Today, Myra Thompson, one of the nine shooting victims in the Emanuel AME Church massacre is being laid to rest today. Thompson was a 59 year-old parishioner loved by her community. According to the Post & Courier, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said:
“Myra will always be here in the memory of this church…She was a martyr in the continuing fight of human dignity.”
Tomorrow, Daniel Lee Simmons will have a viewing ceremony, as well as a wake and an additional viewing ceremony on July 1 and July 2 respectively.
On Sunday, Joe Biden surprised churchgoers at Mother Emanuel for the morning’s Sunday service, just hours before another shooting victim. This was the second service the church had in the wake of the shooting. During his speech, Biden read scripture and said:
“We came back because my family and I wanted to show solidarity with the families and with the church.”
Biden, like President Obama, knew Sen. & Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the shooting victims whom was buried last week. Biden’s speech comes shortly haver losing his own sone, Beau Biden, last month to brain cancer. Biden received a standing ovation and sang “We Shall Overcome” with the congregation.
That afternoon, approximately 150 mourners came to celebrate the life of Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, a mother of four who had returned to Mother Emanuel in January. Malik Shabazz, the national chairman of the New Black Panther Party, was also in Charleston this weekend. Shabazz called the forgiveness expressed by the families of the victims “unnatural” and recounted the story of Denmark Vesey, a founder of the Emanuel AME Church who was murdered for trying to lead a slave revolt. Shabazz claimed he supported using force against white supremacist actions but did not support attacking white people.
The controversy around the Confederate flag is still alive and well. A North Charleston cop was recently fired for posting a photo wearing boxers designed like the notorious flag. Now questions remain over whether the photo was posted before or after the attack, and if the officer has received other complaints for discriminatory behavior. The photo became viral just as numerous SC officials were speaking out to have the flag removed from Capitol Grounds.