Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Editor in Davis' native county: Roof 'may have also killed some of the last remnants of the Old South'

In the Kentucky Capitol rotunda, Jefferson
Davis looks at Abe Lincoln (Courier-Journal)
Almost four weeks have passed since the killings at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., time enough for writers across the country to reflect on the deed, its ramifications and their meaning. In Jefferson Davis's home county, the local publisher called for removal of the Confederate president's statue from the state Capitol, to Todd County, where his birthplace is marked with a 351-foot obelisk. Another violent tragedy in the county prompted Ryan Craig of the Todd County Standard to write again last week. His piece is long, but wonderful, as you will see from these excerpts and the full version, posted on our site (the Standard doesn't put much online):

Dylann "Roof, filled with ideas that should see no resurrection in this or any future century, may have also killed some of the last remnants of the Old South. He might have brought down a Confederate flag from a state capitol and untold statues and flags from government grounds. He might have shaken a nation so hard that it stopped and looked at itself and asked why things aren't better."

Noting the passage of civil-rights and voting-rights laws in 1964 and 1965, Craig asks, "Why . . . is racism not a relic of another time? Also, why are the ghosts of 150 years ago still floating around among us all? No one, it seemed, could have predicted the consensus of almost all as we elected to move symbols of the Confederate states to curation in a museum."

The second part of Craig's essay, punctuated by Bible verses, deals with faith and science; the third part is manly about a home invasion in which a Mennonite man was "beaten to death for money" as his wife, feeble from surgery, "did the thing a woman of faith does -- she started to sing hymns and she started to pray." He wonders when the attacker felt the hesitation that Roof told police he felt before opening fire in the church, and concludes, "May the terror for evildoers like Dylann Roof and those who would murder a 79-year-old man and nearly beat his wife to death, first and foremost, be the realization that, at some point, they had a moment of hesitation for a reason. And they should have listened."

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