Monday, June 22, 2015

Richard Cohen: Charleston shooter’s manifesto reveals hate group helped to radicalize him

  This weekend we found out more about how the suspected Charleston church shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, became a violent racist extremist at such a young age.

  On his website, Roof left a 2,000-word manifesto in which he identifies himself as a white nationalist and says he was “truly awakened” to his beliefs after reading the online propaganda of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a notorious, racist hate group.

  “I have no choice,” he writes. “Someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”

  We’re not surprised.

  Roof fits the profile of the lone wolf terrorist radicalized in the echo chamber of racist websites that increasingly promote a global white nationalist agenda. In his manifesto, Roof wrote that he began researching “black [sic] on White” crime after the Trayvon Martin incident and found “pages upon pages of these brutal black [sic] on White murders,” then discovered the “same things were happening” in Western European countries.

  This is the kind of propaganda used by hate groups to push a “white genocide” narrative, the idea that white people are under attack by people of color across the world.

  Recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center released an investigative report about Stormfront, the largest white supremacist website in the world with 300,000 registered users, two-thirds of whom are Americans. Its users have murdered nearly 100 people in the past five years.

  This spring, the SPLC issued a study on lone wolves like Roof who commit acts of terror and found that a domestic terror attack or foiled plot occurred every 34 days over the last six years.

  About the author: Richard Cohen is president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

  This article was published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

No comments:

Post a Comment