The racist ideas that drove Dylann Roof did not come from nowhere

In his pained statements this week about the tragedy in Charleston, President Obama once again noted the toll taken by firearms in this country, particularly in mass killings.

“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” he said. “It is in our power to do something about it. I say that, recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of the avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it.”

I understand the president’s sentiment and concur with his larger point. However, I can conceive of no gun law that would have kept firearms out of the hands of a 21-year-old from rural South Carolina with no official record of mental health issues and no record of convictions. (The converse notion — that the answer is “a good man with a gun” at a church Bible study — is even less based in reality, useful only as an insight into the fantasy lives of those who offer that as a solution).

Around the world, in every case, societies with more guns are not more peaceful societies; the more guns, the more violence. That is true here in the United States as well; if broader gun ownership reduced violent crime, violent crime would be lower here in the South than anywhere in the country. The opposite is true.

It has also become clear that the attack on Emanuel AME Church that killed its pastor and eight other people was a premeditated, conscious act of terrorism, just as surely as the attack on the Boston Marathon by the Tsarnaev brothers was an act of terror. It was conceived and perpetrated as a political act to advance a cause, and that cause is rooted in racism and white supremacy.

These racist ideas did not come to Dylann Roof from nowhere. They have a source in history and culture. They survive because they are still able to find an environment in which they are permitted to thrive, in which they are accepted and casually tolerated rather than strongly rejected. Roof is unique only in the extremely violent way in which he acted upon those ideas.

And where might Roof get the idea that racism and segregation might still have its apologists? Gee, I don’t know … ?

Confederate flag - Statehouse

No, the fact that the Confederate battle emblem still flies from a place of honor at the South Carolina capitol did not cause Roof’s rampage. But the facts are the facts: That flag was initially raised above the South Carolina state capitol in 1962 as a message of defiance in support of segregation, and its continued presence sends a message as well. Roof wore clothing featuring the flags of the apartheid governments of Rhodesia and South Africa for the same reason that he displayed the Confederate flag on his car, because all three symbolized the same thing to him.

As Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN in defending the flag, “it is part of who we are.” The question is whether it is part of what we aspire to be, and that answer is no.

We may want to pretend otherwise. We may want to pretend that racism is no longer a real problem but merely a ploy that some of the formerly oppressed use to gain advantage. We may like to believe that the election of a black president wipes clean not just the slate but our hearts as well, so that we no longer have to talk about it or think about it, as if it were sealed, settled, done. And it’s been instructive to watch that same black president blamed by some for “worsening” race relations in this country, as if the nation officially purged itself of its original sin on Jan. 21, 2009, the date of his inauguration, and every resurgence of racial tension since then becomes his responsibility, his fault, his burden and not ours.

It just isn’t that easy.

 

Reader Comments 0

1751 comments
Peachs
Peachs

Forgiveness a part of religion forgotten in this greed generation.  It amazes me that whites think every black male is out to get them while a white kid blows away 9 black victims, after they welcome him into their group and its all about forgiveness and apologizing for not being able to quiet yet forgive no crosses burning, no fat gutted loud mouth on FOX,  just so sorry we can't find instant forgiveness. That could remind the political church that once that church stood for something beyond its own selfishness. This is what "Right from my heart" Wright should have chosen as his topic speaking in the halls of Congress but he was too full of his own self to pretend to be any other way. 

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

 We took on the special interests and won, putting power back in the hands of taxpayers where it belongs. We turned our deficit into a surplus. Our rainy day fund is 165 times bigger than when we first took office.  Our pension system is the only one fully funded in the country. We improved schools by making it easier for them to get rid of bad teachers and hire good ones. We did this as we cut taxes by more than $2 billion and cut the unemployment rate from 8.1 percent to 4.6 percent, the lowest since 2008.

We passed regulatory reform, lawsuit reform, Castle Doctrine, concealed carry, pro-life legislation and a law requiring a photo ID to vote. We defunded Planned Parenthood and became the 25th state to enact a Right to Work law.


Deal with it.


http://www.redstate.com/diary/govwalker/2015/06/19/im-considering-running-president/

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

I do not give up on the south.  I just make fun of the uneducated racist Republicans occupying space in the south.

breckenridge
breckenridge

If Ted Kaczynski  hadn't sent bombs in the mail, then he wouldn't be the Unabomber.

JamVet
JamVet

Another great observation.

td: If he (Roof) hadn't used a gun he wouldn't be a racist.

PaulinNH: Even for you that is a moronic statement.

Paul states the obvious.

And the racists love td and his kind who give them sanction...

Usually when shots ring out in a black church, it is due to someone gettting greedy and grabbing the last piece of chicken from the KFC bucket..so this is a new twist. The flag at all SC KFCs will be at half mast. ~trish

JamVet
JamVet

From earlier, good post TBS.

Yes the descendants of the pro-slavery regime are mad as hell about the flag they revere more than the Stars and Stripes.

But the losers need to come to terms with their enduring failure.

As a people and a government.

Racism is learned and they are the teachers...

Gmare
Gmare

NWGAL & Mary Elizabeth, keep talking/writing, my friends. At some point, these ignorant (mostly male) people will get that WE are fast becoming the majority & they are on their way out/down!!!!

td1234
td1234

@Gmare 900 legislative seats, 33 governors, 65 members of the US House of Reps and 13 US Senators since Obama was elected has changed to Republicans. 

US_Patriot
US_Patriot

I find it interesting how bowed up some lib's get about a piece of clothe.  Not enough depth in their souls, shallow as they are.



td1234
td1234

@US_Patriot It is all they have. They know they cannot go for guns (which is really what they want. 


They also know that without Blacks being fully engaged (like in Obama numbers) in states like VA, FL, OH and NC then Hillary has no chance of winning those states, especially since her campaign has stated she is running a base election just like Obama did in 2012.  

JamVet
JamVet

South Carolina, tear this flag down!

TBS
TBS

@JamVet


Going to take some time but that POS flag is coming down........

It will be regulated to museums and private property where it belongs

Recon2/3
Recon2/3

Okay, I'm out but my fellow conservative friends will continue to kick far-left, liberal Democrat butt. Semper Fi. Out.

breckenridge
breckenridge

 "I tend to be more Republican in my views, but socially very liberal. I'm going to have trouble with any Republican that does not disavow a fixation with social issues. Republicans have to understand that, because young people in our country are not grabbed by those issues."  Leon Cooperman, billionaire hedge fund manager,  on Wall Street Week, June 2015


Yep.  The big money Wall Street money is done with social conservatives.  Because they are losers.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Fox News?


Options:


1) Take a stupid pill

2) Watch Fox News

Recon2/3
Recon2/3

Fox News exposes these bigots and they hate it.

Recon2/3
Recon2/3

The problem for the American far-left is that Blacks, Hispanics and other minority groups who're becoming among the educated are seeing liberal left Democrat bigots for what they really are just users of voting blocks to get their pathetic party members elected.

TBS
TBS

@Recon2/3


Wonder why you didn't post any stats of voting trends to back up your claims...........

Not really, we both know why you didn't do that

breckenridge
breckenridge

"You go and tell that g.d. minister that if he gives out one more story about my religious faith I will not join his g.d. church!” President Dwight D Eisenhower, R-Kansas, 1953

Yes, it's high time GOP needs to cast off the disgusting legacy of the pervert Jerry Falwell and get back to being a political party.





Recon2/3
Recon2/3

Blacks are treated better in the South than anywhere else in America. The far-left uses Black people as pawns only to further their twisted agenda.

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty Why is it that all the riots happening lately are in progressive run cities in the north and mid west and not in the south? Why do Blacks feel more discriminated against in those cities than in the south where are the supposed bigots run everything? 

Cherokee51
Cherokee51

@Recon2/3 

From someone who has lived several places around the country, that's total BS.

TBS
TBS

Naval War College professor Mackubin Thomas Owens has noted that after the Civil War, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens wrote a revisionist history A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States, which helped popularize the idea that the war was really about states' rights.

But in his infamous "corner-stone" speech delivered in March 1861, just before the start of the war, Stephens made a much different argument about what the war was really about. He argued that nation's Founders, though allowing slavery to remain, were ultimately convinced that it was an evil institution that would eventually go away. "Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong," he said. "They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error."

In contrast, he explained, "Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition."

 http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/why-conservatives-should-hate-the-confederate-flag/article/2566609

td1234
td1234

@TBS Romney is showing his establishment progressive colors, is an idiot and lost the election because he had little to no understanding of the base of his very own party. If I am not mistaken Jeb said it is a state issue. 

td1234
td1234

@IReportYouWhine#1 Everyday he is on this blog but this non issue of the Confederate battle flag is really showing his true colors. 

TBS
TBS

@IReportYouWhine#1 @TBS 

Whine much?  Of course you do.

That article is written by a conservative writer working for a conservative organization.

Take it up with them

Next


The Washington Examiner is a political journalism publication based in Washington, D.C., that distributes its content via daily online reports and a weekly magazine.[1] It is owned by MediaDC,[2] a subsidiary of Clarity Media Group,[3] which is owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz[4] and which also owns the influential conservative opinion magazine The Weekly Standard

TBS
TBS

@td1234 @TBS


You can spin it as you wish but we both know what he is implying via his political two step

 

Bush, in a carefully worded statement, did not explicitly say the flag should be removed following the slaying of nine people in a black church in Charleston. But he referred to his decision to take down the flag in Florida in 2001 when he was governor.

"My position on how to address the Confederate flag is clear. In Florida we acted, moving the flag from the state grounds to a museum where it belonged."

"This is obviously a very sensitive time in South Carolina and our prayers are with the families, the AME church community and the entire state. Following a period of mourning there will rightly be a discussion among leaders in the state about how South Carolina should move forward, and I'm confident they will do the right thing."


http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/jeb-bush-calls-on-south-carolina-to-do-the-right-thing-with-confederate/2234490

td1234
td1234

@TBS Do you really believe that the Confederate Battle flag is the reason this thug killed 9 Blacks in a church in Charleston? 

td1234
td1234

@JamVet Per my definition as soon as he took the first shot then he became a racist. The gun gave him power to execute is bigoted plans. No power no racism. 

TBS
TBS

@td1234 @TBS


Nope and I already answered that same question below.

The flag is coming down.  Maybe not today or tomorrow but it is coming down

Book it

Why did you not address Bush's words?

He political two stepped around but still implied take that POS flag down.

We both know that. 

LOL

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@td1234 @JamVet 

You are implying that if he hadn't used a gun he wouldn't be a racist.  Even for you that is a moronic statement.

td1234
td1234

@TBS I did not see your answer so could you please re-post it? 


As far as the Confederate flag, it is a long time between now and the next time the SC legislature meets (Next Jan) and as of today I have NOT seen the sentiment to remove it. 


The whole issue is just another made up, red herring attempt to get to the emotions of the Black community because we all know when they are not emotionally engaged then they do not show up in huge numbers to vote and without them being as engaged with Hillary as they were with Obama then she can not carry Ohio, Florida, NC and VA. 

td1234
td1234

@PaulinNH I am not implying it I am stating it. Without power he or anyone else  is a bigot, with power he or anyone else can become a racist.  

td1234
td1234

@TBS Sad sack coming from the lying coward that will not even sit down for a drink but then has to lie about showing up. Great show of manhood. LMAO

JamVet
JamVet

@td1234 @TBS 


Given your definition, I am very surprised to see you refer to Dylan Roof as a racist.

Have you had some recent epiphany?


TBS
TBS

@PaulinNH @td1234 @JamVet


Just enjoy the sad sack of a show he puts on.

He has nothing and knows it. Grasping at straws is a losing game yet he still willingly plays 

FloydLiberal
FloydLiberal

I spent most of my life trying to demonstrate that being Southern did not mean being stupid and racist. Then I move back here, read comments like many of those below, and realize why so few believed that most Southerners were actually like me. I formally give up and leave the South to the bigots, the gun nuts, the folks who think that a cluster of cells is more important than the woman carrying them. Y'all deserve the contempt of the rest of the nation, the low pay, the bad schools, the pot holes in your roads, and politicians who fleece you dry. Fly your damned flag while the rest of us roll our eyes.

td1234
td1234

@NWGAL There is no one forcing you to remain in the south. Go live some place you will be happy with your own kind. 

US_Patriot
US_Patriot

@NWGAL I believe the peeps in SoHo are calling you!  Or, maybe the Village.


You can fly whatever piece of clothe you want, if you abide by "their" rules.


Buh bye! Smell ya later!

US_Patriot
US_Patriot

@JamVet - This poster is such a jackwagon.  Sheesh!


The posts equate to everything it despises, yet keeps digging a hole.


What a pathetic loser.

JamVet
JamVet

@NWGAL 

Rock on, girl!

The psychocons here?

The malevolent racist coddlers who are on the "same side of the aisle" as trish?

They are the epitome of that derision and deserve their slack jawed reputation.

And Marietta - home of the science book sticker - is the epicenter of their Moron Belt..