Some Republicans Can’t Seem To Admit That Racism Was Behind The Charleston Murders

It's been obvious from the moment the news broke that the murders in Charleston were rooted in racism, but some Republicans have had trouble acknowledging that.

Emanual A.M.E. Church Marker

Some people on the right, including most significantly several candidates for the Republican nomination for President, seem to be having a problem acknowledging the fact that the murder of nine people at an African-American church in South Carolina was motivated by racism:

We live in an age where mass shootings are so common that there is now a template for politicians to plug in the victim’s names, the date and location of the massacre, and synonyms for words like “tragedy” and “horror.” In the last 36 hours, we’ve heard ersatz condolences filled with hollow words, anodyne phrases about “unimaginable” horrors.

But the Charleston church shooting that left nine African-Americans dead while they prayed is not an inexplicable tragedy. It simply took white rage and racism and conservative political race-baiting to their logical conclusions. It echoes a disturbing trend in right-wing media inflaming fringe factions, encouraging maximum armament, and then turning around after a tragedy and saying “we had no idea this would happen.”

On Wednesday night, South Carolina’s governor Nikki Haley trotted out a boilerplate statement, calling the shooting a “senseless tragedy.” One could excuse this choice of words as a rushed assumption issued in real time, but as more and more details about Dylann Roof surfaced, conservatives refused to face the music. One by one, politicians and pundits acted like this terrorist act was one of life’s great unsolvable mysteries.

“We don’t know the motivation of the person who did it,” Rudy Guiliani said yesterday. “Maybe he hates Christian churches. Maybe he hates black churches or he’s gonna go find another one. Who knows.” Donald Trump, in a tweet yesterday, said the crime was “incomprehensible.”

Last night, a Wall Street Journal columnist wrote: “What causes young men such as Dylann Roof to erupt in homicidal rage, whatever their motivation, is a problem that defies explanation beyond the reality that evil still stalks humanity. It is no small solace that in committing such an act today, he stands alone.”

Things aren’t much better among the Presidential candidates. Rick Santorum was among the first candidates to chime, making the argument that the attack on the Emanuel AME Church was another example of an “attack on Christians” and attempted to tie it into the broader conservative claim that religious liberty is somehow under assault in the United States due to things such as the near complete acceptance of same-sex marriage. This is an argument that was picked up by others on the right, including several Fox News Channel pundits. In his initial comments on the massacre, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham seemed to echo Santorum when he suggested that the shooter may have be “looking for Christians to kill.”  Rick Perry’s comments were particularly perplexing in that he has both suggested that the attack was caused by drugs and referred to the shootings as an “accident,” a comment which his campaign was quick to retract. Other candidates went off in different directions, such as Rand Paul, who said that there was nothing government could do to stop attacks like this, and Mike Huckabee, who said that the attack could have been prevented if one of the victims had been armed.  After Roof was arrested, Rick Santorum tried to clarify his remarks by saying that the attack was “clearly” rooted in racism, but even at that point Jeb Bush said that he didn’t know whether racism was at the root of the murders. Things aren’t much better on the pundit side of the aisle, where Fox’s Steve Doocy expressed surprised that the attack was being called a hate crime, Bill O’Reilly blamed it on “far-left rhetoric,” and Erick Erickson somehow managed to tie Dylann Roof’s actions to Caitlyn Jenner.  To their credit, both Ben Carson and John Kasich were quite forceful in their agreement with the idea that the murders were, at their core, a racially motivated hate crime. Additionally, there are many pundits on the right who have said much the same thing, and criticized those who have tried to divert the conversation over Charleston to something other than race. To a large degree, though, there is a significant segment on the right that seems unwilling to admit reality, including many Presidential candidates.

It’s really quite incomprehensible how anyone could deny the fact that racism is at the core of Wednesday night’s attack. Even before we knew who the shooter, the fact that someone had chosen to attack an African-American church, and one with a fairly significant history at that, should have been a clue, as were the reports from survivors that the shooter had said that he was killing them because they were ‘taking over the country.’ Even so, I suppose that one could give a pass to people who were commenting at that point since we didn’t know for sure what the circumatnsces of the shooting were. Once Dylan Roof was arrested, though, anyone who was continuing to deny the truth was entering some questionable territory. Roof’s Facebook page depicted him wearing patches of the flags of two nations that existed because of racism. The front license plate on his car depicts the Confederate flag. His roommate has described Roof’s descent into the racist paranoia of “white nationalism.” Roof apparently has confessed to committing the crimes because he wanted to start a race war. Today, there is news of what appears to be a website that Roof maintained called “The Last Rhodesian” on which he spewed racist nonsense regularly, including the claim that he was motivated by the George Zimmerman case and material he found on the web from a hate group called the Council of Conservative Citizens. There’s also what seems to be a photograph of Roof as a teenager holding a Confederate flag and wearing a shirt with “88” on it, which is apparently code among that crowd for “HH” and “Heil Hitler.” The overwhelming evidence is that Roof is a racist and a terrorist, and any attempt to explain away what he did as something else is, at this point, just denying reality.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, Law and the Courts, Race and Politics, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    Of course it was racist. Quite apart from anything else, Roof’s comment in the church before he started shooting underscores that.

  2. Mu says:

    The real question to me is why they’re having issues with calling it racist. Are they afraid that they offend too many of their voters that identify themselves as racist, but in a good sense of course?

  3. Tillman says:

    It’s really quite incomprehensible how anyone could deny the fact that racism is at the core of Wednesday night’s attack.

    If a man’s paycheck depends on him not knowing something…

  4. Gustopher says:

    Is it more charitable to assume that these candidates are mindbogglingly stupid, or so racist themselves that they cannot see this as racist, or that they are so beholden to racists that they dare not call it out?

  5. al-Ameda says:

    It’s really quite incomprehensible how anyone could deny the fact that racism is at the core of Wednesday night’s attack. Even before we knew who the shooter, the fact that someone had chosen to attack an African-American church, and one with a fairly significant history at that, should have been a clue, as were the reports from survivors that the shooter had said that he was killing them because they were ‘taking over the country.’

    It is both incomprehensible and completely expected.

    In the context of the past 6+ years of the unrelenting hostility of much of the Republican base to the Obama presidency none of this should come as a surprise. The Right has accused Obama of diving Americans on issue of race, and many on the Right believe that the real race problem is reverse racism. So it’s no surprise that Republicans have fallen all over themselves in rushing to characterize the Charleston AME church murders as a war on Christians, an amorphous hate crime, the result of far-left rhetoric, or a mystery.

  6. Gustopher says:

    Also, Dylann Roof was apparently obsessed with Trevor Martin. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/dylann-roof-obsessed-trayvon-martin-white-race-article-1.2263647

    And, of course, he had a manifesto where he blamed “Jewish agitation of the black race”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/20/dylann-roof-manifesto-charleston-shooting_n_7627788.html

    Nice kid. I wonder if bowl cuts and frowning will become the new fashion trend among racist aszholes.

  7. Mr. Prosser says:

    It’s interesting to me which news outlets are publishing the photos from Roof”s blog as opposed to publishing only the text. Often a photo influences or informs better than text, especially for those not interested in reading too much.

  8. grumpy realist says:

    Anything to avoid the fact that the rabble rousing you did may have, in fact, had a hand in it.

  9. michael reynolds says:

    Roof did everything short of tattooing the words “I’m a Racist” on his forehead.

    Am I surprised that Republicans won’t admit the truth? Not even a little.

    I’ve been saying, many people have been saying, for quite some time now, that the Republican Party panders to racists, welcomes racists, and only wins elections by relying on the votes of racists.

    So: Duh. Of course the Old White Racist’s Party won’t admit the truth. They DON’T CARE what’s true. Reality is irrelevant to Republicans.

    Nice to see at least a few on the right are starting to see what has been blatantly, unmistakably obvious for decades. And no surprise that the bulk of the party is filled with liars.

  10. rodney dill says:

    @Gustopher:

    Nice kid. I wonder if bowl cuts and frowning will become the new fashion trend among racist aszholes.

    Don’t knock it. It’ll make them easier to identify.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    By the way, has anyone seen Jenos?

    The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.

    From the manifesto of young Mr. Roof. Or any number of Jenos’ comments.

  12. michael reynolds says:

    Here’s more:

    Black people view everything through a racial lense. Thats what racial awareness is, its viewing everything that happens through a racial lense. 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 be thinking about race.

    Can someone tell me how this is substantially different than what Jenos, Jack, James P’s latest sock puppet, Guarneri or pretty much anyone on the right believes?

    Disambiguate this from standard Republican beliefs on race.

  13. elizajane says:

    I have seen many comments on right-wing websites that fully embrace the “racism” label. But their take on it is, this happened because Obama, Holder, Al Sharpton, and “Moochelle” have been stirring up racial trouble. “You reap what you sow” is a line that often gets used. It’s actually more vile than claiming it’s just an attack on religion, or the work of a “lone wolf” with mental problems.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    a hate group called the Council of Conservative Citizens.

    You would think Republicans would be concerned about the use of the word “conservative” by a a racist hate group but strangely enough I don’t hear any of them complaining about that. I wonder why that is?

  15. CSK says:

    Actually, I DO think this was the work of a drugged-out mental defective–a racist version of Adam Lanza.

    A small point, perhaps, but if you Google images of Lanza, he had the same soupbowl haircut as Roof.

  16. Argon says:

    I’d like to read the rest of the talking points memo that the political conservatives are adhering to…

    It’s odd how lock-step it has become. Almost like the all the talking heads of the GOP have become ‘Stepford Wives’. Yes, they’re on point and release a consistent message, but it’s a horribly tone-deaf message.

  17. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Roof did everything short of tattooing the words “I’m a Racist” on his forehead.

    There is no question… he documented it in pictures, words and actions:

    http://gawker.com/dylann-roofs-white-supremacist-self-portraiture-1712788828

    The pictures here show him surrounded by the confederate battle flag, and burning the flag of these United States.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    The pictures here show him surrounded by the confederate battle flag, and burning the flag of these United States.

    Ah, a True Patriot ™ I see.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Yah. There MAY be people who honestly parade the Stars and Bars (or whatever it’s called) purely and completely without any animus whatsoever against black people and a pure heart and totally in solidarity with the culture and elegance and cuisine of the South….

    But you’re arguing against reality, which is that 99% of the time the Confederate flag is being used in stunts like this. Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

  20. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: Well, there’s this:

    On another subject I want to say this. Many White people feel as though they dont have a unique culture. The reason for this is that White culture is world culture. I dont mean that our culture is made up of other cultures, I mean that our culture has been adopted by everyone in the world. This makes us feel as though our culture isnt special or unique. Say for example that every business man in the world wore a kimono, that every skyscraper was in the shape of a pagoda, that every door was a sliding one, and that everyone ate every meal with chopsticks. This would probably make a Japanese man feel as though he had no unique traditional culture.

    I don’t really think any of the people you called out would even think of that. I suspect that Dylann Roof didn’t either, but when he came across it, he thought enough about it to remember it and/or copy and paste it — and even that shows a level of awareness and a capability of empathizing with another that those you mention often lack.

    I actually wonder if the manifesto is real, and how much of it was plagiarized — by all accounts this is not a bright kid, a high school dropout who repeated grade 9. I also wonder who took the photos.

  21. superdestroyer says:

    There is no way a Republican can say anything on this issue without either being protrayed as a racist or blatantly pandering to blacks and reinforcing the political positions taken by the black political establishment.

    Since no Republican has found a way to deal with the issue, maybe everyone should just admit that there is nothing a conservative can do to appeal to blacks and be conciliatory without also throwing middle class white Republican voters under the bus.

    Republicans are willing to pursue the death penalty for Roof. How much more punish can be given without it turning into a punish all white people effort or maybe just punish the wrong types of white people?

  22. Tillman says:

    @superdestroyer:

    There is no way a Republican can say anything on this issue without either being protrayed as a racist or blatantly pandering to blacks and reinforcing the political positions taken by the black political establishment.

    What, like “please stop killing us for no good reason?” Jesus Christ.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Fox News host blames mass shootings on ‘different cultures’ living together in America

    MacCallum makes the remark.

    “Now it may be statistically, Mary Katherine, that it has happened here more,” she says. “That may be because of the kind of society we are. We have a lot of different cultures living here together. We’re a very unique society and that’s a very wonderful thing, in large part. But that may be a contributing factor here.”

    Yes, “multiculturalism.” killed them.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Since no Republican has found a way to deal with the issue,

    I give you your Republican 2012 nominee: Mitt Romney calls for removal of South Carolina statehouse Confederate flag — and conservatives go apesh*t

    Oh, wait a minute….

  25. superdestroyer says:

    @Tillman:

    If a Republican came out and talked about whites killing blacks, then he would immediately be taken to task by the right of center media about being statistically wrong and where is the demand that blacks stop killing whites, Asians, and Latinos at a level much higher than should happen as a function of the percentage of the population that is black.

    How does the Republican answer the follow up question is why there is so much more concern when whites murder blacks than when blacks murder whites?

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Wow. Being lectured about racism by people who think that “house nigga,” “brown sugar,” and comparisons to Mammy in “Gone With The Wind” aren’t racist is a novel experience.

    But since I’m being missed so much, I’ll make a comment or few.

    1) Institutional racism is dead. In fact, it’s dead and come back in mirror image. Academia now actively discriminates for and against people based on race — Asians are considered “White” or even whiter than white when it comes to admissions. And in Washington, a white woman recast herself as black as a career move — and prospered for it.

    2) Organized racism is dying. It stopped being generally acceptable decades ago, and has only declined since. Now it’s main function is as a rallying cry and fund-raising prop for the left.

    3) This shooting wasn’t an act of racism. It was an act of severe mental illness that expressed itself in, among other ways, racism. The shooter had no allies, no followers, no leader, no group.

  27. Gustopher says:

    @superdestroyer: I was just wondering if you had posted since the massacre.

    Since no Republican has found a way to deal with the issue, maybe everyone should just admit that there is nothing a conservative can do to appeal to blacks and be conciliatory without also throwing middle class white Republican voters under the bus.

    I’m pretty sure that “middle class white Republican voters” are not actually all racists who would be deeply offended by any acknowledgement of black people being people. “Conciliatory” doesn’t require paying reparations for slavery, taking away white peoples jobs and giving them to black people, or whatever your fantasy is, it just means being genuinely horrified and aghast, and actually acknowledging the causes of the attack — racism being most prominent — rather than white washing the entire incident. Republicans can’t even manage to do that.

    Republicans are willing to pursue the death penalty for Roof. How much more punish can be given without it turning into a punish all white people effort or maybe just punish the wrong types of white people?

    I don’t want this kid to get the death penalty. I want him to sit in jail for 60 years and somewhere along the way come to realize he was wrong. I want him to turn his life around and do something of value. Or just sit and watch as everyone he knew is horrified and slowly come to realize that he is a monster rejected by everyone. Either works for me.

  28. Paul Hooson says:

    Mental illness, drug abuse and lower class-conscious personality obsessed with racial stereotypes plus easy access to a gun all contributed to this sad tragedy.

  29. Gustopher says:

    @superdestroyer:

    How does the Republican answer the follow up question is why there is so much more concern when whites murder blacks than when blacks murder whites?

    I recently read an article you might be interested in. It might have been more of an editorial. Perhaps manifesto is the right word.

    The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.

  30. Onward Christian Soldiers says:

    There is just as likely a possibility that this thug was motivated by anti-Christian bigotry.

    He didn’t not attack a black barber shop. He attacked a CHURCH.

    Nobody wants to point out that these people were Christians. BH Obama has been attacking and denigrating Christians and Christianity for the past six and a half years. Perhaps this jacka** was influenced by Obama’s anti-Christian rhetoric????

    Perhaps he heard Obama’s call castigating Christians for being on their “high horse” when they were the driving force behind the Spanish Inquisition and the attempt to liberate the Holy Land from the Ottomans (which BHO called the Crusades).

    Perhaps this a-hole was upset over Christian opposition to homosexual marriage so he decided to attack Christians.

    The guy who tried to shoot up the Family Research Council HQ was obviously guilty of this bigotry. He was influenced by Barry Soetoro’s hatred against Christians – perhaps Dylann Roof was influenced by the same rhetoric.

  31. Tillman says:

    @superdestroyer:

    How does the Republican answer the follow up question is why there is so much more concern when whites murder blacks than when blacks murder whites?

    By citing better statistics, and pointing out his audience is racist to bring up a question like that in the face of the evidence.

    There’s more concern over whites murdering blacks because it’s a far older problem.

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Onward Christian Soldiers: The “Christian” aspect was secondary. It’s pretty well established that he had a mad-on for blacks, not Christians. Don’t be that stupid, please.

    That being said, the response of the Christian community — and the response of the victims’ families themselves — has been incredibly moving, and a tremendous credit to Christianity.

  33. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: How do you know that it was an “act of severe mental illness”, Jenos? Unless you want to say that any belief system which entices you to pick up a gun and kill 9 people is by itself a “severe mental illness”–with which I would agree.

    And if you want to take this further and say let’s keep firearms out of the hands of people who have a “severe mental illness”, I’d go with that as well.

    This would seem to indicate we’d have to go medieval with the gun control on quite a few people who post on reddit, which I’d also be quite happy with…..

  34. superdestroyer says:

    @Gustopher:

    But how does one acknowledge the racist without that acknowledgement being used as a justification for reparations, set asides, quotas, busing, hate crime legislation, forced busing, separate and unequal school discipline, or separate and unequal employment, contracting, and educational orotundities.

    Any agreement by Republicans with the black political establishment will quickly be turned into a push for more pandering to blacks. There is no way for a Republican to acknowledge anything without it being a disaster for Republicans.

  35. Onward Christian Soldiers says:

    If just one of the parishioners had been armed, this would not have happened.

    It’s funny how these mass shootings ALWAYS (not usually – always) occur in gun free zones.

    Gee, I wonder why this never happens at an NRA convention or at a firearms dealership.

    There is a law in SC preventing people from arming themselves at church. Rather than focus on ancillary distractions like what flag flies on the grounds of the state Capitol, let’s honor these victims by repealing the law which prevented them from defending themselves.

    If everyone were armed, these shootings would not happen. They don’t happen at NRA conventions and they wouldn’t happen in movie theaters, elementary schools, and churches if there were gun free zones. A sign which says gun free zone is nothing but an invitation for an unbalanced mentally ill psychopath like Lanza, Roof, or Holmes to prey on unarmed victims.

  36. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    This shooting wasn’t an act of racism. It was an act of severe mental illness that expressed itself in, among other ways, racism.

    “Ah, he had two racist parents?”
    “Yes, he did.”
    “And they ****ed?”
    “Oh, indeed they did.”

  37. michael reynolds says:

    @Onward Christian Soldiers:

    Yes and Jews are to blame for the Holocaust.

    Creep.

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    That being said, the response of the Christian community — and the response of the victims’ families themselves — has been incredibly moving, and a tremendous credit to Christianity.

    On this, we agree. When Christians behave like Christians they rise to amazing heights of moral courage. Too bad Christians so seldom behave like Christians. They ought to try listening to that Jesus guy more often. He had some good ideas.

  39. superdestroyer says:

    @Gustopher:

    You know that you are just reinforcing the idea that there is no way for Republicans to discuss the issue. That one crazed racist writes something about Trayvon Martin means that all whites who write about black on white crime are racist. That a criminal trial in Florida and the Department of Jsutice found that Zimmerman did not to anything criminal means nothing if one white racist writes about George Zimmerman.

    Once again, there is no way to actually discuss crime statistics in the U.S. without being called a racist unless one agrees with the black political establishment. Why shouldn’t Republicans want to avoid the issue.

  40. Onward Christian Soldiers says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Anti-Christian bigotry is real regardless of your attempts to minimize it.

    I don’t know what was inside this thug’s head. I can’t wrap my mind around that level of deranged mental illness and evil.

    However, your are burying your head in the sane if you deny that there is a bigotry (and yes even a war) against Christians and Christianity.

    The guy who shot up the Family Research Council HQ was not motivated by race – he was motivated by bigotry against Christians.

    He’s been listening to BH Obama attack Christians for six and a half years.

    I have no idea whether it was race of religion which Roof was targeting. However, it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that Christianity could have been his target. Why didn’t he attack a black barber shop or an NAACP convention?

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Onward Christian Soldiers:

    If just one of the parishioners had been armed, this would not have happened.

    oh bullsh!t. They would just be the first person shot. As to your idiotic NRA comment, you don’t kill your ideological allies.

  42. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Onward Christian Soldiers: Yes, anti-Christian bigotry is real. You can see a lot of it here, in the comments.

    This was not, in all likelihood, an act of anti-Christian bigotry.

  43. Gustopher says:

    @superdestroyer:

    But how does one acknowledge the racist without that acknowledgement being used as a justification for reparations, set asides, quotas, busing, hate crime legislation, forced busing, separate and unequal school discipline, or separate and unequal employment, contracting, and educational orotundities.

    There is a significant difference between acknowledging something exists, and agreeing what needs to be done about it, or even agreeing that something needs to be done about it.

    In this case, it is the difference between treating people with respect, and just lying to their faces.

  44. Pat Devlin says:

    Of course the guy was racist – don’t see how that can be questioned. The problem is, what this nut did gets impugned to all whites, which is ridiculous. There is no conspiracy against blacks, most of us could care less about them – we are too busy with our own lives. And no one I know would ever carry out such a hideous act of cowardice against innocents as this nut did. It’s a sickening thing, but don’t blame all whites for it – blame the loser who did it.

    BTW, I am not a Republican.

  45. Pat Devlin says:

    Of course the guy was racist – don’t see how that can be questioned. The problem is, what this nut did gets impugned to all whites, which is ridiculous. There is no conspiracy against blacks, most of us could care less about them – we are too busy with our own lives. And no one I know would ever carry out such a hideous act of cowardice against innocents as this nut did. It’s a sickening thing, but don’t blame all whites for it – blame the loser who did it.

    BTW, I am not a Republican.

  46. Gustopher says:

    @superdestroyer:

    You know that you are just reinforcing the idea that there is no way for Republicans to discuss the issue.

    I’m just pointing out that a man slaughtered nine people after posting a manifesto that really, really sounds a lot like what you write here on a regular basis. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.

    There was a bit of anti-Semitism, and a lack of one party state blather, and a few cruder remarks, but the gist of it was right in line with what you post.

    – Do you look at the differences and say to yourself that this man is not at all like you, since he didn’t mention a one party state at all?

    – Do you agree with his thesis, but disagree on his methods?

    – Do you realize that this man has far more in common with you than you’re comfortable with and begin to examine some of your beliefs?

  47. Ben Wolf says:

    @Onward Christian Soldiers:

    Why didn’t he attack a black barber shop or an NAACP convention?

    Why didn’t he attack a church in his home town? When has he demonstrated a pattern of anti-Christian thought?

  48. aFloridian says:

    This is embarrassing – maybe I’d buy it was an attack focused on Christians in other circumstances, even with a white shooter, but it could not be clearer here blacks were targeted. What makes it so much more cruel to me is that this monster was welcomed by them and sat with them for so long before deciding to kill them.

    Why do Republicans do this and then act surprised about the minority vote and complain about blacks voting in lockstep. When you can’t admit basic truths it really hurts your credibility.

    This is the second favorable thing I’ve hear about John Kasich, so I’m curious to watch him from here on out. I’d never really heard of him until recently. At least the guy is willing to admit what’s right in front of his nose with this.

    Oh Jeb, Jeb Jeb Jeb – I lose respect for you every day now it seems. You are just a washed-up old neocon, making excuses for your brother and picking and choosing your social issues, who thinks the crazed racism of the other candidates makes you viable. He’s starting to feel like Romney – a flavorless also-ran before he runs.

    This shooting, as far as I can determine so far, is a fairly standard coalescing of disaffection, mental illness, and racist rhetoric driving a person to commit cold-blooded murder. Mental illness has to be a factor here – unless it’s a developmental disability – mentally healthy people don’t commit murder like this, certainly not a spree shooting where your chances of escape are minimal. Evil, sane men might plant bombs or lynch someone (in olden times when there were no social consequences) but you don’t commit this type of act without it being driven by either (1) temporarily insane rage, or (2) religious or (3) ideological zealotry, to the fervent point of being ill.

    Again, by definition I don’t understand how a mentally healthy person can forfeit their own sense of self-preservation in this sort of circumstance. If you believe it’s actually going to cause a race war, then there’s another sign of your detachment from reality.

  49. superdestroyer says:

    @Gustopher:

    As I have pointed out many times, I have never called for any policy or law that would treat blacks or Latinos or women differently than every other American. I have actually repeatedly called for every American to be treated the same by the law, by policy, and by government action. Proposing separate and equal treatment by the government is something that I leave to progressives. I mainly like to point out that when upper class white progressives talk about politics as if everyone is a upper middle class white, then they are making a huge error when discussing policy or governance.

    There is no way for Republicans to address any racial aspects of crime without being trapped between the black establishment and the right of center media. If the Republicans come out an talk about black lives matter and how bad whites are treating blacks, they will be buried under an avalanche of crime and social statistics to show that they are wrong. If a Republican tries to actually talk about crime statistics, the left will say that they sound like a white nationalist. Thus, there is no way for any Republican candidate to do anything on this issue except get themselves into trouble.

  50. jewelbomb says:

    @Pat Devlin:

    but don’t blame all whites for it

    Um…no one did that. You’re making things up.

  51. grumpy realist says:

    @aFloridian: I salute you, sir. “Flavorless also-ran” is the perfect description for Jeb (oh, forgot the exclamation point, “Jeb!”)

    Given that the church at where this attack occurred is quite famous in black history and this psychopathic bozo drove two hours to get there, those who want to see an anti-religious bent in this rather than a racism problem in this are straining at some pretty small gnats and swallowing some pretty big camels.

  52. steve says:

    “He’s been listening to BH Obama attack Christians for six and a half years.”

    I have yet to hear a single attack. When I got home from church this morning I looked for examples of him attacking Christians, and found none. Lots of false claims, but no attacks. We also have what he said in his own words to the people he did not kill.

    Steve

  53. superdestroyer says:

    @jewelbomb:

    Actually a writer at Slate.com did blame all whites cite

    Of course, the right of center media has been having its own hey day pointing out what hypocrites Salon.com editors are when wanting to blame all whites when they previously had stories about not blaming all Muslims for islamic terrorism.

  54. superdestroyer says:

    @aFloridian:

    Only an idiot Republican who be surprised when blacks vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. There is no way that more than a few percent of blacks are ever going to vote for the more conservative party. Anything that Republicans can do to appeal to blacks (or Latinos) can be matched by the Democrats. Any addition, most attempts to pander to blacks and Latinos will result in the loss of more white voters than any Republican could ever hope to pick up from minority voters.

  55. grumpy realist says:

    Experts say lone-wolf attackers are often people with stress and instability in their lives, previous criminal behavior, few close personal relationships and a tendency to let anger fester over perceived wounds, including things that did not happen to them personally.

    Also not in description: is almost always male.

  56. grumpy realist says:

    @superdestroyer: yes, pandering like saying “let’s take down that Confederate flag” and admitting that racism was the impetus behind this crime.

  57. Tillman says:

    @Onward Christian Soldiers:

    I don’t know what was inside this thug’s head. I can’t wrap my mind around that level of deranged mental illness and evil.

    Can you read? News reports mention how he killed those people because they were black. He has a manifesto online about his thoughts on race and how black people are bad.

    How effin’ obvious does it need to be for you to understand it? What level of debasement are you willing to lower yourself to in order to blame anything but what he said his own motives were? But hey, I’m a reasonable dude. If it turns out that manifesto online is an elaborate prank or he was on hallucinogens when he was shooting black folk, I’m willing to reconsider my prejudices about your intelligence.

    @aFloridian:

    Mental illness has to be a factor here – unless it’s a developmental disability – mentally healthy people don’t commit murder like this

    No, they do it all the time. That’s why there are laws against murder — because perfectly sane people commit murder. Society wouldn’t need strictures against murder going back to the beginning of civilization if there weren’t sane people committing murder all the time.

    We are not effin’ angels. We are base animals who slaughtered each other for hundreds of thousands of years before anyone gave two sh!ts about writing or farming.

  58. wr says:

    @aFloridian: ” What makes it so much more cruel to me is that this monster was welcomed by them and sat with them for so long before deciding to kill them.”

    And one thing that makes it even more insane and even more tragic is that the shooter apparently said that he almost decided not to go through with the murders because everyone at the church was so nice to him — but that he needed to go through with his mission.

    It’s just something I can’t get out of my head.

  59. Gustopher says:

    @aFloridian:

    Mental illness has to be a factor here – unless it’s a developmental disability – mentally healthy people don’t commit murder like this, certainly not a spree shooting where your chances of escape are minimal. Evil, sane men might plant bombs or lynch someone (in olden times when there were no social consequences) but you don’t commit this type of act without it being driven by either (1) temporarily insane rage, or (2) religious or (3) ideological zealotry, to the fervent point of being ill.

    Until we actually get evidence of mental illness — perhaps a diagnosis, even — I see no reason to assume he wasn’t just an angry young man, disappointed that his life kind of sucked, looking for something to believe in and finding racist ideology.

    People risk their lives for things they believe in all the time. Our history is filled with these people, from the founding fathers, to John Brown, to MLK, to our soldiers in the field, to firemen. When they believe in things we find acceptable, we call them heroes and sometimes martyrs, when they believe in odious things, we call them monsters. The heroes aren’t separated from the monsters by their sanity, but just by their beliefs.

    Lots of mentally ill people are just fine.

  60. CSK says:

    Well, according to his manifesto, he didn’t care for Jews (he wanted them to turn blue for a day so white people could see Jews aren’t actually white) and he thought Hispanics were “a huge problem.” He liked East Asians and regarded them as allies.

    Charming little fellow.

  61. Tillman says:

    @CSK: The Asian part was my favorite. Obviously he’d never heard of Fu Manchu, the Lord of Strange Deaths.

  62. aFloridian says:

    No, they do it all the time. That’s why there are laws against murder — because perfectly sane people commit murder. Society wouldn’t need strictures against murder going back to the beginning of civilization if there weren’t sane people committing murder all the time.

    We are not effin’ angels. We are base animals who slaughtered each other for hundreds of thousands of years before anyone gave two sh!ts about writing or farming.

    I did not intend to suggest that murder is inherently an insane act. I also did not mean to suggest the shooter was “insane” but rather has some sort of mental illness, likely a personality disorder. I shouldn’t have used the word “sane” at all.

    I distinguish between “normal” murder over money, street violence, family drama, etc. and acts of suicidal terrorism, etc. Maybe it IS a false distinction, and if it’s not it’s a fine line, but I understand the motivation of murderers who murder for money, power, anger, and our other basic instincts which you allude to.

    I just really don’t understand how a proclivity to actually carry out that kind of act isn’t a mental illness. Similarly, many of those more “normal” murderers are ultimately diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder or some such. It may not be a distinct category in the DSM-5, but it has to be something. Or maybe I should just be glad I don’t understand it. I get that seemingly mentally healthy people die for causes all the time. How could a mentally healthy person believe that this act would serve a purpose, even a nefarious one like advancing a race war?

    I realize the reason to resist the “mental illness” claims because many people believe it reduces culpability. I don’t believe it does, in a case like this. One can be mentally ill and still know right from wrong and set themselves on a course of action consciously. Distinct from insanity. But there must be some abnormality that leads individuals to commit acts like these which bring them no rewards and have no impact.

    @Gustopher:

    I just finished reading the shooter’s “manifesto” and it certainly makes it apparent he was fairly ideologically-driven, so I don’t mean to discount the racist aspect here. This guy definitely new what he was doing and he went through with it. I still think there must be some mental illness here, but am not in any way suggesting insanity.

  63. Another Mike says:

    It was clear to me from the beginning that this mass killing was a racist act. I do not understand why anyone would have any problem recognizing that from the start.

    The kid was a real loser. His school record shows that and his police records shows that. His family life was a wipe-out. His mother left his dad because of his abuse. The dad remarried, and his next wife also left him due to abuse. The kid was small and weak. He grabbed on to white supremacist thinking in order to make himself feel strong. And then the little punk bought himself a gun and in an act of despicable cowardliness executed black worshipers in church, blacks who had been so nice to him that he almost changed his mind about carrying out the crime.

    I do not know how many more like him are out there. Hopefully, not many.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/06/this-probably-explains-a-lot.php

  64. gVOR08 says:

    It’s really quite incomprehensible how anyone could deny the fact that racism is at the core of Wednesday night’s attack.

    As with the attack itself, no. No it is not incomprehensible. Surely it is obvious by now both that much of the right in this country is completely detached from reality and that Republican politicians both nurture and depend on that detachment from reality.

  65. DrDaveT says:

    @Onward Christian Soldiers:

    Obama has been attacking and denigrating Christians and Christianity for the past six and a half years.

    I don’t know which to be more frightened of — the idea that ODS OCS here might actually believe this, or the idea that someone would promulgate such a dangerous lie without actually believing it.

  66. charon says:

    @gVOR08:

    I know from my experience with family members that the most egregiously racist people can be so completely lacking in self-awareness that they get very angry and indignant at any indication that someone considers them the slightest bit racist.

    So yes, completely down the rabbit hole.

    GOP politicians must be afraid of deviating from Fox News/WSJ/Ailes party line, that must be it. I don’t see how noticing racism could bother a party base that does not think of itself as racist.

  67. Hal_10000 says:

    Much as I’d like to embrace the notion that Republicans are evil racist who are racist and evil, I think it’s much more mundane. I think the GOP leadership, in general, is simply tone deaf on a lot of race issues. Many are ignorant of the history of racial terrorism and so they don’t see this as being the latest in a long line of incidents (which have been mercifully fewer as time has gone on). They see that the 16th street church bombing as half a century ago, that the KKK is basically dead and so this crosses them as an isolated incident, rather than something that’s still seared into the consciousness of black Americans. I also think there is a tendency — either cynically or from genuine feeling — to say that religion is “under attack” in this country because religion-based viewpoints are losing their power over public discourse. And so the racial narrative goes over their head while the religious one hits home.

    (There’s a cynical aspect, too. They know how sensitive southern white voters are to being accused of racism (remember McCain’s flip-flop on the confederate flag in 2000). However, I think they are also outdated on that. In 2012, Romney called for the confederate flag to be removed and didn’t suffer at all in the polls.)

    That having been said, my feeling from the rank and file is that most conservatives see this for what it is: an act of racial terrorism. That’s especially true among younger conservatives.

  68. Gustopher says:

    @aFloridian:

    How could a mentally healthy person believe that this act would serve a purpose, even a nefarious one like advancing a race war?

    Well over half the country is religious, and the vast majority of them are of some branch of religion that will attempt to assign a purpose to any tragedy, whether it is caused by man or not. Some will say that the Lord works in mysterious ways, and others will want to take the tragedy and create something positive and beautiful out of it.

    I know that’s not what you meant at all, but I think it hooks into Dylann Roof’s motivations.

    People want to be part of something larger than themselves, something that they will put before themselves. We find it in family and church and political causes and thousand other places.

    In Dylann Roof’s case, he found conspiracy theories (Jews agitating the black race? Really?) and white supremacy. And young men… they think they are indestructible. Unless you are willing to say everyone under the age of 30 is mentally ill, I’m not sure his disregard for his own future means anything.

    He may be mentally ill. But nothing we have seen so far suggests that he is outside the bounds of normal functioning person mental illness. Over 10% of the population is on antidepressants — assume only half seek treatment because of the stigma, and we have 20% that should be on them. Add in anxiety disorders, and I would be very surprised if we can’t get to 1 in 3 Americans with an obvious mental illness.

  69. CB says:

    @superdestroyer:

    As I have pointed out many times, I have never called for any policy or law that would treat blacks or Latinos or women differently than every other American.

    Best troll ever. You rock, dude.

  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: This.

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:
  72. DrDaveT says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “We weren’t interested in being first on that,” Pugh said. “We were interested in being right.”

    Wow, real journalism. Who knew they could still do that?

  73. MBunge says:

    @superdestroyer: If the Republicans come out an talk about black lives matter and how bad whites are treating blacks, they will be buried under an avalanche of crime and social statistics to show that they are wrong.

    I know this is kind of pointless but what does that mean? If black people are committing crimes against blacks and whites, does that somehow make it impossible for whites to do anything bad to blacks? So those people in Charleston are still alive?

    Mike

  74. An Interested Party says:

    This shooting wasn’t an act of racism. It was an act of severe mental illness that expressed itself in, among other ways, racism. The shooter had no allies, no followers, no leader, no group.

    Ahh, so any, say, Muslim, who commits a violent act causing the deaths of others and has no contact with Jihadists even though said Muslim commits the atrocities in the name of Jihadist causes is simply suffering from an act of severe mental illness rather than being an actual terrorist…

    And of course someone who has never suffered from racism would the expert to tell us how institutional racism is dead and organized racism is dying…

  75. C. Clavin says:

    The same people who can’t admit this is racism also cannot admit that we have a gun problem in this country…and it isn’t that we don’t have enough of them.

  76. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Of course, the right of center media has been having its own hey day pointing out what hypocrites Salon.com editors are when wanting to blame all whites when they previously had stories about not blaming all Muslims for islamic terrorism.

    Sarcasm and ironic reversion is a well-known tool of the one party state.

  77. anjin-san says:

    @aFloridian:

    Mental illness has to be a factor here – unless it’s a developmental disability – mentally healthy people don’t commit murder like this

    I guess that means Muslim terrorists are all mentally ill…

  78. Jack says:

    Roof’s motives are without a doubt, clear. He is a racist.

    I cannot help but see a similar, even mirror image of Roof’s racism in Eric Sheppard–the Black Voldosta State University student that stomps on flags, professes black power, quotes former Nation of Islam leader and New Black Panther Party chairman, Kallid Abdul Muhammad, carries illegal weapons, and wants to kill all whites. He even has his own manifesto.

    “Many still question the possibility of my surrendering to the people who call themselves “authorities”. To Give you a Simple Answer,

    No! I will Not Turn Myself Over to Any White Man and I will Ensure this With my Own Will to Self-Defend and To Annihilate those Who Come After Me. These same people who you all know as “legal officials/police officers/sheriff/detectives” or any other falsified label of ‘authority’ only know wickedness and devilish behavior.

    You Cannot Escape this Divine Judgement. Warnings Had been Put Out by the Path-Layer Noble Drew Ali, Warnings Had been Put out by The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Warnings had been Put Out by The Prophet Elijah Muhammad, The Generals Malcolm X & Dr. Khallid Abdul Muhammad, The Oracle Dr. Frances Welsing and of course our Great Guide The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

    But the TRUE Supreme Court of Almighty A.L.L.A.H. will not be in a Building built by the Hands of White Men…Fires shall Consume Your Bodies, Heads Will Be Severed and Your Blood will Flow in the Streets.

    I say, if they don’t get out of town, we kill the white men, we kill the white women, we kill the white children, we kill the white babies, we kill the blind whites, we kill the crippled whites, we kill the crazy whites, we kill the faggots, we kill the lesbians, I say god dammit we kill ’em all.”

    Luckily, this lunatic was identified to authorities before he was able to commit mass murder.

  79. Thomas Weaver says:

    Sad, so sad. The lib left wingers are looking for widgets to tie around the necks of anyone that
    did not specifically say the word – racism. Most are looking at the loss, the horror but the progressives are running word checks on anyone not in their circle.

  80. Ben Wolf says:

    @Thomas Weaver: Thia couldn’t be a more obvious attempt at trolling if you’d posted a link to Trolling: A Lonely Boy’s Guide to Compensating for Never Getting Laid.

    Ain’t gonna make anyone angry.

  81. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    The shooter was obviously delusional. He seemed to think that his actions might trigger a race war in America. Anyone with the slightest sense of reality would recognize the following truths:

    1) There will not be a “race war” in America. Period. We’ve long outgrown that possibility.

    2) By his choice of targets, he guaranteed that the almost-universal responses would be revulsion for him and his actions, and sympathy for the victims.

    3) If he wanted to provoke a violent response, he should have targeted a racially-organized group with an already-demonstrated propensity for violence. Had he targeted the Nation of Islam or the New Black Panther Party, then he would have had more likely provoked a racially-oriented violent response.

    4) If he simply wanted to kill black people personally, he should have traveled to some inner city area, say during school and business hours, and killed young black men and women. Thanks to stereotyping, had he planned carefully, it would have been attributed to black gang members or other criminals and treated as No Big Deal. As long as he was careful and didn’t get caught, he could have done this for some time.

    As insane as he was, he did have a grasp of certain elements of reality. From his manifesto:

    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.

    He knew that there was no real support for his actions. He believed he had to act because he knew that no one else would do it.

  82. al-Ameda says:

    @Thomas Weaver:

    Sad, so sad. The lib left wingers are looking for widgets to tie around the necks of anyone that did not specifically say the word – racism. Most are looking at the loss, the horror but the progressives are running word checks on anyone not in their circle.

    See what happens when you don’t ask your mom for help? You end up posting stuff like that. Pull the black-out drapes aside, open the window a bit, and ask mom for permission to leave the basement for a few minutes.

  83. Tyrell says:

    When I was young, there were a lot of people who were clearly avowed racists. A lot of people I knew were racists. It was common. There were racist organizations. Some elected leaders were openly racists. Today is completely different. I haven’t come across an avowed racist since the early ’70’s. So this Roof is certainly an aberration. Racist groups certainly have decreased from what they once were. So this idea that there are a lot of racists organizing and being a huge threat would not be accurate.
    Today there is this philosophy being pushed that if you are white then you automatically have some racism. That is completely false. To be sure, there are a few with racial views. I am not a racist. I do not participate in racist activities. I work, associate, and attend church with people of different races. None of my relatives were slave owners to my knowledge. Even if they were, that is not me. So let’s not be putting some sort of false collective guilt on an entire people. That is not going to help anything.

  84. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Well…no support beyond you and Jack and James P and Superdestroyer and the rest of todays Republican party, which is built on on a foundation of Xenophobia.
    This kid is the entirely predictable result of the garbage that spews forth daily from the Republican Entertainment Complex…garbage which forms the only ideas you think you’ve ever had.
    There is a reason your politicians and pundits refuse to call this racism…because doing so would condemn the entirety of today’s Republican movement for what it is.

  85. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    But you and him do share the same man-crush on Zimmerman. Are you jealous?

  86. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    Cut the naive BS.
    The entire Republican Party supports the Confederate flag…which is nothing but an absolute statement of white supremacy. That’s explicit racism. Own it.

  87. Nikki says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    Sarcasm and ironic reversion is a well-known tool of the one party state

    Now that’s some first-class whining right there.

  88. Nikki says:

    @Tyrell:

    So let’s not be putting some sort of false collective guilt on an entire people.

    You mean like what racists like to do with regard to black people?

  89. wr says:

    @Jack: Shorter Jack: A white guy who murders people because of their skin color is exactly the same as a black guy who says bad things about whites.

  90. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Pity you guys ddn’t meet up. You could have held that big Zimmerman pity party together.

  91. Lenoxus says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Wow. Being lectured about racism by people who think that “house nigga,” “brown sugar,” and comparisons to Mammy in “Gone With The Wind” aren’t racist is a novel experience.

    Here’s the thing. I don’t know the sources of any of your quotes and paraphrases but I assume they come from prominent liberals/Democrats. They sound racist. And I have a good feeling that if any of these quotes had a spin on the news cycle, the liberal consensus would be to condemn them as racist. Meanwhile, the point of this thread is that a racist hate crime was committed and the Republican consensus is “What racism?” No one’s claiming that one or two naive Republicans represent the whole party’s ignorance — in fact, “one or two Republicans” are the ones bucking the trend by acknowledging the racism. So I’m afraid your tu quoque fails drastically.

    Also, when liberal “social justice warrior” types talk our society’s problem with racism, there’s no “except for liberals of course” in the fine print. The problem is everywhere. It’s completely unsurprising that white liberals would say clueless or even horrifically racist things. Being a liberal is far from a magic amulet against racism; in fact sometimes it magnifies it in a kind of risk homeostasis. But liberalism and Democrats at least acknowledge the problem and its universality, without compulsively spewing “But black-on-black crime! Black-on-white crime! The reeeal threat is spooky scary black people!”

    Onward Christian Soldiers (nicely disturbing username, by the way):

    BH Obama has been attacking and denigrating Christians and Christianity for the past six and a half years. Perhaps this jacka** was influenced by Obama’s anti-Christian rhetoric????

    How can you be sure the Charleston churchgoers are “Christian”, by your bizarro world definition? Because I bet it would be trivially easy to compile evidence that would force you to claim they aren’t. I mean, they probably voted for the terribly “anti-Christian” Obama, and that’s just for starters.

    Perhaps this a-hole was upset over Christian opposition to homosexual marriage so he decided to attack Christians.

    There’s something amazing about a reasoning process that takes the killer, his actions, and his rhetoric as input, and outputs “On top of everything else, I bet this guy is a big supporter of same-sex marriage. Probably changed his Facebook icon to that red equals sign or a rainbow flag or something.” I’m not saying that’s impossible, but if you’re going to guess his opinion on gay rights… I wouldn’t bet money on the “support” side.

  92. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    I cannot help but see a similar, even mirror image of Roof’s racism in Eric Sheppard

    You want to see a mirror image of Dylann Roof? That’s easy: look in the mirror. You are this guy. Your mind and his? A matched pair. Racist, gun-obsessed, angry, insecure, weak-minded.

  93. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    There will not be a “race war” in America.

    A lot of black folks would tell you that there is an ongoing race war in America. It’s just that it is not open combat, it’s “the criminal justice system” vs. black people, which white racists cheering them on.

    Don’t believe me? Watch a few videos of police officer brutalizing black folks and do a quick count on what percentage of black males are in the system/in prison.

  94. Kylopod says:

    @Tyrell:

    I haven’t come across an avowed racist since the early ’70’s.

    How do you define an “avowed racist”? For example, how about the Limbaugh listener who in 1993 said, “Why, I agree with Rush that racism is dead. I just wonder what the n*****s are going to find to complain about now.”

    Would you consider Stormfront an “avowed racist” site? The FAQ declares that white nationalists aren’t racist, but rather are fighting racism against white people.

    So yeah, there are no avowed racists, just as there are no avowed evil people. Did it ever occur to you that racism can be a problem without people “avowing” it?

  95. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    a racially-organized group with an already-demonstrated propensity for violence. Had he targeted the Nation of Islam or the New Black Panther Party,

    We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet.

    So you accept the idea that there are no organized groups of white racists ready to commit violence to further their agenda, but you believe there are multiple groups of black racists that are organized and are committed to violence?

    Another question – are you an idiot, an enabler, or some combination thereof?

  96. Barbara O'Donnell says:

    @CSK:
    of course it was racists. Yes, racism like his does exists.
    This is not how people in this Country feel about blacks.
    There are racists, there will always be racists and there isn’t really anything that can be done about them. It happens.
    He is evil, he hates everyone and everything. He probably doesn’t even have a single focus, he just hates. Blacks, Jews, the American flag. He is damaged.

  97. aFloridian says:

    He may be mentally ill. But nothing we have seen so far suggests that he is outside the bounds of normal functioning person mental illness. Over 10% of the population is on antidepressants — assume only half seek treatment because of the stigma, and we have 20% that should be on them. Add in anxiety disorders, and I would be very surprised if we can’t get to 1 in 3 Americans with an obvious mental illness.

    No, you’re right. And I do think mental illness to that degree is widespread. But that doesn’t mean that 1 in 3 Americans aren’t culpable for their crimes, but maybe it means they’re more likely to commit acts which defy basic conventions of self-preservation and logic (I guess rather like cutting, or addiction, or morbid obesity, even).

    @anjin-san:

    Yes, I think they are. I think that level of blind religious zealotry is not the functioning of a healthy mind. You certainly don’t have me on record saying otherwise. I think it’s worth having a conversation about how many people DO sidestep race/religion/etc. in these cases and with whites it’s “crazy kid” whereas, I guarantee you, the folks on the Blaze were NOT citing mental illness when that black guy shot those two cops in New York in a premeditated terrorist attack (same as this incident was). I think pretty much ALL of these people are mentally ill, but that doesn’t mean they are insane, and it doesn’t mean they aren’t also motivated by ideology or religion.

  98. Anonne says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Once again, there is no way to actually discuss crime statistics in the U.S. without being called a racist unless one agrees with the black political establishment.

    Why is it that you must ALWAYS disagree with the “black political establishment?” Even a broken clock is right twice a day. You have to give credit where credit is due. I’m sure that at some point idiots like Sean Hannity will say something that is practical and represents a universal truth.

    This is the problem with your deranged partisanship. These so-called conservatives have to always oppose anything that liberals might like or agree with. This isn’t team sports, and these people are unfit to govern.

    But how does one acknowledge the racist without that acknowledgement being used as a justification for reparations, set asides, quotas, busing, hate crime legislation, forced busing, separate and unequal school discipline, or separate and unequal employment, contracting, and educational orotundities.

    Any agreement by Republicans with the black political establishment will quickly be turned into a push for more pandering to blacks. There is no way for a Republican to acknowledge anything without it being a disaster for Republicans.

    So what then is the “conservative” response to combating racism? You have none, because you embrace it and do not want to offer any real solutions to the problem. Unless and until you can sincerely offer a solution that is meaningful and isn’t what you consider “pandering” you guys need to shut up.

  99. anjin-san says:

    @Lenoxus:

    The problem is everywhere.

    Indeed. I grew up in an integrated neighborhood back when it was still novel. I spent half my childhood in the homes of my black friends, most of whom are still friends many decades later. I think I can safely claim to have be closer to black folks than the average white American.

    Yet when I see a group of young black men about to cross my path, it affects me differently than it would if they were white. Half a century of “black men are dangerous” messaging has had its impact on the way my mind works, even if I don’t believe it with the rational part of my brain.

  100. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You want to see a mirror image of Dylann Roof? That’s easy: look in the mirror. You are this guy. Your mind and his? A matched pair. Racist, gun-obsessed, angry, insecure, weak-minded.

    Roof is a racist and a murderer. I am neither a racist, insecure, or weak-minded. You seem to believe every gun owner is a potential murderer. My gun equips me to be a murderer in the exact same way your vagina equips you to be a prostitute. Yes, honey, you sound that stupid.

  101. gVOR08 says:

    Just FYI, and makes no difference, but the photo is a historical marker for a different church.

  102. anjin-san says:

    @Jack:

    in the exact same way your vagina equips you to be a prostitute. Yes, honey

    Well, you just proved yourself to be insecure and weak-minded. The fact that you are unaware of it certainly suggest a rather dim bulb burning between your ears…

  103. michael reynolds says:

    @anjin-san:

    Jack always lives down to the very lowest expectations.

  104. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: A lot of black folks would tell you that there is an ongoing race war in America. It’s just that it is not open combat, it’s “the criminal justice system” vs. black people, which white racists cheering them on.

    And there are a lot of Christians who will tell you that Obama’s waging a war on Christians in America, and will cite lots of evidence to back that up. Look at Onward here (who I suspect is one of the liberal regulars here, trying to pull a Moby, but I digress).

    Let me add one more way someone who wanted to kill a lot of black people could do so with impunity: go to medical school, graduate as an OB-GYN, move to a major city, and open an abortion clinic. For example, Kermit Gosnell.

  105. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Do you recall the last time you said something here that was not a stultifyingly stupid personal insult?

    Yeah, me neither.

  106. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Kylopod: Would you consider Stormfront an “avowed racist” site?

    I’d consider Stormfront a textbook example of what the nutjob here was talking about when he said “We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet.”

  107. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    We can always count on you to regurgitate the absolutely dumbest of right-wing talking points, can’t we?

    It is absolutely fwcking moronic to pretend there’s some kind of war on Christians. It is a lie. It is a transparent lie. Only a racist moron trying to divert the conversation away from the truth would say it.

    The race-denial of right-wingers is the moral equivalent of Holocaust denial. It’s sickening. It’s a Goebbels level Big Lie.

    You need to stop it, Jenos. You make decent people want to throw up.

  108. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Please, go ahead and argue how the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party haven’t repeatedly shown that they are willing to use violence (which they’ll call “self-defense,” of course) to advance their cause.

    And if a few of their people were assassinated, you really think they wouldn’t attempt to retaliate?

    Also, the topic was a speculation into how a white person could likely provoke a cycle of racial violence. In that context, I don’t really see the need to address your typical attempt at a diversion.

  109. dmhlt says:

    @Onward Christian Soldiers:
    ONWARD: “Gee, I wonder why this never happens at an NRA convention or at a firearms dealership.”

    Maybe, maybe not. I’m not going to Google it to find out.

    But just LOOK at this headline documenting that where a group of gun nuts gathers, carnage can occur:

    For The Sixth Time In One Week, Man Shot At Gun Show

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/01/26/1500431/for-the-sixth-time-in-one-week-man-shot-at-gun-show/

  110. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Why don’t you go talk to your friends at the sites for racist apologists? You’re busily lowering our already low opinion of you. You’re becoming someone we’ll just need to shun. You’re that vile.

  111. michael reynolds says:

    @dmhlt:

    Here’s all the proof you need that more guns = more murder.

  112. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Let me add one more way someone who wanted to kill a lot of black people could do so with impunity: go to medical school, graduate as an OB-GYN, move to a major city, and open an abortion clinic. For example, Kermit Gosnell.

    Wouldn’t that kill a bunch of other people too?

  113. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’d consider Stormfront a textbook example of what the nutjob here was talking about when he said “We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet.”

    Cough, cough:

    Nine men who were allegedly prolific posters on the white supremacist website Stormfront were responsible for killing almost 100 people over the past five years, according to a report released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/stormfront-website-posters-murdered-100-people-watchdog-group/story?id=23365815

  114. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Please, go ahead and argue how the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party haven’t repeatedly shown that they are willing to use violence (which they’ll call “self-defense,” of course) to advance their cause.

    Yo do you realize that the New Black Panther Party is literally five guys in Philly, and one guy doing Fox whenever they have a need to scare their audience, right?

  115. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Please, go ahead and argue how the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party haven’t repeatedly shown that they are willing to use violence (which they’ll call “self-defense,” of course) to advance their cause.

    I have yet to read of a massacre or mass shooting of White people at a (say) Lutheran Church, or a school, or a playground, by any member of the so-called Nation of Islam or New Black Panther Party, have you?

  116. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    New Black Panther Party

    Some of those cats wear leather jackets and berets. If I was you, I would hide under the bed…

  117. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And there are a lot of Christians who will tell you that Obama’s waging a war on Christians in America, and will cite lots of evidence to back that up.

    Really? Please produce even one piece of evidence. How many Christians have had the shit kicked out of them by cops? Been killed by cops? How many are in prison for the crime of being Christians?

    Damn dude, you are a tool, and a fool…

  118. An Interested Party says:

    A perfect explanation for why so many can’t call a racist terrorist what he so obviously is…

    In America’s contemporary imagination, terrorism is foreign and brown. Those terrorists do not have complex motivations. We do not urge one another to reserve judgment until we search through their Facebook histories or interview their friends. We do not trot out psychologists to analyze their mental states. We know immediately why they kill. But a white terrorist is an enigma. A white terrorist has no history, no context, no origin. He is forever unknowable. His very existence is unspeakable. We see him, but we pretend we cannot. He is a ghost floating in the night.

  119. Monala says:

    @superdestroyer: With content like this,

    2. Is something wrong with the white family? Why are their sons and men so violent?

    3. What should law enforcement and white politicians do about white crime?

    5. Where are the white fathers in the white home?

    ..then I strongly suspect a lot of the article you cite is satire, meant to mimic the questions so frequently asked about black people.

  120. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Man, you reading comprehension sucks.

    I said THEY claim it, and THEY would offer evidence. I never said I claim it, and I never promised any evidence. My point was that simply saying something doesn’t make it true. And pointing out what other say is not endorsing what they say.

    But if you’re that desperate to find out, why not ask Onward, who’s making those claims personally?

  121. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @dmhlt: So to counter the argument that no one has ever gone to a gun show to commit a mass shooting, you cite an example of a guy who accidentally shot himself?

    Do you even READ your own links?

    And that link to the prior five shootings… all of which were accidental shootings. Seems to me you ought to cheer the Darwinian nature of those shootings.

  122. Barry says:

    @Mu: “The real question to me is why they’re having issues with calling it racist. Are they afraid that they offend too many of their voters that identify themselves as racist, but in a good sense of course?”

    That’s because ‘racism is dead (except for black racism) blah blah blah’.

    And because this guy did nothing which is not an logical extension of the right’s politics.

  123. Barry says:

    @Onward Christian Soldiers: “There is just as likely a possibility that this thug was motivated by anti-Christian bigotry.”

    Yes, he drove 60 miles to find ‘Christians’ in South Carolina, and spouted racist sh*t.

  124. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    My point was that simply saying something doesn’t make it true.

    Kind of a moronic point. I could spend the rest of the day providing evidence that there is indeed a war on black people in America. And your only response is to cite a fantasy war on Christians.

    Think I will pass on trying to educate you though, I’m enjoying my coffee from high in the Hollywood Hills today, why waste time on you when I can enjoy the view?

  125. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Kind of a moronic point. I could spend the rest of the day providing evidence that there is indeed a war on black people in America. And your only response is to cite a fantasy war on Christians.

    Yeah, you could, but you won’t. To you, substance is toxic. You seem constitutionally incapable of offering opinions or saying anything of substance.