Senator Holly J. Mitchell calls for action in response to Charleston massacre

June 23, 2015

Statement by California State Senator Holly J. Mitchell

“As we open our hearts and offer condolences to those who are reeling from loss in the wake of the massacre at Emanuel AME, whose pastor was my South Carolina colleague State Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney, we must renew our commitment and find the will, in memory of the dead and for the sake of the living, to bring to an end the spiral of violence that racial conflict evokes in this country.

"Let us not again wring our hands in shock, mourn the victims and accept that nothing can or will be done because too many Americans accept that violence is the ongoing price of freedom. If it was, that price has been paid many times over. If it is no longer, we let ourselves off too easily by tolerating mayhem as inevitable. It will end when we take the tools and excuses and convenience of violence away from those who use them to be a law unto themselves.

"It's time to address the ‘banality of evil’, the so-called right of those who contribute to violent racism while denying their responsibility by being its cheerleaders, blaming its victims and excusing its perpetrators. Not only must each of us be accountable, we must hold each other accountable.  

"I will grieve for those whose lives and futures racism has taken by acting on this promise: Not another victim will be taken without my voice and vigor being raised in protest. And yes, I mean more accountable law enforcement and less access to instruments of human death."