that part of the cause of these racially motivated murders is because “we haven’t had a true discussion about race in this country. There’s also a prevalence of guns.”
Representative Sellers said that the Charleston community was “going to overcome this with love. We’re going to overcome this with joy.”
The terrorist is now in police custody and in South Carolina. Police received information from members of his family when they saw his photo on the news, for the massacre he carried out at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.