Nate Jackson / July 23, 2015

Are Some Murders Worse Than Others?

Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson, Tywanza Sanders, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney and Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr. are the nine black church members in Charleston who died at the hand of Dylann Roof last month. He faces nine murder charges and the death penalty. But Barack Obama’s Justice Department decided that wasn’t good enough because what Roof did was extra bad. He murdered out of racial hatred. So Roof will also face federal hate-crime charges. “We think that this is exactly the type of case that the federal hate crimes statutes were, in fact, conceived of to cover,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. “Racially motivated violence such as this is the original domestic terrorism.” Indeed, the horrendous crime led to an outpouring of sympathy for the victims and their families, and it seemed for a time that Roof’s entire purpose would be thwarted by racial reconciliation and solidarity. But then the race hustlers got involved, demanding the Confederate flag be removed from every aspect of the American landscape and culture. The taking of one American’s life shouldn’t be deemed more important than the taking of another. Murder is murder. And all murders are hate crimes.

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