A manifesto issued by Charleston church shooter Dylann Storm Roof makes clear he was defending the ideology of white supremacy espoused by traditional racist organizations like the KKK and other white Christian extremist groups.
Multiple media reports have identified a website belonging to Roof, the 21-year-old white male who went on a shooting spree motivated by racial hatred at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina earlier this week.
The website contains a manifesto that makes explicit the killer’s commitment to a racist ideology.
On his webpage, The Last Rhodesian, Roof posted a rambling but articulate racist manifesto where he seems to endorse two groups, the Ku Klux Klan and the Council of Conservative Citizens. Both groups are closely associated with the ideology of white supremacy, and both groups self-identify as upholding traditional conservative Christian values.
In the concluding section of his manifesto, Roof seems to offer a justification for the murder of nine people in a Charleston church earlier this week in what was an unspeakable act of racial hatred and terrorism:
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.
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. But I believe enough great White minds are out there already.
In addition to the more than 2,000-word racist manifesto, the killer’s website also contains numerous photos of Roof posing with the Confederate flag, posing with weapons, posing with a burning American flag, and visiting Southern historic sites and Confederate soldiers’ graves.
Rather than an attack on faith, or an attack on Christianity, as some conservatives have argued, Roof’s racially motivated terrorist attack was in reality a twisted defense of white supremacy as articulated by white Christian extremists.