A year since church shooting, no change in Charleston

After the June 17, 2015, massacre, South Carolina lawmakers did what many people thought was impossible to achieve and removed the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia. Across the country, as far away as Alaska, officials moved to strip streets, college dormitories and even lakes of the names of Confederates, secessionists and public figures who championed segregation.

But a year later, little has changed in Charleston, the city where tens of thousands of enslaved Africans first set foot in North America. It was here that the work of plantation slaves made the city one of the wealthiest in the nation before the Civil War.

It was here where the bombardment of Fort Sumter threw the nation into that war in 1861.

A section of a street in front of the white stucco Emanuel AME church may have been renamed “Mother Emanuel Way Memorial District,” but all of Charleston’s Confederate commemorations remain intact and longstanding racial issues endure.

“I think a lot of things happened out of the immediate emotions of how horrific the killings were. That’s the human side of folks and the politeness... that we just had to do something. But then when reality checks us the question is what is that going to cost us in terms of changing the way we think and do things?” said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston branch of the NAACP.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 7:37:28 AM |

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