This was not something that I had planned to write about, being that I didn’t really see a need. We have yet another case of innocent people falling victim to America’s crazed gun culture. This crime perpetrated by an extremely racist young man attempting (apparently) to start a race war by opening fire in America’s oldest and most influential Black church.
A crime made all the more disturbing by the fact that the young man had been welcomed into the congregation by its members. Also notable is that next of kin of the victims (as well as survivors) seem to be forgiving of the assailant. That is very admirable (we could all take a page from that book).
But one thing that does bug me (and many others) is how the media is covering this. Well, right wing media anyway. Though this appears to be (and was seemingly confirmed to be by the assailant himself) a hate crime, many sources are spinning it as an attack on faith.
People have taken notice of this trend of the Faux news organizations (and certain politicians) of the right, but many seem in wonder as to why. I suppose that one reason may be that they do not want to have themselves aligned with what equates to a right wing racially driven terrorist.
Like the Las Vegas rampage couple, accurate reporting of this story may make people question what would influence such grand delusion. Could it be, their chosen news media sources?
But I will not point the finger to the right. Though it may SEEM an obvious connection, I don’t know what his preferences were. For all I know he may have just grow up in an extremely racially biased household.
However, its hard (at least for me) to miss a bit of a parallel to the coverage of another mass shotting not to long ago. This one involving Craig Hicks, the so called “Atheist Terrorist” . Though that just seems to be a parking dispute that escalated WAY further then it should have, the media ran with the 2 scary labels that Americans don’t understand (Atheist and Muslim).
This time around, they are not directly reporting this as a secular originated crime, likely because no such claim can be backed up (thus making it a false claim). But the methodology of spinning the story into an “attack on faith” does basically the same thing. Even if these sources are not explicitly saying that Dylan Roof was a “Racist Atheist Terrorist”, the spin of the story inadvertently activates the same distrust of Atheists and Secularism in the minds of the ignorant. The kind of ignorance that thrives on social media memes such as “this is what you get when you take god out of schools!”.
It is another matter if Dylan turns out to be a subscriber of secular beliefs. But if not (and in the meantime), those of us on the side of secularism (or just on the side of honest media reporting!) should be fighting this right wing spin.