The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating whether a website containing a racist manifesto, along with 60 images that appear to show Dylann Storm Roof, is the work of the young man charged with nine counts of murder.
The manifesto was discovered by a blogger who uses the pen name Emma Quangel. It was then reposted on various online forums and quickly dissected.
We don’t know if Mr Roof is the author of the 2,444-word extremist document. Some of the writing seems unlikely to be that of a High School drop-out. But if it is his work, or if he pasted things into the document that matched with his world view, then it tells us several things:
Mr Roof says he was not “raised in a racist home or environment”. “Living in the South, almost every White person has a small amount of racial awareness,” it says.
The author of the document claims the event that “truly awakened him was the Trayvon Martin case”. This incident related to the February 2012 shooting of an unarmed black teenager by his white neighbour, George Zimmerman. Mr Zimmerman was later charged with murder but cleared by a jury. The writer of the manifesto claims: “It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right.”
Council of Conservative Citizens
The writer of the manifesto claims he typed into Google the “black on White crime” into Google and read about the Council of Conservative Citizens. This group, headquartered in St Louis and said to have an active chapter in South Carolina, “opposes all efforts to mix the races of mankind”. It is routinely described as hate group.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre, which monitors hate crimes and extremism in the US, said: “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”.”
The writer of the manifesto said they supported racial segregation, something that Mr Roof’s friends have since said he believed. “Segregation was not a bad thing. It was a defensive measure,” says the document.
US Civil War and Confederacy
Mr Roof had a thing for Confederate Civil War sites, including cemeteries and museums. Many of the images are of his posing at such sites, including the Museum and Library of Confederate History in Greenville, South Carolina. There are also images of him standing in former slave plantations.
The writer of the manifesto says they “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”. It adds: “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.”
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