I read an article today in The New York Times about Dylann Roof’s bond hearing. The victims’ families were there because they had something to say to Roof. Here are some excerpts from the article:
“You took something very precious away from me,” said Nadine Collier, daughter of 70-year-old Ethel Lance, her voice rising in anguish. “I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.”
“We welcomed you Wednesday night in our Bible study with open arms,” said Felicia Sanders, the mother of 26-year old Tywanza Sanders, a poet who died after trying to save his aunt, who was also killed. “You have killed some of the most beautifulest people that I know,” she said in a quavering voice… “But may God have mercy on you.”
Yahoo News also ran a piece that quoted another relative, Anthony Thompson.
“I forgive you, my family forgives you. We would like you to take this opportunity to repent. … Do that and you’ll be better off than you are right now.”
I commend The New York Times and Yahoo for focusing on the courage of Nadine Collier and Felicia Sanders and Anthony Thompson, instead of Dylann Roof, the coward who murdered nine people (mostly seniors) at a Bible study.
Roof hasn’t asked for forgiveness, and he doesn’t deserve it. And, no one would blame the victims if they were bitter and angry for the rest of their lives. Instead they rose to a height few of us could, and wisely forgave him. Perhaps they realized if they did not forgive him, his cruelty and senseless actions would drive their thoughts and actions for the rest of their lives. Or maybe they did what they believe is right.
Whatever their reasons were, who could help but admire their courage?