Nightmare in Charleston



No, it was no accident, Rick Perry. And you folks at Fox must know by now that Dylann Roof was not motivated by hatred of religion when he massacred those nine worshippers in Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. There’s no getting around it: This heinous act was driven by racism.

Investigators have discovered a manifesto on the Internet that was authored by the 21-year-old South Carolina resident (photo above).

The 2,444-word manifesto rants against African-Americans, Jews, Hispanics and Asians. And Roof concludes:

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.

And a survivor of the massacre has reported that the shooter said:

You all rape women and you’re taking over our country.

It seems like so much time has passed since America celebrated the election of the country’s first black President. I look back at the starry eyed optimism I felt then and I feel foolish. I had thought that America was emerging from the dark ages, that the time had finally arrived when people in this country would be judged, as Rev. King once said, by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

Obviously, I was wrong.

Of course I know that Dylann Roof is one individual, that he does not represent the 300 million-plus people who live in America, and so on. Of course he is crazy. You have to be crazy to do what he did. And of course there has been significant progress in the past half century toward the realization of Martin Luther King’s dream.

But, conceding all that,  racism is a very real, very scary fact of life in this, the world’s leading democracy.

To deny that, as the Supreme Court did when it gutted the Voting Rights Act a couple of years ago, is to hide your head in the sand.

Until the nation’s leaders – and the nation’s media – face up to the ugly truth, American racism will continue to fester. And we shall have horrors like the nightmare in Charleston.

Click for the manifesto.

Click for the Voting Rights Act ruling.