If you’re at all interested in how Dylann Roof decided to murder 9 black churchgoers, the internet has discovered his manifesto.
One of the most interesting things about it, though not at all surprising, is that internet hate sites were key to Roof’s development of racial animosity. He claims he was raised in a non-racist household and in a mostly non-racist environment.
The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this 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 upon 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?
The Council of Conservative Citizens was formerly the White Citizens Council. They are dedicated to the separation and segregation of the races. The first post on their website today is them mourning the loss of the 9 lives in Charleston. An early post says this (they obviously haven’t seen the manifesto yet):
It seems that Roof simply wanted to kill lots of people. He may have thought that he would be more famous if he targeted blacks only, instead of targeting a more diverse population group at the mall.
Now the Council of Conservative Citizens may have been where he started, but it’s clear from his writing and the pictures on the site that he went elsewhere, likely Stormfront. Included on the website is the picture at the top of this post, referring to White Supremacy code and Hitler — Council of Conservative Citizens plays this stuff relatively close to the vest, so it’s certain that he got this information from elsewhere.
These hate sites are brutal places, as I’ve personally experienced. That they are capable of radicalizing someone into committing mass atrocities is nothing new. Over a year ago, The Guardian published a piece on the nearly 100 hate-crimes linked to Stormfront. And these hate-crimes aren’t the hate speech issues or the harassment, they are murders. And they are predictable — like Dylann Roof, they are underachieving, unemployed white men relying on someone else for their money and looking for someone else to blame for their life circumstances.
A typical murderer drawn to the racist forum Stormfront.org is a frustrated, unemployed, white adult male living with his mother or an estranged spouse or girlfriend. She is the sole provider in the household.
Forensic psychologists call him a “wound collector.” Instead of building his resume, seeking employment or further education, he projects his grievances on society and searches the Internet for an excuse or an explanation unrelated to his behavior or the choices he has made in life.
His escalation follows a predictable trajectory. From right-wing antigovernment websites and conspiracy hatcheries, he migrates to militant hate sites that blame society’s ills on ethnicity and shifting demographics. He soon learns his race is endangered — a target of “white genocide.” After reading and lurking for a while, he needs to talk to someone about it, signing up as a registered user on a racist forum where he commiserates in an echo chamber of angry fellow failures where Jews, gays, minorities and multiculturalism are blamed for everything.
Assured of the supremacy of his race and frustrated by the inferiority of his achievements, he binges online for hours every day, self-medicating, slowly sipping a cocktail of rage. He gradually gains acceptance in this online birthing den of self-described “lone wolves,” but he gets no relief, no practical remedies, no suggestions to improve his circumstances. He just gets angrier.
And then he gets a gun.
The entire report is fascinating — some of the crimes you may be familiar with, like the Norway mass shooting, but there are others that are disturbing for different reasons — a 14-year-old killing his older brother because he seemed gay, a mass shooting at a sikh temple. I suspect this shooting in Charleston is another to add to the list.
This manifesto is a list of his thoughts on other races, patriotism, and why he did what he did. The summary of it is basically that he hates black people because he needs an excuse about why he is so bad at life, he thinks white women with black men shouldn’t be treated badly because they’re victims in need of saving, he thinks Jewish people are basically white people with a bad culture, he is OK with the more European kind of Hispanic but Hispanics are the enemy, he’s chill with East Asians.
Somewhat interestingly, though not really if you understand the Confederate Flag he’s so fond of, he’s against Patriotism and seems to have a beef with vets.
I hate the sight of the American flag. Modern American patriotism is an absolute joke. 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 concludes with quotes from two films and an explanation of why Charleston:
To take a saying from a film, “I see all this stuff going on, and I dont see anyone doing anything about it. And it pisses me off.”. To take a saying from my favorite film, “Even if my life is worth less than a speck of dirt, I want to use it for the good of society.”.
I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. 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.
The quotes are from two brutally violent films: American History X, which is about neo-Nazis/skinheads, and Himizu, which is about vigilante justice. I don’t think he understood the messages of either of those films.
If you’d like to read the full manifesto, there’s a pdf here so you don’t have to go to his site. I’ve included the pictures I thought were most relevant, you’ll have to download the zip at his site if you want all 60 — they’re mostly pictures of him at Confederate historical sites, holding a gun, holding the confederate flag, or being around Charleston.