396
VIEWS
17
COMMENTS
 
SHARES
About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view Mahariffic's profile
    Posted June 18, 2015 by
    Mahariffic
    Location
    Eutaw Springs, South Carolina
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Breaking news: Share your story

    More from Mahariffic

    SC Terrorist Will Not Make Us Hate

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     “When I found out who that monster was and all that he had done, who he had killed, I wanted to absolutely throw up,” said South Carolina native Mary Helen Yarborough. “The one thing that I can assure you in this state, any presumption that we embrace racism, that it’s cool to be racist, no it is not. We are sick and tired of it.”

    Yarborough, who lives in Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, was sickened by the Charleston shooting. She shared this message with the rest of the country: “When the governor shed a tear, she meant it. That’s the way we feel in this state. We really, sincerely do care when one person is hurt, we all hurt.”
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    This Monster from a Trending Evil Shall Not Drive Us to Hate, I Pray
    Eutaw Springs, SC --- Working every drop of light on a thickly hot night, I get a text news alert on my smart-phone. Another shooting. This one, though, was downtown Charleston, not North Charleston as is common. I dismiss it and stepped up the pace pushing my lawnmower through mounds of calf-high grass.

     

    Johnny Green, my electrician, had finished repairing and improving my perpetual home renovation project.

     

    Johnny, a black gentleman with a hundred cousins in this Eastern Orangeburg County area, is likely the most honest laborer I've encountered in this isolated region of the vast and struggling part of the so-called "Corridor of Shame." All but one of the others have abused my generous nature: stealing, leaving paid work undone or done miserably wrong, and in at least two cases, hacked into my computer network and attempted to access my cyber-linked resources. I could have surrendered to the low-brow tendency toward racism to rationalize my impatience with bad and deceitful behavior. But I didn't. As a result, I have formed special bonds with some of the black people in this remote, disenfranchised outpost in Orangeburg County where stealing and swindling is status quo. But not for everyone.

     

    After I drove Johnny home, I came home and turned on the TV. It was getting late and tuned into Jimmy Kimmel. But I didn't feel like watching Jimmy, nor any of the movies on my satellite TV service. I felt drawn to watch the news.

     

    The local news had already passed, so I flipped over to CNN. And there I saw what that text news alert from WCSC-TV was all about. And I was utterly horrified.

     

    I cannot recall anything striking me this way since I was working as a journalist covering Congress when the team of terrorists plane-bombed New York, Washington and the Pennsylvania countryside. And this one felt far more personal.

     

    In Charleston, as the events appeared to unfold, we didn't know who'd been killed, but knew nine souls participating in prayer group in the South's oldest AME Church were taken. We only learned the race and approximate age of the killer. I wondered how in the world no one had been able to grab this little monster.

     

    I stayed up late and I got up earlier than usual and turned on the TV. Beforehand, I had pondered that whoever this was had to have been from out-of-state. Maybe a flunk-out from the College of Charleston; maybe some idiot who'd gone to Folly Beach, got drunk and stupid and committed a perfect act of evil and horror.

     

    When I learned just who this stinking pile of flesh was, that he was a Roof from Lexington, and that he had taken out one the state's most gifted and precious leaders, I was utterly sickened. I could not help stop the tears that welled up in me. The last thing I would have imagined was such an event taking place in Charleston, South Carolina where two of the state's most historic family names were indelibly carved in history: one a community, state and church pastor who's became a martyr along with the eight other souls who joined him in God's eternal kingdom, and the other, a pathetic, useless 21-year white male who forever would be damned. To think that this narcissist joined these people in their most intimate, revered places sitting next to them before brutally taking their lives. Those congregants allowed this white trash to come in and sit for nearly an hour when they might have been justified in asking to leave. But not here. Not in South Carolina. At least, before now.

     

    This piece of garbage from Lexington has managed to invoke greater suspicion than could have become reasonable given the atrocious and unwarranted killings by some police officers.

     

    A long time ago, maybe before desegregation, I remember my mother telling me that if your car were broken down on the side of the road, the only person who'd stop to help would be a black man. She said black people had learned what it felt like to be vulnerable and needing help. And she was right. On the several occasions in which my car had broken down during days absent of cell phones, black people would be the ones to stop and offer help. That's a fact.

     

    Unfortunately, because of the unfathomable behavior and poisonous chatter by radio talk show conspiracists, and perhaps a little blame may lay at the feet of certain black activists that churn hate from circumstances where it wasn't a true issue. And some opportunists have fueled the divide from both sides by assigning race as a basis for the lapse of a white police officer or individual. It's not always race. And when it becomes about race, it is simply wrong and can no longer be tolerated. Meanwhile that unspoken natural trust and compassion that always been a part of being a South Carolinian may have been obliterated.

     

    Except. Maybe what Roof and cretins like him have done, becomes a rally call for us all to unite and stop this crazy dark age. Maybe what has come so easily between us, to stand together and fight for each other, emerges stronger and reverses this insanity and cycle of pure evil.

     

    That's my prayer. And my prayer also extends to the Roof family whose good name has been marred by one of its genetic mistakes. To the wonderful Pinkeneys both black and white, and to that wonderful historic church, a rock for its generations of members and the community alike, please have faith and let us all come together and heal. We must remember who we are, not what we risk of becoming; and forgiving whatever mistakes we may have made. I pray. Oh, God, let us pray.

    Add your Story Add your Story