Why You Didn’t Hear All About the Shooter in Tennessee

Morgan C. Mullings, Staff Writer

You might be surprised to know that you missed such an impactful and terrifying event.

On Sunday, Sept. 24, one person died and seven were injured in a shooting at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville, Tenn.

The alleged shooter, a Sudanese documented immigrant, had attended the church before. He quit his job as a security guard the day of the shooting.

Alt-Right publications are berating the mainstream media for “ignoring” the issue of a black man shooting indiscriminately at a predominantly white church. However, the media didn’t ignore it — we did. Suspect Emanuel Kidega Samson has had interactions with the police three separate times before, according to CNN. His ex-girlfriend reported that he was violent with her in the past, and his father says Samson has attempted suicide.

The Washington Post says people close to the investigation found a note in his car that referenced Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine black worshippers at a historically black church in Charleston.

The reason you haven’t heard this story is that those who know have most likely been uncomfortable discussing it. What activist would want to talk about a black man possibly taking his revenge on innocent white people?

However, those of us who tweet and post in the name of social justice should have done better. We have to educate people on how disgusting this is. We have to let people know that there is an extreme difference between those who advocate for Black Lives Matter, and this murderer.

Roof’s hate crime devastated the black community, and white supremacist attitudes are still dangerous to people across the country. However, letting anger ruminate to the point where murder seems okay, instead of voicing your opinion and leading activism in your community is the opposite of progress.

People who claim the far right have a right to look to those associated with “leftist” ideas and ask, “what does this mean for activists?”

As an activist for any cause, it’s our job to make it clear what we stand for and what we don’t. We have to have tough conversations not only with others who are ignorant of our causes, but with ourselves, too.

Nobody should stand with suspect Samson and he will not be made the poster for black retribution. The large amount of resources out there are for our use, and if we don’t use the knowledge we do gain, we can never educate others on what we think should change.