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Moment of silence for the Emanuel AME nine

Elvert Barnes

There is still very little known about the suspected murderer of nine people inside of a Charleston, S.C church last night. Police say the suspect is 21 year old Dylan Roof and he is in custody. He is white, and several media outlets are reporting there are pictures of him wearing flags that represent South Africa under apartheid rule on his facebook page. The six female and three male victims were black, but only Clementa Pinckney, a Reverend and state senator, has been identified publicly. 

As a public radio station many states away, it's unlikely we can provide you with updates on this story that are unique to us. Nor can we provide you with a deeper understanding of what may have motivated this particular brutality, although we do our best to cover the deep divisions and racism that fuel this kind of targeting.

Yesterday I could not escape a near constant discussion about Rachel Dolezal, despite my deep disinterest in what I think is a not much more than a personal delusion and drama. Today, apart from the activist element of my facebook and twitter feeds, I have heard little about her. I hope the interest in a "national conversation about race" people were interested in covering all week has not suddenly waned.

There are many things happening around the state today and in the country and in the world. Many of them certainly deserve attention and it is journalism's job to cover them. But real issues of race and crime and hate also deserve attention. These victims deserve attention, or at least identification.

Today all of us at State of Opportunity will continue to work on our stories. I will take a moment of silence in my day. And on this page, we will take a digital moment of silence, because there is little else we can do.

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