HunterFloorSpeechIn response to an apparent racially charged shooting at a historic African-American church Wednesday in Charleston, S.C., State Senator Mattie Hunter released the following statement:

“I am extremely saddened by the senseless killings of innocent people attending bible class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina yesterday evening. My colleague, Reverend State Senator Clementa Pinckney, was among the victims. Senator Pinckney was a member of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and a much-beloved pastor of the “Mother” church.

This senseless crime, that was apparently racially motivated, underscores the need for us, as a nation, to continue to work toward eliminating racial hostility and socio-economic prejudice in our society.

A scripture that I learned as a child reads, ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).’

The United States was founded as “one Nation under God” – the embodiment of love and respect for all people.  We must fight back against racial injustice and show our support for the victims and their families by attending the church of our choice this Sunday.  

With righteousness on our side, we shall overcome.  South Carolina, we are praying for you.”