19 June 2015

In South Carolina, the Judges Have Sympathy for the Families of Terrorists ……… If They are White

At a bail bond hearing for Dylann Roof (no bail for murder, but $1 million for weapons charges), the families of the victims gave statements, as is common in South Carolina, the judge, who (unsurprisingly) has a history of racially insensitive comments, took pains to remind everyone that the family that raised a racist terrorists are victims in all this too:

The judge began the hearing with a statement of sympathy for those slain — as well as for Roof's family.

“We have victims, nine of them, but we also have victims on the other side,” Gosnell said. “There are victims on the other side, this young man's family. No one would ever have thrown them into the whirlwind they have been thrown into.”

In a statement later, the Roof family extended its “deepest sympathies and condolences” to the families of the victims. “Words cannot express our shock, grief, and disbelief as to what happened that night. We are devastated and saddened by what occurred,” they said, asking for privacy.
As Michael Daly pithily observed:

Charleston County Magistrate James B. Gosnell began Friday’s bond hearing for mass-murderer Dylann Roof by declaring that the killer’s family members were victims as well.

At least he did not repeat an opinion that he offered in another proceeding a dozen years ago.

“There are four kinds of people in this world—black people, white people, red necks, and n---rs,” Gosnell advised a black defendant in a November 6, 2003 bond reduction hearing.

The comment led to a judicial disciplinary proceeding and a 2005 determination by the state Supreme Court. The court’s written finding reports Gosnell’s lame defense.


Ah ……… South Carolina.

Rather unsurprisingly, the accused is completely unrepentant over his acts:

More evidence also emerged that Roof, a high school dropout with a criminal record that began this year, may have been motivated by racial hatred. Law enforcement officials said he had confessed, and that during the confession, expressed strong anti-black views. Officials characterized him as unrepentant and unashamed.

Roof told officers that he wanted word of his actions to spread, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Ah ……… South Carolina.

And the cherry on this sh%$ sandwich is the fact that while that state and US flags were flown at half staff, the Confederate flag flying nearby has been kept at full staff, because the law drafted by South Carolina bigots forbids flying the flag at half staff:
After Dylann Storm Roof allegedly shot up an AME church in Charleston, S.C., killing nine people, two flags were lowered more than 100 miles away in Columbia, the state’s capital. Atop the South Carolina State House, the U.S. flag and South Carolina’s palmetto flag flew at half-staff as the manhunt for Roof ended with his capture in North Carolina and prayer vigils were planned. The show of respect would have been appropriate even if one of the state legislature’s own — state senator Clementa C. Pinckney — had not died in the attack.

But a third flag within view of the State House — a Confederate one — flew as high and as proud as ever, flapping in the breeze on a sunny day.

This looked bad.

But, it seemed, no one — particularly not South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) — could do anything about it. This was a matter of law.

“In South Carolina, the governor does not have legal authority to alter the flag,” a Haley spokesman told ABC on Thursday. “Only the General Assembly can do that.”


The law that moved the flag was quite detailed: The flag could not fly from the capitol dome, but had to appear at a memorial near the dome and could appear in legislators’ offices. Legislators even specified the type of flag, its placement, and the dimensions of its display.
It ain't all bad though, a Republican legislator in South Carolina has mooted a bill to take down that symbol of treason and racism:
In the wake of the shooting in Charleston that took the lives of nine African Americans in a historically black church by a shooter with apparent white supremist sympathies, a State Representative from South Carolina announced plans Friday to introduce legislation that would remove the Confederate flag from the state capital.

In an interview with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Norman "Doug" Brannon said the motive behind the planned bill wasn't politics, but instead the loss of a friend. Specifically, Brannon spoke of Democratic State Senator Clementa Pinckney, a pastor at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and one of the victims of the fatal shooting.

"I had a friend die Wednesday night for no reason other than he was a black man," Brannon, a Republican who is white, told Hayes.
 Small steps, I guess.

I expect Brannon to be turfed out in the next election, and it is likely that he thinks that this is the case as well.


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