There is something inconsistent with the Charleston shooter’s alleged evocation of the historical myth of black man as beast and rapist of white women, and the fact that he killed mostly black women. Did he only shoot black women because there were no more black men to kill? Because black women birth, care for and love black men? Or because he didn’t see black women as women at all, and, as something less than women (and certainly lesser than white women), felt us undeserving of the same valiance he conjured on behalf of the women he claim to be protecting?
The shooter allegedly used the salvation of white women’s bodies as a motivation for his acts, an old trope that was once used to justify the lynching of black men and the denial of rights to all black people. The idea that white women’s bodies represent that which is inviolable while black women’s are disposable hasn’t changed enough since it was first articulated by white men; but again, aimed at black men on Wednesday night, it was predominately black women who suffered by their invocation.
Quote is from The Charleston Shooter Killed Mostly Black Women. This Wasn’t About ‘Rape’ in The Guardian.
Survivors stated that Dylann Roof said “you rape our women and you’re taking over our country, and you have to go.” White men have raped for centuries for profit, power and pleasure, violence that fuels capitalism in a country formed in anti-Blackness and settler colonialism that he wanted to “take back.” He killed primarily Black women (6 Black women, 3 Black men) based on a reason that White men themselves are guilty of.
RIP: Rev. Clementa Pinckney (SC state senator [D]) (41); Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr. (74); Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor (49); Rev. Sharon Singleton (45); Susie Jackson (87); Ethel Lance (70); Myra Thompson (59); Cynthia Hurd (54); Tywanza Sanders (26).