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In the aftermath of the Emanuel AME Church shooting, many are focusing on the forgiving nature of the African community, but is all this discussion of forgiveness deflecting our attention from the overlying issues of racism and hate in America?

Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now Straight Talk Panel discussed whether we should be more focused on the racism and hate that produced Dylann Roof, versus forgiving him for his actions.

NewsOne Now panelist Cleo Manago believes focusing on the issue of forgiveness “is a deflection from looking at what’s going on here with hatred and racist attacks on Black people.”

He added, “To me, it’s trying to deflect how deep this is — how horrible this is — and make sure Black people keep forgiving White folks, so there will be no resistance to the racist oppression that we’re dealing with as a result of an assassination of a Black leader.”

Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. did not agree with Mango’s point of view, saying the Christian value of forgiveness gives America a positive “starting point” to come together to say that “we’re all one.”

Mango continued,

“It wasn’t just about forgiving, it was the FBI and other White leaders deflecting what went on here — saying it was not terrorism — it’s a whole semblance of things to keep Black people in the trance, in this state of fatigue and feeling powerless and questioning our righteous anger so it can be dissipated.”

Watch Roland Martin, Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., Sr. Pastor of Hope Christian Church, and Cleo Manago, Behavioral Health Expert, discuss forgiveness in the wake of the Emanuel AME Church shooting and if forgiving Roof for his sinister act is a deflection from the root cause of his hate.

Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.


NewsOne Now: White Evangelical Voices Speak On Racism & White Supremacy In America

Is Focusing On Forgiveness In The Wake Of AME Shooting Deflecting Our Attention From The Overlying Issue Of Racism?  was originally published on