After being indoctrinated online into the world of white supremacy and inspired by a racist hate group, Dylann Roof told friends he wanted to start a “race war.” Someone had to take “drastic action” to take back America from “stupid and violent” African Americans, he wrote.
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof attended a Bible study meeting at the historic Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina and murdered nine people, all of them black.
The act of terror shocked America with its chilling brutality. But Roof did not spark the race war he and others wanted. Far from it.
Instead, when photos surfaced depicting the 21-year-old white supremacist with theConfederate battle flag —including one in which he held the flag in one hand and a gun in the other —Roof ignited something else entirely. A grassroots movement to remove the flag from public spaces. In what seemed like an instant, the South’s 150-year idolatry of the Confederacy was shaken. Public officials responded to the national mourning and outcry by removing prominent public displays of its most recognizable symbol.
The Confederate flag's defenders claim it is a flag of "heritage, not hate". The heritage of white supremacy was not so much birthed by hate as by the impulse toward theft. The theft of humans, created in the image of God to be treated as and sold as property.
The driver of the car that murdered Heather Heyer in cold blood stole from a Mother and Father their daughter. He robbed them of someone that is irreplaceable. He stole from friends, a friend. Irreplaceable. The theft of white supremacy demands justice. The theft of white supremacy has stolen the gospel of Jesus Christ and perverted it into something evil, and ugly, and hateful.
I urge all Christians of conscience to call this out for what it is. White supremacy is theft. It's time we reclaim the gospel.