BLACK VOICES

Charleston Resident On Church Shooting: ‘The Real Issue Is Race'

06/18/2015 05:23 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2015

Moments after nine people were killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, an unidentified man verbalized the anger his community felt in an interview with MSNBC.

"People are scared to talk about the real issue, which is race," he said. "We are a community trying to live and survive, why do we have to live like this?" The man's question is one that has propelled the #BlackLivesMatter movement into national conversation in recent months.

This hate crime targeted a church known for having a predominantly black congregation, and for being a site of historical relevance in the abolition of slavery. The man in the video voiced how that fact is going to affect his hometown. "How can I go back into the community, the community that I live in, and talk to young kids every day to get them to understand what's going on and tell them that they don't have a right to be angry? They have a right to be angry," he said.

Meanwhile, the black community at large, and allies of other races, are grieving over this tragedy and sharing their thoughts on Twitter.

Although it seems like no place is truly free of racism -- from swimming pools to the sanctuary of a church -- the above interview shows that the black community will not stand for it. As the Charleston resident put it, "we have every right in the world to be angry."

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