To gain the meaning of a situation, especially a tragic one, humanity will undoubtedly create a narrative. We have to. We have to do this in order to reconcile in our minds what all the chaos means. We are, by nature, social scientists who believe that when tragic things happen, there is an antagonist and protagonist and a storyline to be told.
The question is which narrative will be told? Who will be the protagonist and [the] antagonist? Through what paradigm will it be seen? We have pretty much come to terms with the fact that even media outlets — that should only give facts surrounding a story — have their own narratives that usually lean toward particular audiences.
You see, we all have our own ideas of how stories should be told. And we don’t want to hear our protagonists being denigrated or antagonists being applauded.
So, in the case of Charleston, which seems pretty cut and dry to some, we all find ourselves coming to different conclusions. The different headlines alone sometimes allude to the narrative that will be told:
“Christians Killed During Prayer Meeting”
“White Man Kills 9 Members of Black Church in South Carolina”
“Dylann Roof, 21, Unexpectedly Kills 9 People”
It’s very probable, with headlines such as these, that a particular angle will be taken, and, in writing this, I wrestled with which narrative I could tackle.
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Discussion: Lecrae Writes Op-Ed On Charleston Church Shooting was originally published on praisecleveland.com