I appreciate all who have reached out to check on my status, mentally and physically, after Wednesday's madness. That's what it is, madness. There is no other explanation for the hate that being had for others he'd never met.
Like all in Charleston, I'm shaken. Though I'm on vacation, I'm still shaken. This was an area I know very well. It's a nice area. It's not supposed to happen here. And yet... those words are constantly uttered in these instances. "This isn't supposed to happen here." Yet here we are. Grieving, praying, and banding together.
From Maine I've followed updates and news reports. I feel guilt that I'm not there to help the city that's forged me heal in a time of need. I thank all of you who are doing so. You are what makes Charleston so frequently appear on the "Best Of" lists. You're what amounts to the real Southern Charm, not some crappy "reality" show on a second rate network. You're what changes my mind every time I want to move from that city.
We've all been touched, harmed, and rattled. A piece of all of us passed away with those nine who were an act of unspeakable hate. Much like those who belong to that church, we also grow stronger. We grow tighter. We will not let hate win.
Some have already cried, some are waiting to grieve. We all stand together. We all stand strong, no matter our place in the famous nine stages. That's what's most important. That we stand and say we will not tolerate this, that we have love in our hearts, that this horrible hate has no place in OUR city.
I love all of you. You're what make Charleston home. You're what make Charleston great. Not The Battery. Not Rainbow Row. Not some stupid, arbitrary list from magazines. You. We. Us. Let's stay strong. Let's weep. Let's remember. Let's be Charleston.