Update: " The murders of nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, is being investigated by the Justice Department as a possible case of domestic terrorism, a U.S Justice Department spokeswoman said on Friday." (Reuters)
The Charleston Massacre (Grandin, The Nation, New York Times) is much worse than a hate crime from the American South.
It is an act of domestic terrorism by definition and should be treated as such.
18 U.S. Code § 2331 (5)
the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
This is an easy call.
"Black churches suffered at the hands of thugs and terrorists throughout the Civil Rights era, as they had for a century before, but such attacks aren’t a matter of remote history. As recently as the 1990s, a wave of fire-bombings hit black churches," notes Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic.
Perhaps the Republican Party can see its racial taunts, racist dog whistles and its war on black Americans should cease immediately.
Perhaps Scott Walker and Paul Ryan could begin the cease fire; I wouldn't count on it.