Obama referred to other mass shootings that have shocked America – the Newtown school massacre in 2012, the killings in a Colorado theatre earlier that same year.
The funerals follow one Friday for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, whose eulogy was delivered by President Barack Obama. Obama called the flag “a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation”.
“He had a core not many of us have”, said Sen. The slayings inside the Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston have prompted a sudden re-evaluation of the Civil War symbols that were invoked to assert white supremacy during the South’s segregation era.
Eulogizing the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Obama said it would be a betrayal of everything the pastor stood for “if we allowed ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again once the eulogies have been delivered, once the TV cameras move on”. But he surely sensed the meaning of his violent act. “It was an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches – not random but as a means of control, a way to terrorise and oppress”, he said.
“It was an act that he imagined would incite fear, and incrimination, violence and suspicion”.
Obama, in his eulogy, said the killed likely assumed he “would deepen divisions that trace back to our nation’s original sin”.
“Oh, but God works in mysterious ways!”
Obama received enthusiastic applause and several standing ovations from the crowd of more than 5,000 mourners. “God had different ideas”.
“Maybe we now realise the way racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realise it, so that we’re guarding against not just racial slurs, but we’re also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal”, he said on Friday.
The president wrapped up the four-hour funeral in song, belting out the first words of “Amazing Grace” all by himself.
“Today I will take the program and I will talk about Cynthia, someone who I read about and so wish that I knew, because I so love the fact that she said she was inspired by her mom and ‘can’t’ was not in her vocabulary”, Haley said.
The governor gave no specifics on what action she planned to take while speaking at the funeral of Tywanza Sanders and Susie Jackson Saturday at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Obama named them one by one, shouting that each “found that grace!” “Do not let race, religion or politics close the door that Senator Pinckney opened”.
“Black Lives Matter” was spray-painted on a monument to Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday, only the latest statue to be defaced.The shooting suspect, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, appeared in photos with a Confederate license plate, waving a Confederate flag, burning and desecrating US flags on a website created in his name months before the attacks. Joel Lourie, D-Columbia, said the tragedy in Charleston has brought lawmakers together. Other politicians then leaped through that opening, saying that historic but divisive symbols no longer deserve places of honor.
At Friday’s funeral, Obama called for greater attention to less apparent forms of racism. “The flag has always represented more than ancestral pride. The Confederate battle flag is coming down off our state Capitol”. It wouldn’t be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. “It would simply be acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong”.
Removing the flag, he said, “would be one step in an honest accounting of America’s history, a modest but meaningful balm for so many unhealed wounds”. “It would be an expression of the incredible changes that have transformed this state and this country for the better”.
Bishop John Richard Bryant spoke to the congregation about Roof and his effect on the South Carolina community and the country at large.