Dissecting The Charleston Massacre Media Frenzy


Dissecting The Charleston Massacre Media Frenzy

  • Aisha Adams

    Aisha Adams is a poet, social-prenuer, vegan, homeschooling naturalist.  Her written work has appeared in places like the Birmingham Times, ...

Photo from the Independent Sentinal 

Dylann Roof has been apprehended after opening fire inside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church on Wednesday in Charleston, South Carolina. Dylann, a white felon, killed 9 black Christians gathered for a mid-week prayer meeting. Lots of details about the case have been reported. For example, we know that he planned it for six months, he drove around town with a confederate flag on his car, and allegedly received the gun from his family as a gift. Across social media platforms touchy opinions, condolences, and conspiracy theories are popping up everywhere. There was at one point a “Justice for Dylann” page floating around the feed on Facebook with a dozen or so likes.

As usual, we have taken a reactionary approach.

The conspiracy theorists are sure that President Obama wants to take our guns and he probably does, or at least his speech writers and advisers figured that this was a good time to push the gun control agenda down the weak-minded throats of emotional Americans. In his press conference, President Barrack Obama stated, “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

I know why I am never invited to these things. I am the gutsy journalist who isn’t afraid to say, “Excuse me, Mr. President; we aren’t giving up our guns, and there are a lot of things happening over here that don’t happen in other ‘advanced’ countries, but that is why we voted for you. What is your plan?”

Popular news stations and pseudo intellectuals debate whether it is a hate crime or not, whether Dylann will use an insanity defense, or whether or not he is a terrorist. Jon Stewart seems to be the only person reporting on the incident asking any relevant questions. I found his commentary eloquent and thought-provoking, but I still feel the need to ask my own tough questions:

Who are Dylann’s friends? Who allowed him to show up at their houses with the confederate flag on his car? Who let him into their home with those white supremacist apartheid era patches on his jacket? Who made South Carolina a safe haven for what he represented?


What did Dylann mean when he said, “I have to do it, you rape our women, and you’re taking over our country, and you have to go”? What organizations did he align himself with? What resources were used to program his beliefs?

Dalton Tyler, friends with Dylann, told ABC News that Dylann had been planning something like the Charleston church attack “for six months”. When will Dalton Tyler be arrested for not reporting him? When will Dylann’s dad be arrested if he did in fact supply a felon with a gun? When is the confederate flag coming down from the Capital in South Carolina?

Where are the people who are supposed to protect us from domestic terrorists? Where’s Cointelpro when you need them for white supremacists? Why aren’t the FBI infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting the domestic organizations that made Dylann Roof? Where is the rest of his terrorist cell hiding in South Carolina? How many supporters does Dylann have at the Capital in South Carolina? How many law enforcement friends does he have?

Large media platforms and their affiliates purposely create racial tension the way they report stories. They have created a culture of racial image disparity through discriminatory reporting. Their faux reporting promotes racial tensions, racial discrimination, and racial stereotypes. How long will we allow the media to be worthless to us in our pursuit of the truth? How long will we allow them to play us against one another?

Don’t get me wrong; there are some media outlets that report the racist reporting of other media outlets, but there are really no calls to action. The news stations run off ratings. Turn those idiots off. Stop allowing them to program us with more resentment and more hate. Mainstream media is one of our biggest problems. The way these stories are reported instigates and uplifts a culture of continued inequality.

On social media, the grit is in the memes; there’s nothing like a Facebook revolt. I saw that Dylann… the suspected killer of nine… was apprehended safely, given a bullet proof vest, and being flown back to South Carolina on a private jet juxtaposed with a picture of Eric Gardner being choked to death because he was suspected of selling cigarettes. These images are real, but they lack the narrative of really good reporting.  Mainstream media is afraid to actually stick to the facts, uncover truth, and spark change.

Aren’t you tired of mainstream media making matters worse?