The following statement was issued on June 20, 2015.
The National Network on Cuba extends our solidarity to the survivors and our condolences to the families of the victims of the racist terror attack on Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The Mother Emanuel AME Church is a symbol and example of African-American communities who have fought racism and oppression from before the first slave ships left the coast of Africa to the Black Lives Matter movement today. A founder of this church, Denmark Vesey, was hanged for planning a rebellion to end slavery.
The corporate media’s uniform script is predictable. Once again the portrayal is of an individual reprehensible act. There is a different public discourse presented for people of African descent and other people of color. A white shooter is portrayed as a disturbed individual: in Columbine, in Tucson, in Oklahoma City, in Raleigh, in Milwaukee, but if someone has an Arab name, they are immediately labeled an international terrorist conspirator and they and all people who look like them are assumed guilty.
Where is the outcry, the signs, the full front page declarations: “WE ARE ALL PASTOR PINCKNEY!” “ WE ARE ALL MOTHER EMANUEL AME CHURCH!” “WE SAY NO TO RACISM!” like the ones that followed the Charlie Hebdo killings in France?
The emblems of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa and white settler Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, displayed on the shooter’s Facebook page could not show his allegiance to white supremacy and oppression more clearly. This racist massacre could never happen in Cuba because the very foundation of that country is based on respect for humanity and collective care for each other. In Cuba, these words are not just phrases but something they practice daily. These basic principles of solidarity between people also extend to the world, where time and time again Cuba has been the shining example of sending brigades to help fight against diseases, and they are first responders when a disaster happens. Cuba never asks for anything in return, like when they sent military assistance to Angola in the 1980s to help defeat the racist South African Army.
The National Network on Cuba stands with the people of Charleston and says no to racism and white supremacy.