Dylann Storm Roof, the 21-year-old man charged with nine counts of murder in the shooting at an historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, posted a racist manifesto and photos featuring the Confederate flag and other white supremacist symbols to a website prior to making his attack.
Roof posted more than 50 photos, including many taken at historic Confederate sites around South Carolina, and a Confederate history museum, as well as a burial ground for African Americans on the website he called The Last Rhodesian. He also posted a more than 2,000-word manifesto expressing his reasoning for the shooting.
“I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. Unfortunately at the time of writing I am in a great hurry and some of my best thoughts, actually many of them have been to be left out and lost forever,” Roof wrote. “But I believe enough great White minds are out there already.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was Radicalized by the Trayvon Martin Case & ‘Black on White Crime’
Roof, whose family and friends said he had a strong sense of Southern pride, made racist jokes and expressed some of his thoughts about race to them, wrote that he “was not raised in a racist home or environment.” He also wrote about “racial awareness” in the South:
Living in the South, almost every White person has a small amount of racial awareness, simply beause (sic) of the numbers of negroes in this part of the country. But it is a superficial awareness. Growing up, in school, the White and black kids would make racial jokes toward each other, but all they were were jokes. Me and White friends would sometimes would watch things that would make us think that ‘blacks were the real racists’ and other elementary thoughts like this, but there was no real understanding behind it.
He writes that the Trayvon Martin case “truly awakened me.” He said after hearing his name he looked up the Wikipedia article on the case and said “it was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right.”
Roof said the case “prompted me to type in the words ‘black on White crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages up on pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?”
Read the full manifesto below:
Roof wrote that after doing the research, “I can say today that I am completely racially aware.”
In a section titled “Blacks,” Roof wrote:
N****rs are stupid and violent. At the same time they have the capacity to be very slick. Black people view everything through a racial lense. Thats what racial awareness is, its viewing everything that happens through a racial lense. They are always thinking about the fact that they are black. This is part of the reason they get offended so easily, and think that some thing are intended to be racist towards them, even when a White person wouldnt be thinking about race. The other reason is the Jewish agitation of the black race.
Black people are racially aware almost from birth, but White people on average dont think about race in their daily lives. And this is our problem. We need to and have to. Say you were to witness a dog being beat by a man. You are almost surely going to feel very sorry for that dog. But then say you were to witness a dog biting a man. You will most likely not feel the same pity you felt for the dog for the man. Why? Because dogs are lower than men. This same analogy applies to black and White relations. Even today, blacks are subconsciously viewed by White people are lower beings. They are held to a lower standard in general. This is why they are able to get away with things like obnoxious behavior in public. Because it is expected of them.
Roof also downplays the history of slavery in the South, says segregation “was not a bad thing,” and argues that desegregation ruined the American school system.
2. He Also Expresses Hatred for Jews, Hispanics & Respect for East Asians
Roof also writes that his research led him “what was happening in Europe,” where he “found out about the Jewish problem and other issues facing our race.”
He wrote, “As an American we are taught to accept living in the melting pot, and black and other minorities have just as much right to be here as we do, since we are all immigrants. But Europe is the homeland of White people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there.”
Roof said his issue with Jews “is not their blood, but their identity. I think that if we could somehow destroy the jewish identity, then they wouldnt cause much of a problem. The problem is that Jews look White, and in many cases are White, yet they see themselves as minorities. Just like ni****s, most jews are always thinking about the fact that they are jewish. The other issue is that they network. If we could somehow turn every jew blue for 24 hours, I think there would be a mass awakening, because people would be able to see plainly what is going on.”
Roof says Hispanics “are still our enemies,” despite there being “good hispanics and bad hispanics.”
“Hispanics are obviously a huge problem for Americans. I remember while watching hispanic television stations, the shows and even the commercials were more White than our own. They have respect for White beauty, and a good portion of hispanics are White,” Roof wrote. “It is a well known fact that White hispanics make up the elite of most hispanics countries. There is good White blood worht saving in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and even Brasil.”
Roof said he has “great” respect for the East Asian races.
“Even if we were to go extinct they could carry something on. They are by nature very racist and could be great allies of the White race. I am not opposed at all to allies with the Northeast Asian races,” Roof wrote.
3. He Says He Hates the ‘Sight of the American Flag’
Roof writes, “I hate the sight of the American flag,” and said “Modern American patriotism is an absolute joke.” He wrote:
People pretending like they have something to be proud while White people are being murdered daily in the streets. Many veterans believe we owe them something for ‘protecting our way of life’ or ‘protecting our freedom.’ But im not sure what way of life they are talking about. How about we protect the White race and stop fighting for the jews. I will say this though, I myself would have rather lived in 1940’s American than Nazi Germany, and no this is not ignorance speaking, it is just my opinion. So I dont blame the veterans of any wars up until after Vietnam, because at least they had an American to be proud of and fight for.
He posted a photo of himself burning an American flag and another of him spitting on the flag.
4. The Leader of the Conservative Website Cited by Roof Has Donated to Republican Presidential Hopefuls
In his manifesto, Roof cited the Council of Conservative Citizens, a website led by Earl Holt, who has made contributions to the presidential campaigns of three Republicans, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul, according to The Guardian.
Cruz has returned $8,500 in contributions, while Paul’s campaign has said it will send $2,250 received from Holt to a fund for the shooting victims. Santorum’s campaign has not yet commented.
Roof said he learned about “black on white crime” and killings of whites by blacks at the website. The Council of Conservative Citizens condemned Roof’s actions, but stood by their postings about “black on white crime.” A spokesman for the council, Jared Taylor, said:
The council stands unshakably behind the facts on its website, and points out the dangers of denying the extent of black-on-white crime. Every year, there are about 500,000 violent , interracial crimes. Of these, about 85 percent are committed by blacks against whites.
Every year, there are some 20,000 rapes of white women by blacks, but rapes by white men of black women are so unusual, they scarcely appear in crime statistics. If these figures were reversed—if there were wide-spread white-on-black rape and violence—it would be constant national news. Instead, the true nature of interracial violence is ignored.
This is dangerous. Our society’s silence about these crimes—despite enormous amounts of attention to “racially tinged” acts by whites—only increase the anger of people like Dylann Roof. This double standard *only makes acts of murderous frustration more likely*. In his manifesto, Roof outlines other grievances felt by many whites. Again, we utterly condemn Roof’s despicable killings, but they do not detract in the slightest from the legitimacy of some of the positions he has expressed. *Ignoring legitimate grievances is dangerous*.
Holt said it’s “not surprising” that Roof cited his website in the manifesto because, “The CofCC is one of perhaps three websites in the world that accurately and honestly report black-on-white violent crime, and in particular, the seemingly endless incidents involving black-on-white murder.”
He said the website exists because media spikes stories about black on white crime or “intentionally obscure the race of black offenders.”
Holt said in the statement:
The CofCC is hardly responsible for the actions of this deranged individual merely because he gleaned accurate information from our website. We are no more responsible for the actions of this sad young man, than the Olin Corporation was for manufacturing the ammo misused by Colin Ferguson to murder six whites on the Long Island Railroad in 1993. The CofCC does not advocate illegal activities of any kind, and never has. I would gladly compare the honesty and law-abiding nature of our membership against that of any other group.
5. He Chose Charleston Because of Its Place in History
Roof said, “I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”