“I had to do it”
The confederate banner was found on a website called The Last Rhodesian, where Roof featured a 2,000-word manifesto on the subject.
Roof has been charged with the murder of the Emanuel 9 after he openly admitted so to police
Roof wrote the Trayvon Martin case “truly awakened me.”
Media sources say Roof told police, after he was arrested in Shelby, North Carolina, he researched and targeted Emanuel because it was a “historic African-American church.”
Photos on the website show Roof posing with a pistol. One photo shows a.45-caliber Glock — similar to the gun investigators say was used in the church shooting, taken in April, after his 21st birthday, when his family said he purchased a .45-caliber gun.
Roof showed solidarity with the apartheid regimes of South Africa and Rhodesia when Blacks were segregated from Whites and targets of oppression. He believed his actions would foster a race war.
Almost an hour before he shot the nine persons at the prayer service, he sat quietly and watched and listened to his victims participate in the weekly event. According to Charleston police midway through the carnage he stopped and said, “This had to be done.
Investigators said after he started to methodically shoot his victims, he stopped to reload five times.
He spared one woman so she could tell the story of what he had done, according to some. Two people, a woman and a 5-year-old girl, escaped.
“I have to do it,” Roof told his victims, according to Sylvia Johnson, cousin of a pastor who died in the attack, who spoke to a survivor. “You rape our women, and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
According to a state lawmaker who was briefed by police, Roof told police he “almost didn’t go through with it because they were so nice to him.”
While the nation rallies behind Charleston, an insight into Roof’s state of mind came from Charleston County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Eric Watson.
Roof “is in protective custody. He is currently sitting on his bed being monitored by two detention officers. He is on suicide watch.”
Apart from his motives, the venue and the debate over the flag and other issues related to race, there are other unanswered questions.
Will his action be deemed a hate crime, is one. Many civil rights activists and historians say it should be deemed an act of “domestic terrorism,” such as the Oklahoma federal building bombing and the killing of a number of children in a Connecticut school.
Black civil rights activists have a long list of examples of domestic terrorism used to intimidate, instill fear and derail the Civil Rights Movement over the years.
The KKK and white mobs lynched Blacks during the 1920s and 30s, the beating and intimidation of rights activists, as well as terminating them from their jobs, and the bombing of civil rights leaders’ homes or murdering them.
The KKK and other racist vigilante groups bombed so much during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s that Birmingham was called
Today the killing Black people by armed White residents, or unarmed Black men being shot by police have been added to the list.
The Black church, especially, has been the target of White domestic terrorism, according to Black activists, because of their social and economic importance.
In the 1990s the police were investigating a series of acts of arson where Black churches were burned down or damaged.
Anthea Butler is an Associate Professor of Religion and African studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Butler wrote in an editorial which appeared on the net and in various publications, citing the shortsighted and biased coverage of the Charleston incident.
“Police are investigating the fatal shooting of nine African-Americans at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., as a hate crime committed by a white man. Unfortunately, it’s not a unique event in American history. Black churches have long been targets of white supremacists who burned and bombed them in an effort to terrorize the Black communities those churches anchored.”
She wrote, “One of the most egregious terrorist acts in U.S. history was committed against a Black church in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963. Four girls were killed when members of the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, a tragedy that ignited the civil rights movement.”
Media outlets practice a different policy when covering crimes involving African-Americans or Muslims, Butler wrote. “As suspects, they are quickly characterized as terrorists and thugs (if not always explicitly using the terms), motivated purely by evil intent instead of external injustices. While white suspects are lone wolves – Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley has emphasized that this shooting was an act of just “one hateful person” – violence by Black and Muslim people is systemic, demanding response and action from all who share their race or religion. Even Black victims are vilified. “Their lives are combed for any infraction or hint of justification for the murders or attacks that befall them: Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie, which was “as much responsible for [his] death as George Zimmerman,” Fox News’s Geraldo Rivera concluded. Michael Brown stole cigars, and Eric Garner sold loose cigarettes –“epically bad decisions” that New York Post columnist Bob McManus, and many others, used to somehow justify their deaths. And when Dajerria Becton, a Black teenager who committed no crime, was tackled and held down by a police officer at a pool party in McKinney, Tex., Fox News host Megyn Kelly described her as “no saint either.