Accountability is What Really Happened in South Carolina

A fascinating series of events occurred in South Carolina over the past few weeks. Let’s review the facts.

A young white man walked into a church in South Carolina. He walked into a room where bible study was being held. He stood out in that room as he was the only white person there. What happened? He was invited to join everyone in bible study. He joined in before taking his gun out and shooting people. He killed 9 people including the pastor of the church. I find what happened before, during and after this tragic event totally fascinating.

Someone who obviously wasn’t a part of that church was warmly welcomed and invited to join in. And why not? Aren’t those the actions of someone who is living out what they believe?

After the horrific event, the families of the slain people didn’t incite or promote a riot. The families actually came forward and offered their forgiveness for the actions of the young man. And why not? Aren’t those the actions of someone who is living out what they believe?

The Confederate battle flag had been flying on the Statehouse grounds of South Carolina immediately came into focus as the man had used and connected that flag to his actions. The governor of South Carolina reversed her position and championed to remove a symbol that for over 65 years has been attached to hatred, division and racism. And why not? Aren’t those the actions of someone who is living out what they believe?

We experienced a series of peaceful events that have transformed our society following a totally heinous act. And why not? Isn’t that supposed to be how we step it out based on what so many of us say we believe?

The only person in the entire event who lacked accountability was the shooter. The people in the church were accountable to the young man. They offered inclusion in their discussions and bible study. The families were accountable to themselves, their God and the young man when whey offered forgiveness, which aligns with what they believe. And, the Governor was accountable to all of the people she serves when she moved to remove a flag that doesn’t unite her state but actually divides it.

While it is tragic that people lost their lives, I am inspired by the accountable actions taken by many. Accountability really is what happened in South Carolina.

December 2022

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