Three and a half years ago, Dylann Storm Roof walked into Emanuel AME Church and forever altered the lives of 9 families along with an entire church community.
On that fateful Wednesday in mid-June, Roof, who was openly welcomed to participate in bible study, opened fire on the unsuspecting congregation. In a matter of minutes, he’d taken the lives of the pastor and South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pinkney, Rev. Sharona Singleton, Rev. Myra Thompson, Rev. Daniel L. Simmons Sr., Rev. DePayne Middletown-Doctor, Cynthia Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Tywanza Sanders, and Ethel Lance.
Motivated by racist ideologies, the admitted white supremacist carried out a plan that had been in the making for close to a year. Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley described it as “the most dastardly act that one could possibly imagine.”
By Thursday morning, Roof was in police custody following a traffic stop in Shelby, North Carolina. Found competent to stand trial, it would be close to a year and a half before the families of the nine victims would feel even a minute sense of justice. On December 15, 2016, Roof was convicted of 33 counts of murder and hate crimes federally, followed by nine counts of murder at the state level.
That sense of justice was short-lived.
According to the New York Daily News, Roof is appealing his death sentence. In a legal brief filed with the 4th US. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, lawyers claim Roof was suffering from mental illness at the time of the shooting.
Per CNN, the filing states “When Dylann Roof represented himself at his capital trial, he was a 22-year-old, ninth-grade dropout diagnosed with the schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, autism, anxiety, and depression, who believed his sentence didn’t matter because white nationalists would free him from prison after an impending race war.”
It’s likely Roof’s single regret of June 17, 2015, the night he murdered nine innocent people, was that he didn’t harm more. So in the words of Chris Singleton, son of one of the victims, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, “Forgiveness was granted and justice was served. Let’s keep it that way!”
Porsha Williams and Yandy Smith Arrested While Protesting for Breonna Taylor
Everybody’s favorite Peach and the Love & Hip Hop princess were recently arrested for protesting outside the house of the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Videos circulated of the arrest, leading to an outpouring of support for them.
Since these uprisings began, Porsha, specifically, has transformed from a walking glamor-shot into a head and flats-wearing protester. Together, she and Yandy have put their money and bodies where their mouths are in order to bolster the voices of justice-seekers and help protect protesters.
That was clear to see when Porsha X and Yandy Luther King were released from prison 12 hours later. One way in which celebrities can help in these situations is by ensuring that people are treated more fairly by proximity. While police departments have no problem being needlessly aggressive toward protesters, having a celebrity in the mix can sometimes cause them to rethink some of the more heinous actions, so as to end up another headline. I’m not sure that this was the case in Kentucky, but these women seem to be making an effort to use whatever resources they have to push society in the right direction.
Torey Lanez Arrested For Gun Charges; Megan Thee Stallion Goes to the Hospital For Foot Damage
I… I don’t know where to begin… Oh, yeah! Megan must think she’s grown, since she’s out here galivanting with that Jenner girl and riding around with some boy with a gun. She know she knows better.
Last night, Megan Thee Stallion and Torey Lanez were seen on Instagram Live with Kylie Jenner. I just checked the calendar and, yes, the pandemic was in fact still going on yesterday, but apparently COVID-19 is only a threat to us poors. Somehow, the night escalated and TMZ is reporting that there was an altercation between Torey and another party goer. At some point, shots were fired in the air and the police were called. They found Torey and the rap princess herself in the car. Her foot was somehow wounded in all of this, so she was taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, Lanez was taken to jail, where he was let out on bail.
There’s still no reporting as to why Kylie Jenner seems to believe right now is the best time to have a pool party, nor have they recovered Megan’s mind. You see, she seems to have lost it at some point if she thinks that COVID-19 can’t is no longer a threat. I live in California. Our cases have spiked. People here are afraid to breathe in the same room as one another, but Megan is out here acting like she’s immune. I would expect this from Torey, but Megan has a successful career to think about. It’s just all very disappointing.
Naya Rivera’s Body Has Been Found
Naya Rivera’s body has been found in Lake Piru after a nearly week-long search for her body. The particulars around her death are still unclear, but her son, aged-4, was found alone on Wednesday in a boat. Not long before that, Rivera had tweeted out a photo of herself and her son, presumably on the boat.
Social media users took a particularly keen interest in this story for a number of reasons. Primarily, there was the mystery. Her son being found alone while his mother seemed to have been missing or dead made for an intriguing story for many. But there was more to this before long. Naya was a brown girl and the initial search was not long enough for the liking of people who have an understanding that our girls go missing and often are never searched for by the “proper authorities”.
Sadly, there were also plenty of tweets around her family, who seemed desperate to find her. Some posted videos of her father swimming to find his daughter. They questioned how her son got back on the boat. They questioned if her ex-husband was somehow involved. This is normal. People were trying to make sense of a senseless situation. It has, however, created a kind of spectacle out of her disappearance.
Naya’s death is emblematic for a lot of people, though. She was a non-White actress who played a lesbian woman in a show that seemed all but created specifically for queer people. Given some of the losses we’ve seen in the past few months, it’s natural that people would take this one personally. To our readers, those who looked to her as representation, we say we’re sorry for your grief.
And to Naya Rivera’s family, we say that we hope for healing, we hope for love, and we hope you can find peace in this media storm. Rivera will be missed by many. Her legacy is lasting.
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