Seven years ago, nine people, all of whom were Black, were killed while they were praying at the end of Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In commemoration of those lost, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, a native South Carolinian, released the following statement:
On June 17, 2015, worshippers, as their faith taught them to do, welcomed a stranger into their church. That man — a white supremacist — took nine souls that night. I still remember the moment when I learned that I lost my dear friend Clem. Families lost loved ones. Communities lost their leaders. South Carolina — and the nation — lost nine outstanding Americans. They were the best of us.
To fully honor their memories, we must keep working to end the scourge of hate and the nightmare of gun violence. I am heartened by the bipartisan work being done to advance common sense gun reform in Congress, but this is just the start.
Each of us must keep working to build a world free from racism and hate and a country where all our communities are safe, and that requires bold leadership at all levels.