Posts Tagged ‘Confederate flag’

Clinton: Trump campaign built on ‘prejudice and paranoia’

August 25, 2016


Clinton ad ties Trump to KKK, white supremacists — “Donald Trump is the candidate of racists”

August 25, 2016

By LOUIS NELSON 08/25/16 11:44 AM EDT

A video released Thursday by Hillary Clinton’s campaign makes the case that Donald Trump is the candidate of racists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

“The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in,” a robed man identified as the Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan says at the top of the video, followed by images of a Confederate flag fluttering in the wind, Trump waving after a speech, and a man performing a Hitler salute at what appears to be a Trump rally.

The video’s release comes on the same day that Clinton is scheduled to deliver a speech on the so-called “alt-right” political movement, which has formed much of Trump’s base from the beginning of his campaign.

In the video, an unidentified voice labels the alt-right as “the sort of dressed-up-in-suits version of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements.”

The video specifically attacks newly hired Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon over his previous job running Breitbart News, widely considered to be the most prominent alt-right media outlet. An unnamed member of a CNN panel attacks Bannon as “a campaign chair that ran a website that has become a field day for the alt-right, which is racist and all sorts of other ‘ists.’”

Trump’s campaign quickly issued a statement in response to the video from Mark Burns, a pastor with close ties to the campaign who spoke at the Republican National Convention last month in Cleveland. Burns said the video represented a “disgusting new low” for Clinton and her campaign.

“Hillary Clinton and her campaign went to a disgusting new low today as they released a video tying the Trump Campaign with horrific racial images,” Burns said in the statement emailed out by the Trump campaign. “This type of rhetoric and repulsive advertising is revolting and completely beyond the pale. I call on Hillary Clinton to disavow this video and her campaign for this sickening act that has no place in our world.”

Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, whose endorsement Trump famously did not immediately refuse when asked about it during a CNN interview, as well as Jared Taylor, the editor and founder of the white-supremacist magazine “American Renaissance,” are also quoted praising Trump in the video. The same robed Klan member remarks, “Donald Trump would be best for the job.”

“Sending out all the illegals, building a wall, add a moratorium on Islamic immigration,” Taylor said in an interview pulled from CNN. “That’s very appealing to a lot of ordinary white people.”

After controversy exploded in the wake of his initial refusal to repudiate Duke, Trump told Bloomberg in an interview that “I don’t need his endorsement; I certainly wouldn’t want his endorsement.”

The video runs just over a minute and 10 seconds and wraps with a black and white image of the White House as audio from a Trump rally of attendees chanting the real estate mogul’s name plays. The Clinton campaign video closes with a warning that “If Trump wins, they could be running the country.”
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Church Services Honor Victims of Charleston Shooting — We “send a message to every demon in hell and on Earth.”

June 21, 2015

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church reopens Sunday

Flowers, memorials, line the outside of Emanuel AME Church following the shootings of nine African-Americans, allegedly by a white supremacist

By Cameron McWhirter and Mara Gay
The Wall Street Journal

CHARLESTON, S.C.—Church bells tolled across this city Sunday morning, calling worshipers of all races and creeds to honor nine black churchgoers who were gunned down last week in a historic African-American church, allegedly by a 21-year-old white man.

In services across the city, church leaders and parishioners struggled to make sense of the tragedy, while mourning the victims and calling for unity.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, and longtime Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley were among more than 1,200 dignitaries, church members and media who gathered at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the large African-American churchwhere the shooting took place.

“The freshness of death comes like a thief in the night,” Rev. Norvel Goff told the standing room only crowd, after ticking off the names of those who died after a Wednesday night Bible study, allegedly shot by Dylann Roof, who is in custody.

Sunday morning’s service, Mr. Goff said, “sends a message to every demon in hell and on Earth.”

“A lot of people expected us to do something strange and break out into a riot,” Mr. Goff said. “Well, they just don’t know us. They don’t know us because we are a people of faith.”

Parishioners sing at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church Sunday.
Parishioners sing at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church Sunday. Photo: DAVID GOLDMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS

“We have shown the world how we as a group of people can come together and pray and work out things that need to be worked out,” he said. “It does not mean that we are not aware of the problems that many of us face, not only in America but here in South Carolina, in Charleston.”

“We’re going to pursue justice, and we’re going to be vigilant, and we’re going to hold our elected officials responsible to do the right thing,” he said, calling for justice for “those who are still living in the margins of life.”

A rapturous crowd packed the church, dancing, singing hymns, and shaking tambourines to show that the killing of nine of their members in the church’s basement couldn’t shake their resolve or faith. Emergency workers handed out water bottles in the sweltering church, where people lined the walls and crowded the balcony in bow ties and three-piece suits. Hundreds of people stood in the streets, near speakers, to listen to the sermon.

Signs of the shooting pervaded the service in multiple ways, with police guarding the doors, and teams of grief counselors on hand. So many people gave money during the offering that the plates overflowed. At one point, a woman wailed near the front where the victims’ families sat. Several people stood and left the service in tears, gripping one another as they walked out of the church.

As congregants left the church, a large, mostly white crowd, greeted them by singing the song, “Amazing Grace,” a show of support that brought tears to many peoples’ faces as they stepped into the hot South Carolina sun.

Jody Ruff, 60, stood outside the church with her husband and teenage son, all three of them wearing shirts that read, “Here for you.”

“We had to come down here and let them know, we are with them,” said Ms. Ruff, who is white.

Her son, 19-year-old Bobby Ruff, said he lived in a dorm room across from Chris Singleton, whose mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, was killed in Wednesday’s shooting, at Charleston Southern University. “We are going to pull together for him,” Mr. Ruff said.

A little more than a mile away, about 150 parishioners, almost all of them white, gathered for Holy Communion early Sunday morning at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, one of the oldest churches in the city. Both George Washington and Robert E. Lee once prayed at this ornate church, built in the 1700s, and Charles Pinckney, a signer of the Constitution and a prominent slave-owner, is buried in the adjacent graveyard.

Rector Alfred T.K. Zadig Jr., 47 years old, said he was having dinner only a block away from Emanuel when the shooting occurred, and the tragedy made him realize how little connection he had to the black churches of the city.

“I did not know one single person in that church,” said. Mr. Zadig, who has been rector at St. Michael’s for eight years.

Dylann Roof, charged with nine counts of murder in connection with the shooting at a historic black South Carolina church, appeared at his bond hearing in Charleston on Friday. Photo: Reuters

The church now is committing itself to building a relationship with black churches in the city, including going over later Sunday for an outdoor prayer service, contributing money to help Emanuel and inviting members of Emanuel to preach at St. Michael’s, the pastor said.

The “agonizing four days” since the shootings showed him that he needs to interact more with other pastors of all races and faiths in the city, Mr. Zadig said. The four black pastors killed Wednesday died “a martyr’s death” and were “taken out by the powers and principalities of evil, acting through the 21-year-old deranged man,” he said.

“This is not God’s will,” he said. “God did not ordain this to happen to make a point about racism. No, not all things happen for a reason.”

But he said the killings have awakened people to the need for racial barriers in Charleston to be overcome. “Look around us,” he said, standing at a large carved wood pulpit in green and gold vestments. “What would it be like to have black and white together on a much larger scale than this?”

After the service, longtime usher Henry Grimball, 66, an attorney and former city councilman, said he worried the shootings would lead people to think Charleston had racial problems. “This city is not a racist city, not at all,” said Mr. Grimball, who said his ancestors first came here in 1684. “We’ve overcome a lot of the past.”

Mr. Riley, Charleston’s mayor, said Sunday he believes that the shooting was an “isolated” incident, carried out by an outsider who didn’t represent the views of the local community.

“This wasn’t someone from Charleston,” Mr. Riley said in a phone interview before attending the service at Emanuel AME. “I think this was one very bad isolated bad person.”

Still, he said, “In Charleston or in America do we have more work to do to understand each other? The answer is yes, of course. It’s something we always are working on.”

Asked whether he believed the shooting was a hate crime, he said, “I do.”

Charleston is on an “extra prudent level of alertness,” he said, adding, however, that he hasn’t received any credible threats of further violence.

Community leaders are organizing a unity rally to be held Sunday evening at the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge that dominates the city’s skyline. Leaders are hoping enough people will attend to join hands all the way across the bridge.

In an interview Saturday, Dwayne Greene, a prominent black community activist and lawyer who once worked for the city, said race relations in Charleston generally are good, but there are still historic class and race divisions.

The city’s downtown stretches are affluent and filled with tourists, while surrounding neighborhoods are struggling with poverty. Race relations, he said, have progressed, because Mayor Riley and a spate of new big companies have worked to improve the situation by attracting new residents from across the country and reigniting tourism.

“Although there are racial issues, Charleston has done a really good job compared with other cities in dealing with those,” Mr. Greene said. “It would take a lot to fuel a racial conflagration here. The communities are rallying around one another and coming together.”

Mr. Roof, of Eastover, S.C., has been charged with nine counts of murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Mr. Roof didn’t enter a plea during his court appearance on Friday.

A group calling itself “Take Down the Flag SC” held a rally Saturday evening outside the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., with more than 500 people gathering to protest the flying of the Confederate battle flag on the grounds.

Mr. Roof allegedly espoused racist views and the car he was driving had an ornamental license plate displaying the Confederate flag. Charleston police said Saturday evening that they and the FBI were investigating a website that has been attributed to Mr. Roof. The site, which hasn’t been verified as being Mr. Roof’s, contained a racist manifesto and displayed photographs that appeared to be Mr. Roof waving Confederate flags. His attorney couldn’t be reached for comment. The imagery has reignited a long-standing debate in South Carolina and beyond about the flag’s symbolism.

Defenders argue it represents Southern heritage and the sacrifices of Southern people during the Civil War. Opponents contend it is a rallying symbol for white supremacist attitudes and promotes racial discord.

Write to Cameron McWhirter at and Mara Gay at