Charleston shooting: What is the Council of Conservative Citizens - group said to have inspired writer of racist 'manifesto'

Organisation has been denounced as hate group by many

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The Independent US

The writer of the ‘online manifesto’ being probed by federal investigators said his opinions were shaped after reading the website of the right-wing, white supremacist political organisation many have denounced as a hate group

The writer of the document claims that he looked into the case of Trayvon Martin and sided with George Zimmerman, the white neighbour who stood trial after shooting dead the unarmed black teenager. He then typed “Black on White crime” into Google.

“The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders,” says the writer.

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“I was in disbelief. At this moment I realised 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 (CofCC) is headquartered in St Louis and is said to have an active chapter in South Carolina. Among other things, its Statement of Principles says that it opposes all efforts to mix the races of mankind.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre, which monitors hate crimes and extremism in the US, said on its website that the group was the modern reincarnation of the old White Citizens Councils, which were formed in the 1950s and 1960s to battle school desegregation in the South.

“The group, which initially tried to project a "mainstream" image, has evolved into a crudely white supremacist group whose website has run pictures comparing the late pop singer Michael Jackson to an ape and referred to black people as “a retrograde species of humanity”,” it said.

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