We have a race problem in this country.

We have a race problem in this country.

This morning many of us woke to learn there has been a terrorist shooting at Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Emanuel, meaning “God with Us.”

(Is God with Us?)

Nine black people were killed.

I am grieving and trying to integrate realities that are heartbreaking. And yet, I keep noticing myself lamenting that this has happened in Charleston. When I first heard, I said to myself, “not Charleston. Not again.”

Charleston is the place that feels most like home to me. It is where my parents live. It is the place I go back to when I return to South Carolina, the state of my upbringing.

It’s true. Charleston has a deep and complicated relationship with race, and racism is most definitely still alive there.

And for over 12 years I have lived in Boston, which also has a deep and complicated relationship with race, and racism is also most definitely still alive here.

Don’t get it twisted, y’all: No place in this country – which has a deep and complicated relationship with race, where racism is most definitely still alive – is immune to the hate and fear that young white man channeled in order to kill. It’s in me and it’s in you. It’s with us regardless of where we live, where we were brought up, where we worship.

Let us (keep) praying and working for racial justice and liberation – from New England to the Lowcountry, and beyond.

Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter.

image credit: Hilary Allen