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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 52
Issue 2

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
An Open Letter to Dylann Roof
Sabrina Francke

Dear Dylann Roof, 

There are nine innocent people that could be alive right now, but instead their lives were taken by one vile act. What could happen to a person that could belittle ones heart and humanity to such a minuscule size? How could a person walk into a church service, a place where he is welcomed and greeted by the congregation, and then barely even an hour later shoot nearly every one who was sitting in that church with him? This hate crime has brought so much pain and grief to the community of Charleston, South Carolina. Ever since the day when you blankly walked into Emanual African Methodist Episcopal Church on June nineteenth two thousand fifteen, so many lives were changed.

As if hate driven terrorism was not enough, you refused to feel guilt for your hideous actions. How can a human admit to killing nine people and then laugh about it? Sickening. I believe that you are the only one that can truly explain your reasoning behind this. Frankly, no one else can really see how someone could become such a monster. Those people welcomed you with open arms to that evening bible study, and you thanked them by killing them. You left two survivors and told the one of the traumatized women that the only reason that she had been kept alive is so that she can go and tell everyone what he had done. You have not shown any guilt toward your actions. You wrote “I do not regret what I did” and “I am not sorry”. That truly makes you question how a person could be so cruel. It is absolutely sickening that a person would think that this would doing some people a favor.

Your motive was to spark a racial war and divide, but all you did was make a community stronger and a city come together. Your trial revealed that no punishment would bring back the lives that were lost. U.S Court Judge Richard Gergel said “This trial has produced no winners, only losers,”. There was no reason to take those peoples lives, and even the death penalty is far from justice. Melvin Graham, whose sister, Cynthia Graham Hurd, was one of the nine victims, said that after the verdict, “This is a very hollow victory because my sister is still gone.” Graham added, “He just took them away because he wanted to. He decided the day, the hour, the moment, my sister was going to die. And now someone is going to do that for him,” A person would like to hope that after committing such an act, the perpetrator would feel some form of remorse, but for you, you felt nothing.

These kind of actions affect everyone. Your extreme racism embarrassed and ashamed the non African-American community. In my town, people were stopping by our local AME church, to express their sympathy to the church and its members by giving donations. A lot of people in my town did not want the churches to think that all white people are bad and feel the same way you do. You made people who had nothing to do with the tragedy feel guilt just for being white. You tried to represent a whole race with your “beliefs”, but you acted alone. It may come as a surprise to you, but most people don’t look at people like you do. You believe that the white race is superior, but few people have such a twisted mind. No body else but you feels this way.


Sabrina Francke