2020欧洲杯体育投注网In the winter of 2008, Barack Obama was in no way guaranteed the African-American vote in the Democratic primaries. He had split the opening contests, Iowa and New Hampshire, with Hillary Clinton, and had narrowly won more delegates in Nevada, yet the black voters of South Carolina, particularly the middle-aged and graying churchgoers who come out to the polls in great numbers, were torn. At first, some knew so little about him that they were not sure he was black. Others, following the lead of well-known figures in the old civil-rights establishment, felt warmly toward the Clintons and saw no reason to break with them. There was also a more visceral concern: many African-American voters told Obama’s volunteers in South Carolina that they could not shake the memory of the many black leaders over the decades who had met a violent end. When they looked at Barack Obama, hope and change was not the only future they could imagine.
Anton Gunn, a self-confident young community organizer, told Obama’s campaign chiefs in Chicago that if they wanted to win the state they needed to hire him and follow his advice. The Clintons had already enlisted many black leaders in South Carolina—politicians, pastors, downtown business people—but the Obama campaign could still win, Gunn said, by targetting the “Miss Mary”s, older women who were centers of good will and polite gossip in the black churches, who had a hand in every charity event and Bible-study group. To win the younger black vote, Gunn told the campaign chiefs, they should, in classic hip-hop fashion, distribute free mixtapes of Obama’s best stump performances. Obama, who had to erase any lingering impression that he was a callow newcomer, came to Sumter County and, echoing the language of Malcolm X as portrayed by Denzel Washington, told an enthusiastic crowd, “Don’t let people turn you around, because they’re just making stuff up. That’s what they do. They try to bamboozle you, hoodwink you.”
2020欧洲杯体育投注网But that was not quite enough. A CBS poll before the primary said that forty per cent of the black voters in the state believed that the country was not ready to elect an African-American President. The campaign planned an event that was intended to resonate more deeply with black South Carolina, particularly with its Miss Marys. The event was to take place in the town of Orangeburg. In 1968, after protests against a segregated bowling alley, police shot into a crowd of black college students, killing three and injuring dozens more. This became known as the Orangeburg Massacre. Michelle Obama went to Orangeburg as her husband’s surrogate. Born on the South Side of Chicago, she was descended from Low Country slaves who worked in the rice fields around Georgetown, South Carolina. At the rally, she assured the crowd that her husband was “running to be the President who finally lifts up the poor and forgotten,” and gently prodded her listeners to tear away the “veil of impossibility . . . that keeps us waiting and hoping for a turn that may never come.” She ended on a note of solidarity and daring: “Imagine our family on that inaugural platform. America will look at itself differently.”
2020欧洲杯体育投注网On January 26th, Obama crushed Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in South Carolina, sweeping the black vote and winning fifty-five per cent of the vote over all. The victory secured the black vote for Obama during the rest of the campaign and a lead in the primaries that he never lost. At the victory celebration in Columbia, Obama told his volunteers that they had assembled “the most diverse coalition of Americans that we’ve seen in a long, long time.”
The crowd answered Obama in full-throated euphoria: “Race doesn’t matter! Race doesn’t matter!”
At around nine-thirty on the morning of April 4, 2015, midway through Obama’s second term as President, Michael Slager, a white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, shot and killed a Coast Guard veteran and forklift operator, a black man of fifty named Walter Scott. Slager had pulled Scott over and told him that one of his brake lights was out of commission. He took Scott’s license and walked back to his squad car. Scott, who had a series of arrests on his record, mainly for non-payment of child support, left his car and began to lumber away. There was a brief struggle as Slager tried to zap Scott with his Taser. Scott escaped at a heavy-legged trot. Slager unholstered his gun and, from a distance of no more than twenty feet, shot at Scott eight times, killing him as calmly as a hunter puts down a hobbled deer.
There were no uprisings in North Charleston, as there were in Ferguson and Baltimore, no public displays of mass outrage. Race, it turned out, had not ceased to matter, but forgiveness and forbearance, a spiritual tradition and a temperament rooted in the black church, the most powerful of all African-American institutions, prevailed. Clementa C. Pinckney, a Democrat in the state senate and the pastor of Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston—the oldest historically black church in the state—led a rally in North Charleston and campaigned to have police wear body cameras. He also showed an almost unfathomable degree of empathy, and not only with the victims. “Our hearts go out to the Scott family, and our hearts go out to the Slager family,” Pinckney said. “Because the Lord teaches us to love all.”
Two months later, on the steamy evening of June 17th, Dylann Roof, a twenty-one-year-old ninth-grade dropout, his imagination roiling with Confederate romance and a demented determination to spark a race war, slipped through a side entrance at Emanuel A.M.E. carrying a .45-calibre Glock semiautomatic that he had bought with his birthday money and eight magazines filled with hollow-point bullets. Roof sat down in a Bible-study class with a dozen congregants, putting himself near the teacher, Clementa Pinckney. Roof seemed to listen as Pinckney led a discussion of the parable of the sower, in the Gospel of Mark, but he was gathering his nerve. Writing on a Web site called “The Last Rhodesian,” Roof had portrayed himself as a lonely soldier of racial purity forced to take solitary action: “We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”
Finally, Roof, a slouchy, slender blond boy with a bowl haircut, stood up from his chair and fired repeatedly. “We were just about to say the prayer to be released,” Felicia Sanders, who survived, along with her eleven-year-old granddaughter and her friend Polly Sheppard, told a reporter for NBC. “He caught us with our eyes closed.” After the firing began, Sanders lay on the floor and clutched and covered her granddaughter with such force that she feared she would smother her. She could not protect her twenty-six-year-old son, Tywanza, who was shot several times.
As he lay bleeding on the floor, Tywanza said to Roof, “Why are you doing this?”
2020欧洲杯体育投注网“Y’all are raping our women and taking over the country,” Roof answered.
Sanders watched her son die shortly afterward. One surviving witness recalled that Roof said, “You want something to pray about? I’ll give you something to pray about.” After firing more than seventy times—“I heard every shot,” Felicia Sanders said—Roof pointed the gun at his own head only to discover that he had not left a bullet for himself. As he was leaving the room, he saw Polly Sheppard, hiding under a table and praying.