Mr Pinckney came from a family of civil rights activists and leaders

The BBC profiles pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney.

A church pastor and a state senator, Clementa Pinckney spoke of his politics as an extension of his religious mission, as another way of serving the people around him.

“Our calling is not just within the walls of the congregation,” he said. “We are part of the life and community in which our congregation resides.”

On Wednesday evening, Mr Pinckney was shot dead among those he had pledged to serve – one of nine victims of a gun attack on the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The 41-year-old pastor had begun preaching at the age of 13. He was also a rising star of Democrat[ic] politics in a state long dominated by Republicans.

He was the youngest African-American in South Carolina’s history to be elected to the legislature. He had been a student at the state university, a Lutheran seminary, as well as at Princeton University.

Now all that’s gone, thanks to a young racist whose daddy gave him a gun for Christmas.

We’re right up there with Bangladesh for hateful murderous targeted violence.

Mr Pinckney came from a family of civil rights activists and leaders. Among them were campaigners for the desegregation of school buses and for electoral reforms that would pave the way for the emergence of black politicians.

In 1998, the veteran Washington Post political reporter, David Broder, met Mr Pinckney and described him as a “spirit-lifter”.

“Our people expect the best of us,” the young politician told the reporter. “They send us to take care of the people’s business, and those of us who take hold of that responsibility understand that’s what it’s really about.”

Earlier this year, Mr Pinckney appeared at rallies to protest at the death of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man shot dead by a police officer in Charleston.

So the young racist with the gun executed him, just as the theocrats with machetes executed Avijit Roy and almost executed Asif Mohiuddin.

Mr Pinckney left a wife and two children.


  1. brucegee1962 says

    Hatred + Guns = Tragedy. It’s as simple as that.

    Yet the same people who promote hatred, and believe everyone should have a gun, seem to always deny any responsibility the fiftieth time this happens, or the five hundredth, or the five thousandth. Somehow, I don’t believe their denial any more. Look at what this brainwashed young man said before he shot. I was about to call him the extreme wing of the Republican party, but he isn’t even that extreme anymore. He’s simply acting out the rhetoric.

  2. rjw1 says

    U.S. Gun laws have been a mystery to people like me who live outside the United States, until this latest tragedy, now perhaps I understand. It’s really about race, and the need for some white Americans to ‘protect’ themselves from everyone else. Is it a legacy of slavery and its institutions?
    I’m not assuming the moral high ground in regard to racism, given similarly lax firearm laws I’m sure similar tragedies could occur in my country and others in the West.

  3. P. Jordan Howell says

    There are actually people, politicians and FOX News, who are really trying to make this about the non-existent “war on Christianity in America”. They have latched on to the fact that this terrorist attack took place in a church to make this about Christianity. The fact is that these people were slaughtered not because of what they believed BUT because of what they look like.

    It is not all that significant that he attacked people who were congregating in a church but it is very significant that he attacked THESE congregants in THIS church. Emmanuel AME has been a symbol of the struggle for black freedom and civil rights for the better part of 2 centuries. He picked THIS place and THESE people very deliberately.

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