A Brief History
On June 17, 2015, a white racist, Dylann Storm Roof, age 21, shot and killed 9 African-Americans and injured another that were attending a prayer session in a South Carolina church. Included among the dead was the Pastor and a State Senator.
Roof, a loser that had failed at least one grade and dropped out of high school was described by his family as playing video games and taking drugs. A web site was found to be hosted by Roof called The Last Rhodesian containing white supremacist and anti-African-American sentiments. Roof had posted a rambling 2444 word diatribe (manifesto) in which he excoriated Blacks and other minorities. Roof had an irregular work history and did not have a driver’s license, and was known to get drunk as well as do drugs.
The alleged murderer was apprehended by police the day after the shooting while conducting a traffic stop in Shelby, North Carolina. Roof was in possession of a .45 caliber pistol at the time of his arrest.
A major cultural impact of the shooting incident and the revelations about the mindset of Dylann Roof was an outpouring of national disgust at Roof’s use of a Confederate Battle Flag as a prop on his web site. A mighty wave of anti-Rebel flag sentiment roared across the United States, with demands for the ceasing of the display and sale of such flags, especially in South Carolina where such a flag had flown over the Statehouse until removed in July of 2015 after flying proudly for over 50 years. Retailers such as Walmart decided to totally stop offering the flags for sale.
While the incident rallied African-American activists to claim proof of continued racism in America, White Supremacists also rallied behind the event, warning that more such incidents would follow. (Not so far…)
Roof faces possible death penalty convictions at his upcoming trial scheduled for January 2017. The killer claims he intended to start a race war, but ironically almost failed to carry out the shootings because the victims had been so nice to him! Roof also faces 33 Federal charges, including Hate Crimes Offenses. The Federal trial is scheduled to begin in November of 2016. The Federal trial also bears the possibility of a death sentence for Roof.
Question for students (and subscribers): What sentence does Roof deserve? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Kh’an, A. Dylann Roofs’ terror attack on AME church 2015. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.