President Obama eulogized Reverend Clementa Pinckney today

President Obama eulogized Reverend Clementa Carlos Pinckney, 41. He was an extraordinary human being, loved, respected and admired by everyone who knew him. Dylann Storm Roof ended his life prematurely nine days ago with a bullet to the head as Reverend Pinckney presided over a Bible study and prayer meeting at his church, the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof also shot to death eight others who attended the meeting. Roof later told police that he did it because he wanted to start a race war. That gives him something in common with Charles Manson.

From Wikipedia,

Pinckney was first elected to the South Carolina General Assembly in 1996 at the age of 23, becoming the youngest African American elected as a South Carolina state legislator. He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives until being elected to the South Carolina Senate in 2000.

As a state senator, Pinckney pushed for laws to require police and other law enforcement officials to wear body cameras after Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, was shot eight times in the back by a police officer in North Charleston.

President Obama delivered a eulogy at his funeral this afternoon. He said, “Clem came from a family of preachers . . . He was in the pulpit by 13, a pastor by 18, and a representative in the state legislature by 23. What a life he lived. What an example he set. What a good man he was.”

“God works in mysterious ways,” he said about the accused killer. “He didn’t realize . . . the grace it would bring.”

The president also spoke about the confederate flag and what it represents; namely, the cause for which so many confederate soldiers died. Slavery.

“Justice grows out of recognition of ourselves in each other.”

He ended by leading 5,000 voices singing Amazing Grace and reminding everyone that the nine shooting victims found that grace, naming each one. Then he challenged each of us to find that Grace and become whole.

11 Responses to President Obama eulogized Reverend Clementa Pinckney today

  1. Malisha says:

    I must admit that I was troubled by the bond hearing “forgiveness production” and that, even before I learned that Judge Gosnell had said in open court that there were four kinds of people and one of those four kinds were “N***ers,” I was utterly suspicious of that Judge because of his outlandish and reprehensible behavior. Also, he said there were “two sides” of some mythical “family” and that is a sign of a judge trying to spread around the guilt so that everybody is at fault when there’s a “dispute” and it’s all just a “he said/she said.” But my real suspicion was that the judge did this at the bond hearing for the specific purpose of facilitating a federal habeas about ten years down the road after Roof is convicted and sentenced — because he was not able to have his “accusers” cross-examined when they made their statements at his bond hearing.

    But here’s another point of view and I very much agree with it:

    There’s really no such thing as “forgiveness” when it is not asked for. It is only a “free ticket” to commit more and worse crimes. Yes, even though Jesus said “turn the other cheek,” that DOES invite another “smite.”

    I would think that it is better to wait until someone who has smote feels bad about it and says, sincerely, “forgive me.”

    It’s not mine to say, in this situation. But it also wasn’t the judge’s; he was just supposed to consider setting bond.

    • gblock says:

      We shouldn’t be forgiving the attitude that led to this shooting incident. We should use it as a call for increased awareness and vigilance.

    • I don’t agree because in this context I believe forgiveness was intended to be a renunciation of hate. I will not hate you for what you did. By hating you (Roof), I give you power over me. By forgiving you, I eliminate any hold you might have over me, my thoughts and emotions. Your desire to start a race war failed and you have no power over me or any of us. By forgiving you, I can begin to heal the wound you caused. I can even honestly pray for you to find peace. May God have mercy on your soul.

      They weren’t doing him any favors. They were healing themselves. In this context, I view it as the ultimate putdown uttered from a position of power.

      • Malisha says:

        I’m going to think about that deeply because that’s not what I immediately felt when I heard the repeated forgivenesses. I have to get it cognitively now, because I didn’t get that emotionally then. It will take some reading and re-reading. Thanks for being so careful and so eloquent. I can see the trial lawyer advocacy in you, Professor. 💡

  2. Malisha says:

    I wonder if Jeralyn Merritt is even the slightest bit embarrassed that Dylann Storm-Drain had the same take on the Trayvon Martin case that SHE HAD. SMDH.

  3. Malisha says:

    Amazing Grace/Where the Streets Have No Name:

    Amazing Grace (Soweto Gospel Choir):

  4. sunsh44 says:

    Yes I agree that our president gave an amazing eulogy. He is the best, most real president we have ever had. I was so touched when he started singing Amazing Grace. He has done so much for the people and I just don’t understand why people can not see this! He will go down in history as a great president who did A Lot for our country and I too will miss him when he leaves the WH. I am proud that I voted for him.

  5. Moving. Thanks for posting this.

  6. Our President gave an amazing eulogy. He is hands down, the best speaker, and preacher of any other Pesident, period. He will be so missed, when he leaves the WH. I am so proud of him.

    • Yes, his eulogy moved me to tears. And he can sing really well. His segue into singing Amazing Grace and naming each of the nine victims followed individually with the words, “found that grace,” inspired me. I suddenly found myself standing without realizing that I stood up.

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