FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2015
National Immigration Law Center Says Root Causes of Hate Crimes Must Be Addressed
LOS ANGELES — Late last night, a shooter killed nine people attending a prayer group at Charleston’s historic Emmanuel AME Church, which was founded just after the Civil War and grew out of a church that 200 years ago was forced underground when one of its ministers was executed for helping plan a slave uprising. The suspect, who has since been captured, has been identified in photos wearing symbols demonstrating allegiance to the white supremacy movement.
Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:
“Our country lost nine lives last night in a place of worship that should be considered a safe haven for everyone. By all accounts, this massacre was fueled by hate and should be treated as the hate crime it was. We need to go beyond simply looking at this horrific shooting as another sad episode in our nation’s history. Healing can take place only when we understand the root causes that drive people to commit such acts of hatred and terrorism, and we must do this through a transformative justice lens.
“It’s necessary to examine the systemic racial discrimination and socioeconomic inequality that incites hate crimes like these, as well as police brutality, to occur with such depressing regularity. Until we address these structural barriers and recognize the role of race in our society, senseless acts of violence will continue.
“We can no longer sit on the sidelines and allow such hatred and violence. Our vision of a country in which we achieve racial and economic justice requires us to act.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Charleston and with all those affected by this tragic massacre. We continue to call for justice for all those lost in this senseless tragedy.”
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