DNC on Mother Emanuel AME Shooting Anniversary
June 17, 2023
On this day eight years ago, nine people, all of whom were Black, were brutally murdered while they were praying and attending a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. To recognize the lives lost, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, a native South Carolinian, issued the following statement:
“On June 17, 2015, worshippers at the historic Emanuel AME Church welcomed a stranger into their prayers with open arms. That stranger, a white supremacist, brutally took nine lives that night in a senseless act of bigotry. Among them was my dear friend Clem Pinckney, a beloved faith and community leader. The Charleston community, our community in South Carolina, and the entire nation still mourn the nine lives lost that day.
“The wounds from this tragedy are still fresh in our minds as our country continues to deal with the consequences of gun violence. Last year, in another hate-fueled incident, ten Black Americans were shot and killed in a Buffalo supermarket, reminding us that we must continue to push for meaningful change; thoughts and prayers are simply not enough.
“To fully honor the memories of the victims of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church, we must come together every day to fight for a world free of hate, prejudice, and gun violence. Coming at one of the oldest Black churches in the United States and a historic beacon in the fight for civil rights, this targeted mass shooting demonstrates that the fight for equality, justice, and safety from violence is far from over.”