In the wake of tragedy, Charleston mourns as the world reacts.

Nine innocent people lost their lives to senseless violence.

On June 17, 2015, gunfire erupted from inside Charleston, South Carolina's historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Dylann Storm Roof, 21, entered the church around 8 p.m. Once inside, reports say that Roof sat and prayed with the group before he allegedly opened fire, killing nine people.


On Thursday morning, June 18, 2015, Roof was arrested roughly 200 miles away from Charleston, in Shelby, North Carolina.


One of the nine victims was the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, a pastor and state legislator.

Newsweek profiled Pinckney, noting that he recently co-sponsored a bill designed to require police officers to wear body cameras in the wake of the Walter Scott shooting.


A black cloth covered Pinckney's seat in the state Senate.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen is calling the shooting a racially-motivated hate crime.

By appearances, it certainly looks as though this was a racially-motivated crime. On Roof's Facebook profile, he's seen wearing a jacket with the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia. Those two countries have a deep history of white supremacy.


Commentator Marc Lamont Hill did what most in the media wouldn't: He called this an act of terrorism.

He made the point that had this been carried out by just about anyone other than a white man, the media would have been quick to label this an act of domestic terrorism. Instead, the closest that most outlets will get is to suggest this is a hate crime.


In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security warned that "white supremacist lone wolves" should be taken seriously as a terrorism threat.

The report reads, "[The Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis] has concluded that white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy — separate from any formalized group — which hampers warning efforts."

Then-House Minority Leader John Boehner lashed out at use of the word "terrorist" being used to describe these types of individuals. Instead, he characterized them as "American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation."


Now Speaker of the House, Boehner offered his condolences for this tragic loss of life.


Groups and individuals on both a national and local level offered a range of reactions.

NAACP issued a statement:

"The NAACP was founded to fight against racial hatred and we are outraged that 106 years later, we are faced today with another mass hate crime. Our heartfelt prayers and soul-deep condolences go out to the families and community of the victims at Charleston's historic Emanuel AME Church. The senselessly slain parishioners were in a church for Wednesday night bible study. There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture. Today, I mourn as an AME minister, as a student and teacher of scripture, as well as a member of the NAACP." — Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO

A number of people pointed to the life of Demark Vesey, who in 1822, planned a massive slave revolt in Charleston.

Vesey's plot was thwarted, and he was put to death.


Locally, people mourned and prayed in churches and in public.


Perhaps most importantly, the people of Charleston came together in strength and solidarity like they have before.



If you're interested in following along on social media, please check out the following Twitter hashtags:

#CharlestonStrong, #IamAME, #PrayForCharleston, #CharlestonShooting, #AMEShooting, #DemarkVesey, #EmanuelAME, #sctweets

More
Alie Ward

Your dinner plate shouldn't shame you for eating off of it. But that's exactly what a set being sold at Macy's did.

The retailer has since removed the dinnerware from their concept shop, Story, after facing social media backlash for the "toxic message" they were sending.

The plates, made by Pourtions, have circles on them to indicate what a proper portion should look like, along with "helpful — and hilarious — visual cues" to keep people from "overindulging."

There are serval different styles, with one version labeling the largest portion as "mom jeans," the medium portion as "favorite jeans," and the smallest portion as "skinny jeans."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

In today's installment of the perils of being a woman, a 21-year-old woman shared her experience being "slut-shamed" by her nurse practitioner during a visit to urgent care for an STD check.

The woman recently had sex with someone she had only just met, and it was her first time hooking up with someone she had not "developed deep connections with."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared