A voice silenced in racist attack, amplified in death

It is odd, yet true, to think that the voice of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, which a white supremacist thought he was silencing by killing him, is now being amplified to a wider audience.

Pinckney, a pastor and a politician, was featured on Henry Louis Gates’ documentary series on PBS, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.”

“To know him, even over the course of an autumn Carolina afternoon, was to know a man who cherished the values on which our republic was founded, and who held an abiding faith that the great promise of America could, one day, be fulfilled,” Gates wrote in a New York Times op-ed.

He was a unifier who, this past spring, taught us how to mourn in communion with one another, following the police slaying of Walter L. Scott, a black man, just north of his city.

I don’t believe that he had the capacity to imagine the depth of malice and anger that came down on his congregation, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, on Wednesday night.