Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

We call on all people, public officials, faith leaders and Americans from all walks of life to help address the festering sores of racism as it spurs an unforgiving culture of violence. (Photo: L.C. Nøttaasen/flickr/cc)

The Attack on Charleston Is an Attack on All of Us

Rev. Waltrina Middleton

The very thing many of us fight against -- a deeply masked and far reaching culture of violence in our society -- has devastated our family. This past Wednesday night during bible study and prayer service, a gunman filled with a racist heart entered the historical Mother Emanuel AME Church of Charleston, South Carolina and opened fire on the 12 persons gathered there. Only three people survived the attack.

Our loved one, Rev. Depayne Middleton, was among those killed. Ever since her death was confirmed, our family has been met with unspeakable pain and grief. Our hearts are troubled, but our faith remains steadfast, trusting and believing in God's power to mend our broken hearts.

Stop!

We Interrupt This Article with an Urgent Message!

Common Dreams is a not-for-profit news service. All of our content is free to you - no subscriptions; no ads. We are funded by donations from our readers.

Our critical Mid-Year fundraiser is going very slowly - only 819 readers have contributed so far. We must meet our goal before we can end this fundraising campaign and get back to focusing on what we do best.
If you support Common Dreams and you want us to survive, we need you now.
Please make a tax-deductible gift to our Mid-Year Fundraiser now!

At this time of grave personal loss, we ask you for two things. First, please keep our family and our church community at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. in your prayers. Next, please move away from the sidelines and unite together -- regardless of your faith or religious practice -- to seek an end to hatred and violence.

What happened to our family is part of a larger attack on Black and Brown bodies. To impact change, we must recognize the connection between racism, hate crimes and racialized policing. While the focus for this specific attack was on African-Americans, we all have a responsibility to seek not only justice for the victims, but an end to racial injustice.

We should put our faith to action, making a conscious decision to be more than empty drums that have long lost their melodies. In South Carolina the Confederate flag -- an unequivocal symbol of hate -- remains on statehouse grounds. We must demand the flag be removed immediately -- we cannot let icons of racism fly free within our society.

We call on all people, public officials, faith leaders and Americans from all walks of life to help address the festering sores of racism as it spurs an unforgiving culture of violence. This is a big task but may become more manageable if we work together and if all people see the attack in Charleston as an attack on their own families and loved ones.

A memorial fund for the Middleton family is being established. Learn more here.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Rev. Waltrina Middleton

Rev. Waltrina Middleton is a family member of Rev. Depayne Middleton.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Senate Panel Approves Antitrust Bill to Rein in Big Tech

"A bipartisan group of senators just stated with a clear voice that Big Tech is too powerful."

Jake Johnson ·


Jamaal Bowman Arrested Alongside Other Voting Rights Protesters

"In the tradition of the late Rep. John Lewis, Jamaal got himself into some good trouble."

Andrea Germanos ·


Humanity at "Doom's Doorstep" Says Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Doomsday Clock, a symbol of "how close we are to destroying our world," remains at 100 seconds to midnight.

Jessica Corbett ·


Israel Accused of 'War Crime' of 'Ethnic Cleansing' in Sheikh Jarrah

The international outrage followed Israeli occupation forces' expulsion of a Palestinian family and destruction of their East Jerusalem home.

Brett Wilkins ·


Fetterman Calls Fall of Union Membership 'A National Disgrace'

New government statistics show union membership declined by 241,000 workers last year.

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo