Religious and Civil Rights Leaders in Detroit Call for Unity After Charleston Shootings

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Religious and civil rights leaders in metro Detroit say they are shocked about the shooting deaths of nine people in a Charleston church, with some calling it a terror attack against African-Americans. 

“It’s tragic, it’s shocking,” said Rev. David Alexander Bullock of Detroit, pastor of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church. “I really think it’s domestic terror…African-Americans are under attack and being preyed upon in this country.”

The shooting was one of the worst attacks in a house of worship in the U.S., sparking an intense discussion about race, hatred, and extremism, with local pastors calling for unity across racial and religious lines.

In his Facebook photo, the shooting suspect had symbols of the former country of white-run Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, symbols for white supremacists. He also made racist comments and reportedly said before shooting: “You rape our women and you are taking over our country. And you have to go.”

The suspect is white and the victims attended a historic African-American church rooted in resistance to slavery and racism.

The Rev. Bullock said the shooter’s remarks and actions were “terrifying. The sin of racism still has not been uprooted or exorcised from the soul of America.”

The Rev. Charles Williams of Detroit, who leads King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, also expressed concern, saying there’s a political climate of racism.

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Source: Detroit Free Press | Niraj Warikoo

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