The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
New York Times: Republicans tread carefully in criticism of Confederate flag in wake of Charleston massacre.
Salon: Why it’s important that we discuss Dylann Roof’s rampage as an act of domestic terrorism.
Think Progress: Our media and official focus on Islamists as a source of terrorism leaves the radical right overlooked.
Right Wing Watch: Alex Jones warns that the Charleston massacre is a government plot to start a race war and round up conservatives.
Huffington Post: White supremacists worried that Charleston shootings make them look bad.
Deep South Daily: Many Mississippi politicians connected to hate group that radicalized Dylann Roof.
Media Matters: Fox News’ Steve Doocy finds it extraordinary that the Charleston shootings are considered a hate crime.
Diversity Inc: What to do when your white neighbor begins displaying hate symbols.
WAVY-TV (Chesapeake, VA): Chesapeake church sign linking equal rights to Satan causes controversy.
KRDO-TV (Pueblo, CO): Anti-Islam barbecue puts Colorado sheriff’s office on alert.
Raw Story: Black Arizona churches reject Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigrant-profiling posses.
Editors’ Note: A photo caption in an earlier version of this story reported that patches on a jacket Dylann Roof wore in photos posted on his website were likely sold at patriot-flags.com, an online store managed by Kyle Rogers, the webmaster of the Council of Conservative Citizens. Rogers’ store does not and has never sold those patches.
Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof’s manifesto cited the hate group Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) as his gateway into the world of white nationalism. The CCC is the modern reincarnation of the old White Citizens Councils, which were formed in the 1950s and 1960s to battle school desegregation in the South.
For decades, this racist group has had the ear of a number of prominent politicians, both state and federal, many of whom were members of the group and/or attended events put on the by CCC — a group that has referred to African Americans as a “retrograde species of humanity.”
In 1998, a scandal erupted over prominent Southern politicians’ ties to the brazenly racist group. After it was revealed that former Congressman Bob Barr (R-Ga.) gave the keynote speech at the CCC’s 1998 national convention and that then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) had spoken to the group five times, both claimed they knew nothing about the CCC. As evidence of widespread association between Southern GOP officeholders and the CCC mounted, Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson took the unusual step in 1998 of asking party members to resign from the group because of its racist views. But six years later, many Southern lawmakers were still pandering to and meeting with the CCC — and still pleading ignorance. According to a 2004 Intelligence Report review of the Citizens Informer, no fewer than 38 federal, state and local elected officials had attended CCC events between 2000 and 2004, most of them giving speeches to local chapters of the hate group.
Authorities confirmed earlier today that a manifesto appearing on the website “The Last Rhodesian” was indeed penned by Dylann Storm Roof, the man arrested following the murder of nine African Americans at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday evening.
Roof’s manifesto indicates that he has been involved in the white nationalist scene for about three years. A deeper look into the 2000-plus word screed reveals that he was deeply immersed in white nationalist ideology and very knowledgeable of the hot button issues and debates in the white nationalist world today.
What follows is a textual analysis of the Dylann Roof manifesto and an attempt to trace the ideas expressed therein to beliefs widely-held or debated within the white nationalist movement.
Black on White Crime
“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. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?”
The issue of black on white crime is one of the most common white nationalist tropes. A quick look on any of the leading white nationalist websites and message boards indicates how popular this claim is on the radical right. Today, the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), the group Roof credited with introducing him to the white nationalist scene dedicates itself to educating whites on what it sees as an epidemic of black on white crime in the United States. The CCC website has been a touchstone for the radical right to get “educated” on this issue, with articles appearing on a daily basis reporting on “hate crimes” committed by African Americans on whites in the U.S. It appears this was the first stop for Roof on his dive down the white nationalist rabbit hole.
UPDATE: Charleston law enforcement authorities have confirmed that the website containing Dylann Storm Roof’s manifesto and photos was registered and run by Roof.
A manifesto, purportedly penned by Dylann Storm Roof, the man charged with murdering nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., has surfaced online. A website contains numerous photos of Roof as well as a 2,000 word manifesto. The website is called “The Last Rhodesian” – the Rhodesian flag was one of the patches Roof had on his jacket in his Facebook profile photo.
Roof’s manifesto reveals much of his motivations for committing his heinous act. In it, he specifically cites the website of the white nationalist hate group Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) as his gateway into the radical right. The CCC is the modern reincarnation of the old White Citizens Councils, which were formed in the 1950s and 1960s to battle school desegregation in the South. Today, the CCC dedicates itself to educating whites on what it sees as an epidemic of black on white crime in the United States. The CCC website has been a touchstone for the radical right to get “educated” on this issue – and it appears this was the first stop for Roof on his dive down the white nationalist rabbit hole.
Roof’s alleged manifesto reads, “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. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?”
The CCC is very active in Roof’s home state of South Carolina. In fact, the CCC webmaster, white nationalist Kyle Rogers, is based in the state. Rogers is the mastermind behind the CCC’s push to bring attention to black on white crime – writing article after article on the CCC website exposing what he calls black on white hate crimes. This brand of racist opportunism, exemplified by Rogers’s coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, is a staple of Rogers and the CCC’s media plan. On Feb. 6, 2012, in the midst of the site’s coverage of the shooting, the CCC’s website topped 170,000 unique visits in a single day. Such successes have emboldened Rogers and the CCC’s web team, resulting in similar coverage following the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the social unrest that followed. It seems the CCC media strategy was successful in recruiting Roof into the radical right.
When he isn’t writing about black on white crime, Rogers manages a flag store, Patriotic-Flags.com, which you can visit by clicking an ad on the CCC website. Rogers’ store sells the flag of the government of Rhodesia, the same flag sewn on the jacket worn by Roof in his Facebook profile. Before Roof’s alleged manifest was discovered, Rogers was quick to attack the Southern Poverty Law Center for our reporting on the Roof shooting. Rogers claimed “there is no evidence whatsoever” of Roof being radicalized online. If authorities determine that Roof’s manifesto is authentic, Rogers words may well come back to haunt him.
The City of Anniston, Alabama, announced this afternoon that it will fire a city police officer following revelations about his membership with the white nationalist hate group League of the South (LOS) first published here at Hatewatch.
Doggrell spoke at the 2013 LOS national conference which was captured on video. A second Anniston police officer, Lt. Wayne Brown attended a LOS conference in 2013. Brown will be retiring from the Anniston PD, according to WIAT 42.
@AnnistonPD Lt. Josh Doggrell will be fired.
— Jamie Ostroff (@JamieWIAT) June 19, 2015
Post-Courier: Charleston, South Carolina, shooting suspect to face 9 murder charges; Roof wanted to start race war, reports say
Media Matters: NRA Board member blames murdered reverend for death of his congregants in Charleston church mass shooting
ThinkProgress: Focus on Islamic extremism leaves radical right overlooked
Talking Points Memo: Inside the mind of Donald Trump, our conspiracy-theorist-in-chief.
Joe.My.God.: Southern Baptists issue call for civil disobedience against same-sex marriage
Nanaimo (B.C.) Daily News: ‘Go away’ graffiti directed at Asian immigrants shows up at bus stops, investigated as hate crime.
Right Wing Watch: Michigan lawmaker wants school officials to be held criminally liable for teaching students about homosexuality.
Tulsa World: Murder trial begins in Tulsa for alleged Universal Aryan Brotherhood members.
Think Progress: Girl Scouts speak out against animal abuse at Baltimore meeting, are showered with racial abuse.
Salon: White woman involved in McKinney swimming-pool incident denies using racial slurs.
Raw Story: Neo-Nazis from National Socialist Movement try to convince Florida residents they’re political moderates.
Following last night’s horrific shooting at a historic African American church in Charleston, S.C., where at least nine people were killed, the racist right responded with expected vitriol. The two biggest white supremacist message boards, Stormfront and Vanguard News Network (VNN) were alight with talk about the murders and the suspected shooter, identified by authorities as Dylann Storm Roof.
Predictably, the sympathies of Stormfront’s constituents were not with the victims, but presumed to soon be victimized whites.
“I pray for all the whites in that area and elsewhere that will be killed and raped using this as an excuse,” wrote the user “Johnny Simcox X.”
Following rampant fear mongering concerning the future of the second amendment following another mass shooting, others took a more chilling course of action.
Update: The 21 year old suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, was arrested this morning in Shelby, North Carolina, about 250 miles from where nine people were killed in a Charleston church last night.
A massive manhunt continued early today in Charleston, S.C., for a young white man who walked into one of the oldest black churches in the country last night and opened fire, killing nine people in what authorities said was a hate crime.
The suspect was identified this morning by authorities as Dylann Storm Roof, 21. He was believed to be driving a dark colored 2000 Hyundai Elantra GS with a South Carolina license plate.
A photo of Roof on his Facebook page shows him wearing a dark jacket with two patches that are symbolic to white supremacists. The top patch is a South African apartheid era flag. The second patch appears to be the flag of the former Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, when the country was white ruled.
“This is a situation that is unacceptable in any society, especially in our society, our city,” Charleston’s police chief, Greg Mullen, said at a news conference today, adding that the suspect “is a very dangerous individual that should not be approached by anyone” except for the heavily armed law enforcement officers hunting him down.
“We do not want more people harmed,” Mullen said.
Eight people died at the scene, the chief said, and one victim was pronounced dead at local a hospital. Mullen said three men and six women were killed.
The city was filled with law enforcement officers and reporters from across the country even before last night’s terrorist attack. Hillary Rodham Clinton was in town for a presidential campaign event Wednesday. After the shooting, Republican hopeful Jeb Bush cancelled an event in Charleston scheduled for today.
Members of Emanuel AME Church located in downtown Charleston were having a prayer meeting when the gunman walked in around 8 P.M. Wednesday and took a seat. The police chief said the sandy haired man was in the church for about an hour before he stood up and started shooting shortly after 9 P.M.
The president of the Charleston NAACP, Dot Scott, told the paper that a woman who survived the shooting told her family that the gunman told the woman he was sparing her life so she could tell what happened. Chief Mullen would not confirm the account at the morning news conference.
The suspect was caught on a surveillance camera entering the church. Police released a photo of the suspect and the dark colored car he apparently arrived in. He is described as a clean shaven white man with a slender build, between 21 and 25 years of age, standing about 5’9. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt.
Using police dogs and helicopters, local, state and federal law enforcement officers, including agents from the FBI, searched through the night for the suspect. “We are not leaving any stone unturned,” the chief said today.
The 41-year-old pastor of the church, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who is also a South Carolina state senator, was among the dead. A senate colleague told CNN this morning that the fallen pastor was the “moral compass of the state senate.”
At the news conference today, the mayor of Charleston, Joe Riley, called the shooting “unspeakable and unfathomable.”
“We are going to put our arms around that church and church family,” Riley said.
The church shooting in Charleston is chillingly reminiscent of the massacre in Wisconsin. On a Sunday morning in August in 2012, Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old neo-Nazi and white power musician, walked into a Sikh Temple in suburban Milwaukee and opened fire with a 9 mm handgun. He killed six people before taking his own life as police moved in.
Chief Mullen said today “we are committed, we are determined” to capture the suspect. He pleaded for the public’s help in identifying the man and his whereabouts. A hotline has been established and a local, state and federal task force has been organized.
“No one in this community,” Mullen said, “will ever forget this night.”
The Anniston, Alabama Police Department placed two of its officers on administrative leave today following a Hatewatch article detailing the officers’ membership in the neo-Confederate hate group League of the South.
“The City of Anniston is taking the allegations made against Lt. Brown and Lt. Doggrell very seriously and have placed both officers on administrative leave,” read a statement issued by the city.
In his presentation at the 2013 LOS national convention, Doggrell claimed that both his superiors and his fellow officers knew of and supported his beliefs. That doesn’t seem to be the case.
The city moved to clarify his claims today stating, “Lt. Brown and Lt. Doggrell do not speak for the City of Anniston nor the Anniston Police Department.”
The release concluded, “The City of Anniston has commenced an investigation into the matter and will work diligently to ensure the appropriate action is taken.”
In 2013, Josh Doggrell took the stage at the national conference for the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS). In a non-descript suit-and-tie, he spoke about gun rights, county supremacy, the state of law enforcement in Alabama and his loyalty to the League.
“It’s wonderful to be around sanity,” the founder and chairman of the League’s John C. Calhoun chapter in a video of the event posted to YouTube.
It was a common speech for a League conference. But Doggrell wasn’t quite a common southern nationalist. He was a police officer, a lieutenant in the Anniston Police Department, and he wasn’t the only one. A second officer from his department, Lieutenant Wayne Brown, joined Doggrell at the convention, and they had come with good news –– good news for any self-respecting southern nationalist at least.
“The vast majority of men in uniform are aware that they’re southerners,” Doggrell said, touching on gun rights and the perennial fear among extremist groups that the Second Amendment is under attack. “And kith and kin comes before illegal national mandates.”
Doggrell knows a little bit about kith and kin. He joined the LOS in 1995 after meeting its president Michael Hill at the University of Alabama while Doggrell was a student, serving as the secretary vice chairman and chairman of the school’s LOS chapter before founding his own chapter in 2009.
Kith and kin is part of an explicitly racist ideology called “kinism” that Hill has long promoted through the LOS. The Kinist Institute, an organization that promotes kinism, has called for laws against racial intermarriage, an end to non-white immigration, expelling all “aliens” (“to include all Jews and Arabs”), and restricting the right to vote to white, landholding men over the age of 21. In the past, LOS websites have referred to kinism as “a biblical solution for all races” that will save the South by preventing “white genocide.” ( continue to full post… )