Faith trumped the racism-fueled violence when nine parishioners were anointed from heaven to open our eyes to the utter hatred in our world today. Their families forgave.
Some co-opt symbols of the past to further an agenda. For me, the Confederate battle flag represents a failed economic model based on agriculture and free or cheap labor-intensive work, benefiting the elite of the old South. The freedom and innovation of the industrious union triumphed while millions of conscripted — and coerced — confederates died.
How a young man, just 21, changed opinions over only a year and a half says more about the influences shaping America today than we may wish to know.
Steven Graves, Fort Lauderdale