Words Are Not Enough: A Statement on the Charleston Massacre

National People's Action joins millions across the country in expressing our outrage, sadness and horror at the tragic murder of 9 Black women and men in Charleston, South Carolina. But our words of grief and rage are not enough. For far too long, violence against the black community has been met with impunity and indifference. 

This act, and the daily occurrences of violence directed against Black people in this country, are the logical outcome of a systematic devaluation of Black lives.  It's a devaluation that is perpetuated by the rhetoric and actions of politicians, policy makers and the corporations that line their pockets. The actions of an individual in Charleston expose the violence in our political and economic structures. Rhetoric that blames 'an inner-city culture' for centuries of disenfranchisement and disinvestment puts bullets in the chamber. Policies that drive wealth to the 1% and corporate CEO's while starving entire communities from housing, education and health care pull the trigger.

We condemn these actions. We mourn with the families who have lost their loved ones. Now we must turn to the task of dismantling a system that allows black lives to be devalued every day. We can't do this by focusing on the actions of individual white supremacists as if they exist independently of a political and economic structures that perpetuate and use white supremacy to maintain the power of the 1%. We must build the political power required to uproot the policies and practices at the heart of this system.