SUS­PECT’S RANT RE­VEALS DEEP AN­I­MOS­ITY

Online post­ings tar­get blacks, Jews, His­pan­ics

The Washington Post Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - BY LENNY BERN­STEIN, SARI HORWITZ AND PETER HOL­LEY

Author­i­ties said Satur­day that the man ac­cused of killing nine African Amer­i­cans in a ven­er­a­ble Charleston, S.C., church left a racist man­i­festo tar­get­ing blacks, Jews and His­pan­ics on his Web site, a white su­prem­a­cist broad­side that also ap­pears to of­fer a ra­tio­nale for the shoot­ings.

The lengthy dec­la­ra­tion, loaded with of­fen­sive racial char­ac­ter­i­za­tions of blacks and oth­ers, in­cludes the con­clu­sion that “some­one has to have the brav­ery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”

“I have no choice,” states part of that fi­nal sec­tion, ti­tled “An Ex­pla­na­tion.” “I am not in the po­si­tion to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston be­cause it is [the] most his­toric city in my state, and at one time had

the high­est ra­tio of blacks to Whites in the coun­try.”

Law en­force­ment of­fi­cials said that the site be­longed to Dy­lann Roof, the 21-year-old ac­cused of gun­ning down nine peo­ple at a Bi­ble study in Charleston’s his­toric Emanuel African Methodist Epis­co­pal Church on Wed­nes­day night, and that it re­flected his views. The site also in­cluded 60 photos, most of which showed Roof.

The Web site do­main was reg­is­tered on Feb. 9 to Roof, ac­cord­ing to a law en­force­ment of­fi­cial. Another of­fi­cial said the ma­te­rial on it was last mod­i­fied late Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, just hours be­fore Roof al­legedly at­tacked the Bi­ble study group at the church. In its penul­ti­mate para­graph, the man­i­festo states: “Un­for­tu­nately at the time of writ­ing I amina great hurry and some ofmy best thoughts, ac­tu­ally many of them, have been . . . left out and lost for­ever.” The last line apol­o­gizes for ty­pos.

As the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ued, a church dea­con said that Emanuel would be open.

Roof was ar­rested Thurs­day about 250 miles north of Charleston, in Shelby, N.C., and is be­ing held on $1 mil­lion bond. He has been charged with nine counts of mur­der and one count of pos­sess­ing a firearm while com­mit­ting a vi­o­lent crime. He is in soli­tary con­fine­ment in the Charleston County jail and, ac­cord­ing to county po­lice, is on a sui­cide watch.

The man­i­festo un­earthed Satur­day states that “the event that truly awak­ened me was the Trayvon Martin case,” which, a friend of Roof’s said Satur­day, is a theme he has spo­ken of be­fore. Martin, an un­armed black high school stu­dent, was fa­tally shot in 2012 by Ge­orge Zim­mer­man in a racially charged case in Florida. Zim­mer­man, a neigh­bor­hood watch vol­un­teer who said he acted in self-de­fense, was found not guilty of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der.

But the vast ma­jor­ity of the rant, which dis­plays some un­usu­ally so­phis­ti­cated lan­guage if all of it was writ­ten by Roof, a ninth­grade dropout, re­veals a deep ha­tred of mi­nori­ties — par­tic­u­larly blacks — and a strong belief in racist stereo­types.

“Ne­groes have lower Iqs, lower im­pulse con­trol, and higher testos­terone lev­els in gen­er­als,” the man­i­festo de­clares. “These three things alone are a recipe for vi­o­lent be­hav­ior.”

It ob­serves that “if we could some­how de­stroy the jewish iden­tity, then they wouldn’t cause mu­chof a prob­lem” andthat there are “good his­pan­ics and bad his­pan­ics,” many of whom, it says, “are White.”

“But they are still our en­e­mies,” the sec­tion on His­pan­ics con­cludes.

The man­i­festo also con­demns whites who have moved to the sub­urbs in search of bet­ter schools and neigh­bor­hoods, which, it de­clares “is just a way to es­cape [blacks] and other mi­nori- ties.” That pas­sage used an ep­i­thet for African Amer­i­cans.

“I hate with a pas­sion the whole idea of the sub­urbs. To me it rep­re­sents noth­ing but scared White peo­ple run­ning. Run­ning be­cause they are too weak, scared and brain­washed to fight,” the man­i­festo states. It also spurns pa­tri­o­tism as “peo­ple pre­tend­ing like they have some­thing to be proud while White peo­ple are be­ing mur­dered daily in the streets.”

One pas­sage ac­knowl­edges “great re­spect for the East Asian races,” who “are by na­ture very racist” and could be “great al­lies” of whites.

Author­i­ties and peo­ple who have spo­ken to sur­vivors of the mas­sacre have said that Roof spent an hour with the Bi­ble study group in the land­mark Charleston church be­fore me­thod­i­cally ex­e­cut­ing nine of its mem­bers with a hand­gun. He stopped to reload five times and spared one woman so she could tell the story of what he had done, ac­cord­ing to some. Two peo­ple, a woman and a 5-year-old girl, es­caped.

“I have to do it,” the shooter told his vic­tims, ac­cord­ing to Sylvia John­son, cousin of a pas­tor who died in the at­tack, who spoke to a sur­vivor. “You rape our women, and you’re tak­ing over our coun­try. And you have to go.”

Ac­cord­ing to a state law­maker who had been briefed by po­lice, Roof told author­i­ties that he “al­most didn’t go through with it be­cause they were so nice to him.”

Joey Meek Jr., a friend of Roof’s, has said that when Roof was drunk he spoke of “want­ing to hurt a whole bunch of peo­ple.” But Meek said he shrugged it off be­cause Roof was drink­ing.

Roof has ac­knowl­edged to author­i­ties that he was re­spon­si­ble for Wed­nes­day night’s rampage and that he wants his ac­tions known, ac­cord­ing to law en­force­ment of­fi­cials who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was con­tin­u­ing.

Roof lived on and off with sev­eral friends in a trailer in Red Bank, S.C., be­fore the shoot­ing. Court records in­di­cate that he had a frac­tured fam­ily life and that his fa­ther di­vorced twice. De­tailed records of the sec­ond di­vorce case, ob­tained by Bri­tain’s Daily Mail, showed a volatile and abu­sive re­la­tion­ship be­tween Roof’s fa­ther, Franklin Roof, and his step­mother, Paige Mann. Their di­vorce was fi­nal­ized about the time that Roof dropped out of high school.

Franklin Roof an­swered the door to his home Satur­day and told a re­porter to leave. Mann could not be reached for com­ment. A close rel­a­tive of Mann’s, who de­clined to give his name be­cause of safety con­cerns, said the fam­ily sit­u­a­tion was a “mess.”

“But did any­body see this com­ing?” he said. “Doubt­ful.”

The 60 photos on the Web site are mostly por­traits of Roof, many of which ap­pear to have been taken at South Carolina his­toric sites. There are photos of Roof — clad in cam­ou­flage pants and com­bat boots — pos­ing among the grave­stones in a Con­fed­er­ate ceme­tery, crouch­ing amid the hang­ing moss of a plan­ta­tion and stand­ing in front of for­mer slave quar­ters.

There also are more provoca­tive im­ages, such as Roof wear­ing all black and stand­ing on an African an­ces­tral burial site; burn­ing an Amer­i­can flag; hold­ing a Con­fed­er­ate flag; and pos­ing shirt­less in a bed­room with a hand­gun pointed at the cam­era.

In one photo, Roof is shown stand­ing in front of a Con­fed­er­ate history mu­seum in Greenville, S.C. Tele­phone calls and an e-mail to the mu­seum di­rec­tor were not re­turned.

In another photo, Roof scowls at the cam­era on a beach, where he’s writ­ten “1488” in the sand. The num­bers, ac­cord­ing to the Anti-Defama­tion League, are a com­bi­na­tion of two white su­prem­a­cist nu­meric sym­bols. The num­ber 14 is short­hand for the “14 Words” slo­gan: “We must se­cure the ex­is­tence of our peo­ple and a fu­ture for white chil­dren.”

The num­ber 88 stands for “Heil Hitler,” ac­cord­ing to the ADL, be­cause H is the eighth let­ter of the al­pha­bet.

“To­gether, the num­bers form a gen­eral endorsement of white supremacy and its be­liefs,” ac­cord­ing to a state­ment on the ADL’s Web site. “As such, they are ubiq­ui­tous within the white su­prem­a­cist move­ment — as graf­fiti, in graph­ics and tat­toos, even in screen names and e-mail ad­dresses.”

Pat Hines, the South Carolina state chair­man of the League of the South, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that wants South­ern states to se­cede from the United States, said Roof did not ap­pear to be­long to any white su­prem­a­cist groups and could have been in­doc­tri­nated on the In­ter­net.

“I think [his view] was prob­a­bly heav­ily in­flu­enced by what he read online,” Hines said. “He’s not in any of our rolls or di­rec­to­ries, nor are his par­ents.”

The League of the South, which calls for a white-led so­ci­ety, is one of 19 or­ga­ni­za­tions in South Carolina clas­si­fied as hate groups by the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter.

“I can­not ever see the League of the South en­cour­ag­ing any­body to do any­thing so bizarre,” Hines said. “It only ac­com­plishes the heartache of these fam­i­lies. It doesn’t ad­vance the stand­ing of the South­ern peo­ple. We’re sorry it hap­pened in South Carolina.”

Among neo-Con­fed­er­ate and white na­tion­al­ist groups, Zim­mer­man’s shoot­ing of Martin was a ma­jor event. In its af­ter­math, a Web site op­er­ated by the Coun­cil of Con­ser­va­tive Cit­i­zens, another al­leged hate group, re­ceived more than 170,000 page views in a day.

The man­i­festo says the group’s Web site was the first one en­coun­tered in a Google search for “black on White crime.”

“I was in dis­be­lief,” it states. “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?”

On Satur­day, the CCC’s Web site ap­peared to have been taken down. A de­scrip­tion on the group’s Face­book page says that its mem­bers be­lieve that the United States is a Chris­tian na­tion and that Amer­i­cans are part of the Euro­pean peo­ple. The page, which has 558 mem­bers, notes that its mem­bers also be­lieve in “racial in­tegrity.”

Over the years, the coun­cil’s con­ser­va­tive causes have in­cluded strict op­po­si­tion to immigration and forced bus­ing for school de­seg­re­ga­tion.

Inthe past, the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter has ac­cused the CCC of hav­ing ties to the Ku Klux Klan and the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for the Ad­vance­ment of White Peo­ple, both “openly white su­prem­a­cist or­ga­ni­za­tions.”

The CCC’s Web site has run pic­tures com­par­ing pop singer Michael Jack­son to an ape and re­ferred to black peo­ple as “a ret­ro­grade species of hu­man­ity,” ac­cord­ing to the SPLC.

Founded in 1985 by Gor­don Baum, a per­sonal-in­jury lawyer, the CCC had more than 1 mil­lion mem­bers at its height, in­clud­ing bankers, busi­ness peo­ple, judges, news­pa­per ed­i­tors and politi­cians, ac­cord­ing to the SPLC.

Baum died in March of an undis­closed ill­ness at age 74, the SPLC re­ported.

MLADEN ANTONOV/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE VIA GETTY IM­AGES More im­ages at wash­ing­ton­post.com/na­tional.

TOP: Lucin­daMag­wood pauses to pray in front of Emanuel African Methodist Epis­co­pal Church, where a gun­man fa­tally shot nine peo­ple dur­ing a Bi­ble study onWed­nes­day night. ABOVE: Lo­cal pas­tors join hands out­side the his­toric church in Charleston, S.C.

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