KELO Talks to Anxious White Christians About Charleston Racist Murders

KELO-TV contextualizes the racist, terrorist shootings in the Charleston Emanuel AME Church Wednesday by speaking with a couple of horrified local Christians. KELO mentions the terror but not the racism:

While the deadly violence happened more than 1,400 miles away, the pain reaches Kristen Hickey. The longtime Christian is horrified by the murders, especially in a place of worship.

“It’s a place of solitude, it’s a place of peace, a place that you don’t expect to have violated by what’s going on in the world around us,” Hickey said.

Faith-based therapist Larry Porter says the recent violence could shatter the peace for some parisheners [sic] attending South Dakota churches. He says it’s important to have support.

“Typically, it can really challenge people in terms of where does my faith really rest,” Porter said [Hailey Higgins, “South Dakota Church-Goers React to SC Violence,”, 2015.06.20].

In contextualizing the murder of nine African Americans by a white racist, KELO interviews two white Midwesterners who worry about the peace of their mostly white churches being shattered.

I understand the spiritual component of this crime. But that component is secondary, mentioned always as an appendix—“…and in a church, no less!”—and not as the headline of the crime. As Larry Wilmore’s scolding of Fox News for trying to portray this racist crime as part of the imagined war on Christianity (note: the shooter is Lutheran) suggests, failing to recognize the racist nature of this crime is irresponsible journalism, as irresponsible as it would have been during the civil rights movement to report that the murders of black churchgoers were anything other than racist crimes intended to scare blacks away from standing up for their equal citizenship.

Yet there is KELO, making just one mention of race in its article (referring to Emanuel as a “historic black church”) before focusing on white people’s anxiety. At some level, yes, churchgoers should be disappointed that one of their own would let his hatred overrule Christian love.  But they should be more disappointed that KELO would not seek out black members of our church communities and ask them about their anxieties. In this case, KELO’s colorblindness causes it to miss the real story.

39 Responses to KELO Talks to Anxious White Christians About Charleston Racist Murders

  1. Apparently the TV screens in the KELO building are set at FOX 24/7.

  2. 96,

    SanfordLand a Fox affiliate?

  3. KELO stands for Klan Echo Love Outfit. This bunch hates Natives as well. Remember, South Dakota was settled by Civil War veterans from the slaver South to the destitute North. If Grant would not have won the War in the West at Shiloh and especially at Vicksburg, the state of Minnesota would have capitulated to keep its economy alive by shipping grain down the Mississippi. That would have also played into East River South Dakota as well. Both places have never had to high of a regard for people of color, although much has been done to further that, it is clear that in South Dakota, it has failed.

  4. Steve Hickey

    Bummer that the take away from the news clip was anxious white Christians, not race. Certainly that isn’t all that was said in that interview and I know you know I’ve been very vocal this week about this not being about guns or quick pleas for the death penalty but rather it’s about race. There was even applause when I made comments about lingering racism in SC and SC when I spoke this week at the Democratic Forum in Sioux Falls. Much of that matter is being made of this issue in our services today.

  5. NRA board member blames Charleston shooting deaths on pastor’s vote against guns in churches

    The NRA has changed for the worse so much since I was a member in the late 70’s early 80’s. I can’t imagine joining today’s NRA.

  6. mike from iowa

    The NRA claims people with guns should have access to all buildings,including churches and schools,except for where ever the NRA holds its own convention. There only select security people are allowed to “carry” Why is that? Is the head weasel afraid someone might be fed up with 2nd Amendment bullshit and decide it is time for new NRA leadership?

    The head of the FBI won’t call this massacre an act of terrorism.

  7. I was thinking the same thing Cory. Not once did they mention why this tragedy happened which was a racist one guy.
    My first thought was KELO was trying to make this an attack on Christianity which is what FOX News did. This had nothing to about Christianity.
    Even worse some right-wingers blamed the people that died because they weren’t carrying guns.

    Rev. Hickey this is about guns and availability of them as well.

  8. “white guy”-my typing is bad

  9. Good for you Steve Hickey, preach and beat this into the heads of all. If those that want to deny racism is a threat to our survival as a country, then let them wear that crown of thorns for all to see openly. It is long past time to allow them the sanctuary of being able to hide without fear of retribution. Politicos all should be grilled point blank of their view about race without punting or any other dodge. Then, those views should be published for all to see in each and every political office in the state to include their staffs. The racial bigotry must end. When we start to address this issue, we will all see that the insanity of guns along with racism, will ebb. Make no mistake, these two blood brothers walk hand in hand to cast the long shadow of hate and despair across our country, both are the mark of evil so remarkable, it is forbidden to discuss openly. Politicos fear the truth and dance around it like it did not or has not happened. Our police shoot first and ask questions later on people of color, because it is accepted…for now. Storm wrote a manifesto about his hatred of Blacks and his desire to kill them with the ease of a man with no worry. This kind of hatred is what we are producing here in America with the Republicans cheering them on. Don’t believe me, listen to them on their networks. After you have listened to the Jeb, Rick and the rest of the racists, ask yourself why you would want to be a Republican…unless you are that kind of thinker as well.

  10. Jeff Kroon

    So voting democrat will solve the race problems? Passing more gun laws will solve gun violence crime? There has always been evil in the world and there will always be evil in in the world. I don’t like it but there’s no easy solution to it.


    this is easy. GOP will NEVER do it.

  12. mike from iowa

    Putting Dems in control would be a good start. Forcing wingnut hate radio to accept responsibility when their listeners follow their rhetoric and commit crimes against minorities. Making the NRA own its own rhetoric about people’s rights to have any weapon they want and carry said weapons everywhere. Wingnuts are the problem. Libs clearly have better,workable solutions.

  13. mike from iowa

    Imaging if wingnuts were as willing to put restrictions on guns at the rate they put restrictions on a woman’s right to exercise sovereignty over her own body. Or even a tenth of the restrictions.

  14. Roger Cornelius

    Apparently there are no Blacks or Black Christian leaders in the radius of KELOland viewing area. Sad, that they could not seek them out and hear the truth.
    As I listened to the CNN coverage of this massacre over the week and watched the services at Emanuel AME Church this morning I have for the most part been pissed off, and then the realization of what was happening struck me and I was in utter awe. Something that doesn’t happen often with me.
    There has not been one word uttered by the Black community of hate for Whites or for Dylann Roof. There has been some strong rhetoric about that damn flag but hose comments have been made with logic and reason.
    The Christian leaders of Charleston both Black and White have come together this week with a common purpose, let’s end hate.
    The victims families, friends, community leaders and members and members of the congregation are echoing the same message of Forgiveness.
    Can you imagine going to court and facing this racist and telling him you forgive him and will pray for him only to be chastised by a redneck judge telling you that you should have my sympathy for Dylann and his family too. This coming from a judge that in 2005 told a Black defendant that there are “four types of people in world, White people, Black People, rednecks, and Ni**ers”.
    Who are the God fearing Christians in Charleston? The white racists and killers or the Black community that is preaching the word of the Lord when hate and violence would be well deserved

  15. It is clear that as long as the NRA and the Republicans have their arms firmly wrapped around this terrorist act of racism, then they should be the proud owners of it. I have not heard any Democrats singing praise on this terrorism, or am I missing that Jeff? You are the proud owner of terrorism in the United States. You are all just as guilty as Storm or the rest of the terrorists that have struck this country with the hate and fear of people of color. Republicans have shown a united front in the support of terrorism with Perry even calling it an accident. Your Republican governor of the state of South Carolina where the terrorism occurred, proudly keeps the traitor flag flying. Embrace your symbol or tear it down and dispose of your hate. This is not about religious freedom and never has been, this is the racism that the republican party now stands for in who it wants for its nominee for president. Soon you will be dragging ole Mitt out of the crapper to be your boy.

  16. When a right wing-nut loon murdered a Kansas doctor in a church in 2009 not once did the dominate right wing-nut media pretend that murder in a church was an aggressive act against ‘christians’.

    Faux news is all faux and no news. That 2009 murder was a act of vile right wing-nut hate, not too dissimilar from the racially hate-motivated murders in Charleston.

  17. This tragedy is about definitely about race, but not singularly that one issue. We are long overdue for addressing and ridding ourselves of racism. We are long over due in this nation for sensible gun regulation. We are also long overdue for regulation for news standards as well. That Fox can air misleading information and propaganda, that we air hate speech in talk shows that mask themselves as journalists or news also adds to the bubbling brew.

    If reading the manifesto the alleged terrorist created, there are ties and wording not just to hate groups, but to actual things that Fox uses as talking points. (Video list compiled by a participant on Democratic Underground as example).

    It is difficult to correct any of these issues when there is media polarizing or energizing wing nut / extremist fringes. First steps, get rid of Fox and hate talk radio when ridding ourselves of the Confederate Flag.

  18. mike from iowa

    Jackilope-it wasn’t a scant couple years ago when the chief justice of the activist,wingnut Scotus hisownself declared racism dead and therefore there was no need to have the gubmint keep an eye on racist states at election time. He was wrong then and he is still wrong.

  19. Roger Elgersma

    Minnesota lost more of their troops(over 80%) in the civil war than anyone else. So I do not think they were thinking about capitulating.
    The pastor that got killed was also a state Senator, so Hickeys wife might have felt more empathy than most.
    Relating it to a church shooting may have more people seeing the risk in a more real setting compared to their own life, but it was still a race thing rather than a church thing. Did they point out that it was a Lutheran who pulled the trigger, that may not have been relavant.
    Bottom line is that a person who killed randomly to make a point to start a race war and not to stop a particular bad person, is a terrorist rather than just a murderer.

  20. larry kurtz

    So, you’re in Sioux Falls at a place of worship within the Somali community: should you be armed?

  21. bearcreekbat

    Roger E, my brother-in-law shared with me a fabulous book about the Minnesotans who fought on the side of the North in the civil war. You probably have already read it, but if not, I encourage you to check out “The Last Full Measure, The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers” by Richard Moe. It is a captivating book that is really hard to put down.

  22. mike from iowa

    Roger E- Minnesota only had around 2600 casualties during the civil war. Iowa sent 76000 and lost 13000. I think iowa holds the record for most deaths in a single family with 7 brothers killed.

  23. Yet they have no blogs about Iowa, Mike.

  24. mike from iowa

    My bad,there were 6 Littleton bros who served and died during the civil war. Based on population at that time,iowa sent more of her population to war than any other state.

    Grudz you need to get laid or weighed or played or something.

  25. Deb Geelsdottir

    The way some “news” outlets are distorting this act of terrorism by far righties is shameful. There are others that are providing excellent journalism. KELO’s coverage is pathetic.

  26. Roger E, Minnesota would have indeed capitulated. Ask yourself this one question, why did it take almost 3 years, January 1, 1863, of civil war to finally pass the Emancipation Proclamation into law? The main reason was that the Mississippi was still closed to northern grain shipments. Without Grant’s defeating the traitors at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, the river was not open for northern shipments to the world. Meanwhile in late August of 1862 in Minnesota, the Dakota War had begun. Most of the countryside was abandoned and a great fear had begun with settlers abandoning everything in great panic. The July 4th victory on the Mississippi over the traitors made sure that they were never going to be a threat until now of the union. It also meant that Minnesota would get the troops to end the Dakota War as the traitors from the South were literally cut in half.

  27. Porter Lansing

    The story is right before your nose but with so many in Sodak (mostly females) abusing prescription pain pills it’s no wonder it’s missed or ignored or just not talked about. The Charleston shooter was on the same anti-anxiety meds as the Aurora movie theatre shooter … clonazepam. It’s side effects are magnified in young males.

  28. Deb Geelsdottir

    The article Porter linked to says, “Overall, more males than females abuse prescription drugs in all age groups except the youngest.”
    Yet Porter says, ” . . . so many in Sodak (mostly females) abusing prescription pain pills . . . ”

    I didn’t see where the article broke it down by state. Where is that Porter?

    Now, back to the topic:
    Porter, are you saying this mass murderer committed this act of terrorism because he had used clonazepam? It had no bearing on race? It was just coincidence that he hated blacks and murdered blacks? Help me out here please. I’m having trouble following your thinking.

  29. It is just another excuse in our society to be polite and give the white supremacist terrorists cover. I guarantee if the dude would have been black and the victims white, there would have been no kinds of excuses muttered. It would not have made a damn if he was shooting heroin, his act would have been as a terrorist act and the drug use would have never entered the picture. Likely the dude would have been executed on the spot when captured and then hung. Drugs don’t shoot people, people shoot people. The orange haired feller in Denver, shot everyone that was watching a movie. It did not matter what color you were, he pulled the trigger of his automatic assault rifle acting like a madman. There was no manifesto regarding his hatred of blacks. Storm’s own words and planning makes his act an act of racial terrorism with or without drugs. He clearly knew what he was doing and did it.

  30. porter, i thought holmes did it because he smoked pot. lets not simplify complexity for sound-bite’s sake. :)

    you do have a denver connection?

    lotta people benefit greatly fro ssri s

  31. mike from iowa

    Little shit was arrested for felony possession of prescription drug and should never have been allowed to possess a gun of any type. fortunately the NRA values felon’s 2nd amendment rights. They fought the gubmint to allow known terrorists to buy all the guns in the US they want.

  32. sorry porter, i am being a smart alec, but the issues this touches on may be much bigger (if that is possible) than james holmes’ orange haired catastrophe with military shot guns, ar15s, and handguns w/mega clips in a summer evening weekend movie theater experience for the South Eastern quarter of denver’s middle class public.

    i was at cabella’s last night looking for boots and an older couple were in front of me and he was adertising “NRA Protect 2d Amendment” bullsheit on the back of his ball-cap. This warped public view of weapons is a large part of the problem. if elected, hillary WILL do something about gun control and iraq war criminals.

    but the point is GABA nuerotransmitters which I (not to mention science), do not understand, but i recognize the brain-chemistry problems so prevalent and mis-treated in this country. we treat addiction illness with a criminal system. so much for the brilliance of lawyers of the world. ssri s attempt to manipulate the brain to relieve some depression and anxiety symptoms of a huge mental illness segment of society that is largely ignored.

    antabuse and its companions and derivatives are aimed at craving – 90% of treated addicts suffer relapse, and they also work with benzodiazpines (Valium), the most prescribed drugs on the planet.

    i would like to pursue this discussion in an appropriate thread. i have little expertise in this area, just as a codependent parent.

    charelston murderer-mentally ill, or just a racist?? chicken and egg??

  33. for example jackley daugaard rounds and long have a new saying: “skip it, or fail (daily 24/7 sobriety tests)=JAIL”. cute huh!? Criminal justice solves all medical/mental health/addiction issues efficiently!! Right?

    they have the support of rand corp think tank @beaukilmer. bullsheit/bad science/republican ideology

  34. Roger Elgersma

    From what I remember in seventh grade Minnesota history class we only had about two hundred soldiers so they could not have lost 2600. Absolutely other states lost many more people. But those few hundred held the line against 16500 Alabamans for about half an hour till reinforcements came to the middle of the line at Gettysburg since the generals had anticipated the south going around the end when they actually came up the middle.
    Minnesota was a very new state at that time and the counties in the southwestern part of the state where I grew up did not even have white settlers yet. So the population was to low to send more. And Minnesota had just about ended killing Natives so they had their own prejudice problems. Lincoln had pardoned all but thirty something Natives from being hanged out of over three hundred for defending their land. So the whites thought Lincoln was generous and the Natives tell me that Lincoln had 38 Natives hung.

  35. mike from iowa

    Had to run this through tiny url. Original URL was 432 characters. This is the death count for Northern states from the civil war. I assume it is fairly accurate.

  36. Roger and mfi: All respect to both of you guys; I greatly enjoy and even agree with most of the comments you both make on this site. But are you seriously having a pissing match, on this of all threads, over whose state lost the most lives in a one hundred and fifty year old war? All right, let’s just settle this here and now. Black Hawk, South Dakota, not having been established until 1887, didn’t exist during the American Civil War. Therefore, all (zero) of the citizens of Black Hawk who went to that horrible conflict never returned. Not a single one of them! We gave one hundred percent of our brave men, who were involved, to that noble cause (none). You can’t give any more than that. So there, end of discussion.

  37. mike from iowa

    My oldest Grand girlie lives in Blackhawk and attends RC Central High. She did not fight or die in the Civil War or any other war that I am aware of. I’m not having any kind of match with anyone. Just wanting to set the record straight. There were casualties from Indian country,including Indians.

  38. why are 40% of us against the name change? is that the percentage of racists in the state? is that the same proportion of gun-nuts in the state?

  39. There is plenty of racism right here in SD. I know of examples of it that would surprise many. As soon as antidiscrimination laws went into affect to give women and minorities equal opportunities, male owners of various businesses put their wives’ names on the business so it looked like they were allowing everyone a chance. But what actually happened was the same companies that had discriminated now qualified for preference because they were including a group that had been left out before. Their actual operations hadn’t changed a bit. And black contractors were essentially shut out.

    I’ve even seen racism in my own family that, until a dozen or so years ago, I had no idea was there. It was in the most “Christian” side of my family and it suddenly came out that they still believed in antimesegination laws and were horrified when a family member wanted to marry someone of another race!!

    I agree with many of the comments above about how this massacre and hate crime occurred. I am incredibly disappointed that KELO could not find any black people to interview. I would think they have staff that are black… shouldn’t they? If, in the interest of objectivity, KELO wanted someone outside their own organization, they could have asked if their staff knew any black leaders, pastors or anyone else of color. Surely, in all the years KELO has been on the air, there would have been some contact with someone of color!