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Clinton calls Charleston shooting ‘racist terrorism’

Clinton calls Charleston shooting ‘racist terrorism’
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFor Joe Biden, an experienced foreign policy team Millennials and the great reckoning on race Biden chooses Amanda Gorman as youngest known inaugural poet MORE is calling last week’s massacre at a historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C., “an act of racist terrorism.”

“That night, word of the killings struck like a blow to the soul,” the Democratic front-runner in the race for the White House said at a church in Florissant, Mo., on Tuesday. The comments came amid an extended discussion of race in America. 

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“How do we make sense of such an evil act, an act of racist terrorism perpetrated in a house of God? How do we turn grief, anger, and despair into purpose and action?" she asked.

Politicians and media figures have debated whether to call the killing of nine African-Americans by an apparent white nationalist terrorism.

Denying that the violence amounts to terrorism, some say, amounts to discounting the severity of the incident and ignoring that rightwing extremism can be terrorism, just like Islamic extremism. In fact, according to experts, domestic anti-government extremists and white supremacists have killed more Americans in the U.S. in recent years than Islamic jihadists. 

The Justice Department has begun to investigate the shooting as a possible terrorist attack as well as a hate crime. 

FBI Director James Comey attracted some criticism, however, when he declined to call the incident terrorism. 

“Terrorism is an act of violence done or threatened to in order to try to influence a public body or the citizenry, so it’s more of a political act,” Comey said over the weekend. “And again, based on what I know so far, I don’t see it as a political act.”

The White House has since attempted to walk those comments back.