A website apparently created by Dylann Roof emerged Saturday in which the accused Charleston church shooter rails against African Americans, “Jewish agitation of the black race,” and appears in photographs with guns and burning the US flag.
It came to light as a mournful vigil Friday for nine black worshippers killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church gave way to anger and scheduled protests in Charleston and the state capital Columbia.
The church reopened, meanwhile, three days after the bloodbath.
A rambling 2,500-word manifesto on the website, laced with racist lingo and spelling errors, does not bear the 21-year-old’s name.
But its first-person style, its title — “Last Rhodesian” — and references to Charleston and apartheid South Africa suggested he was its author.
“Black people view everything through a racial lense [sic],” reads the text. “Thats [sic] what racial awareness is, its viewing everything that happens through a racial lense [sic]. They are always thinking about the fact that they are black. This is part of the reason they get offended so easily, and think that some thing are intended to be racist towards them, even when a White person wouldnt [sic] be thinking about race. The other reason is the Jewish agitation of the black race.”
“As an American we are taught to accept living in the melting pot, and black and other minorities have just as much right to be here as we do, since we are all immigrants. But Europe is the homeland of White people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there. From here I found out about the Jewish problem and other issues facing our race, and I can say today that I am completely racially aware,” it goes on.
There was no immediate comment from local or federal police investigators as to its authenticity.
“I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight,” the manifesto stated.
“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.
In one alarming paragraph titled “Jews,” the writer goes on a tirade against Jewish identity and the need to destroy it.
“Unlike many White naitonalists [sic], I am of the opinion that the majority of American and European jews are White. In my opinion the issues with jews [sic] is not their blood, but their identity. I think that if we could somehow destroy the jewish [sic] identity, then they wouldnt [sic] cause much of a problem. The problem is that Jews look White, and in many cases are White, yet they see themselves as minorities. Just like n******, most jews [sic] are always thinking about the fact that they are jewish [sic]. The other issue is that they network. If we could somehow turn every jew blue for 24 hours, I think there would be a mass awakening, because people would be able to see plainly what is going on. I dont [sic] pretend to understand why jews [sic] do what they do. They are enigma,” reads the manifesto.
“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,” it goes on.
‘Guess it has to be me’
“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.”
Downloadable files on the website contain several photos of Roof, who hails from a small village outside Columbia, more than two hours by car from Charleston.
In one, he is seen in a garden, holding a Confederate flag and handgun, wearing aviator-style sunglasses and oddly surrounded by potted flowers.
Two others depict Roof in a bedroom — one with a Confederate flag, the other pointing a handgun at the camera.
Roof was arrested over the state line in North Carolina the day after Wednesday’s terror during an evening Bible study at the Emanuel church, one of the nation’s most historic African American places of worship.
Some photos show him wearing garments with the flags of Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was called under white rule, and apartheid-era South Africa.
Kin voice forgiveness
On Friday, Roof appeared via videolink in court and heard devout relatives of the dead — which included Emanuel’s chief pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney — express forgiveness.
Later, thousands — both white and black — gathered for a twilight vigil at a college basketball arena, singing the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” and vowing not to let the bloodbath divide Charleston, the one-time American capital of the transatlantic slave trade.
But the mood shifted to anger Saturday, with a rally called for 6:00 pm (2200 GMT) at the state legislature in Columbia, where the Confederate flag has been a focal point for controversy for years.
Unlike US and state flags, it was not lowered to half-staff after the killings — because, officials say, doing so by South Carolina law requires approval from the state legislature.
While some whites consider the Civil War-era flag an emblem of Southern regional pride and heritage, others — both black and white — see it as a sinister symbol of white supremacy and racism.
Another protest, called March for Black Lives, was announced on Facebook to begin around the same time. Participants were asked to wear black and bring flowers.
‘Move toward healing’
“It’s time to put that symbol of rebellion and racism behind us and move toward healing and a better United States of America,” said a petition on the left-leaning MoveOn.org website that had gathered nearly 350,000 signatures.
The shooting was the worst attack on a US place of worship in decades and comes at a time of revived racial tensions in many parts of the nation.
In San Francisco, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton called for tougher gun laws in the United States in the wake of the tragedy.
“Race remains a deep fault line in America. Millions of people of color still experience racism in the everyday lives,” she said.
Roof now is being held in solitary confinement at a Charleston area jail as police follow up on their investigation. If convicted, he faces the death penalty.
He has reportedly said that he “wanted to start a race war,” in what authorities are treating as a hate crime and investigating as possible “domestic terrorism.”
His arrest warrant revealed how he allegedly shot the six women and three men, aged 26 through 87, multiple times with a high-caliber handgun and then stood over a survivor to make a “racially inflammatory” statement.