What is TEDx?
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxJacksonville, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxJacksonville event, TED Talks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.
Nine people were killed last Wednesday, during a Bible study at historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Police are investigating the shooting as a hate crime. One of the officials said that Dylann Roof, who is white, told investigators that he wanted to start a race war. Joey Meek, Roof’s roommate, told ABC News that Roof “was big into segregation,” and was plotting for six months.
At a bond hearing in Charleston, South Carolina, 21-year-old Dylann Roof listened as the families of the victims were given the opportunity to address him. Dylann Roof could hear, but not see, people in the courtroom, (according to court employees). People in the courtroom could see and hear Dylan Roof. The family members of those killed by Roof offered us watched a masterclass in forgiveness and mercy:
“I will never get to talk to her again, I will never get to hold her again; but I forgive you.” the daughter of Ethel Lance said.
“May God have mercy on you.” Tywanza Sanders mother said.
“We are the family that love built. We have no room for hatin’ so we have to forgive.” Depayne Middleton-Doctor sister said.
The extraordinary international response to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church murders called to mind Pastor Michael Smith’s 2014 TEDxJacksonville talk, which we present below.
Michael T. Smith’s Talk “Black Murder Is Normal”
“White” Mike’s talk was given at TEDxJacksonville, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Mike argues that the “normalcy” of black murder is ingrained in our American culture. Indeed, the idea that a black American would be involved in a homicide — either as perpetrator or victim — is so broadly accepted as to be largely unnoticed. For black males ages 15-34 the number one cause of death is homicide. Mike implores us … “Black murder is normal — but should not be. I was born into a world where black murder is normal. My kids were born into a world where black murder is normal. But I don’t want to die in a world where black murder is normal.”
Tweetable: “I don’t want to die in a world where black murder is normal.”