While there’s been much speculation and a few tidbits of clues, the website that’s just surfaced may provide unprecedented insight into Dylann Storm Roof’s motivation for murdering nine black people in a Charleston church Wednesday evening.
As The New York Times reports:
A website with a white supremacist manifesto features dozens of photos of Dylann Storm Roof, the man accused of killing nine people at a church in Charleston, S.C., posing with weapons, burning an American flag and visiting Southern historic sites and Confederate soldiers’ graves.
It is not clear who wrote the words and who took the pictures, but it traces the evolution of the author’s racist worldview and concludes with a section labeled “An Explanation.”
The site, lastrhodesian.com — an apparent connection to the patches on Roof’s jacket seen in Facebook photos — is written in the first person and includes commentary on several racial groups, including blacks, Jews, Hispanics and East Asians. Blacks and Hispanics, the commentary proclaims, are a problem. The writer describes Hispanics as “enemies” and claims “Negroes” have lower I.Q.s, low-impulse control and lower testosterone — “are a recipe for violent behavior.”
In discussing patriotism, the site proclaims to “hate the site of the American flag”; “modern American patriotism is an absolute joke.”
The writer weaves in a call-to-action of sorts, saying:
It is far from being too late for America or Europe. I believe that even if we made up only 30 percent of the population we could take it back completely. But by no means should we wait any longer to take drastic action.
Perhaps most chilling is “An Explanation,” in which the writer shares what appears to be his driving force for taking action — and choosing Charlest0n, specifically:
To take a saying from my favorite film, “Even if my life is worth less than a speck of dirt, I want to use it for the good of society.”
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.
The writer references his sense of urgency throughout the manifesto, including in closing, where he apologizes for typos, as he “didn’t have time to check it.”
The New York Times reports that the domain site was registered under the name Dylann Roof. Thougoh it was registered in February, it’s unclear at this point when the words on the page were actually written.
No doubt there will be many more pieces of the puzzle to emerge; in the meantime, what appears to be this killer’s manifesto gives us the richest insight yet into this deeply troubled young man’s mind.