Dylan Roof and right to life

This month millions will continue to speak out against the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade by using the anniversary of the decision to participate in Walk for Life and March for Life events across the nation. This incredible show of support for the dignity of human life is one that the American Solidarity Party is proud to take part in. As our members come together to honor the lives of the unborn, we must recommit to the fullness of our dedication to the dignity and value of all Life.

For the first time in a federal hate crime case, a jury has delivered a death sentence. On June 17, 2015, twenty-two year old white supremacist Dylann Roof entered the Emanuel African Methodist Church and, motivated by hate and prejudice, took the lives of nine people. In his own words, his intent was to start a race war. This unconscionable and horrific act of of vitriolic hate can only face a response of absolute rejection and abhorrence. This willful act of violence brings lasting pain to the nation, to local communities, and to the families of all the victims. This is the kind of terrible injustice that must be stridently renounced in the strongest terms, and which we, as a society, have an obligation to strive to end. And this, this kind of incomprehensible hate, is a mindset that forces us to face the real implications of a genuine dedication to Life.

It is our belief in the inherent dignity of every human person that urges us to unequivocally condemn Roof’s actions and, at the same time, oppose his impending execution. We cannot afford to treat any lives as though they are disposable, for when one life becomes disposable, they all do. The timeless words of Martin Luther King must be embedded in our hearts:

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”

The racism of Dylann Roof is violent and evil, but perpetuating his violence by executing him will not bring peace. The American Solidarity Party stands in opposition to the death penalty not as a form of idealistic pacifism, but rather to ensure the practical disruption of the “descending spiral” of violence. Let us firmly, for once and for all, make this our steadfast stance: We condemn the act of violence that took those nine lives, we condemn the act of violence that will take Dylann Roof’s life, and we stand together to restore an abundant culture of life to the American political and social landscape.