This White Shooter Was A Terrorist

The gunman who killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church will probably face prosecution for a hate crime.

The shooter was definitely fueled by hate when he murdered nine people last night.

But so was Boston bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev - so why is Dylann Storm Roof being charged with a hate crime instead of facing the same charges of “homegrown terrorism” that Dzhokar Tsarnaev faced?

After the Boston marathon bombing - nearly everyone sought to establish a connection between the Tsarnaev brothers and radical Islamist groups. The Tsarnaev’s are Muslim - and so is Al Qaeda.

But Dylann Roof is white - and so is the Aryan Nation.

So it should only make sense that a young man - who wore a jacket with apartheid-era Rhodesian and South African flag patches in his Facebook profile picture - may have been radicalized by white supremacist ideology.

And since white supremacist groups like the Aryan Nation or the National Alliance are considered domestic terrorist groups by the Federal Bureau of Investigation - it would make sense to look at this as a case of homegrown terrorism.

But instead, the media - and even President Obama - are presenting this as an instance where a "mentally ill person" got access to a gun and committed a hate crime.

They said the same things about James Holmes in Aurora Colorado in 2012 - and Norwegian Christian extremist Anders Breivik in 2011.

But if those names were “Mohammed” or “Omar” - the media would immediately look for the connection between the shooters and ISIS, or Al Qaeda - and they would fervently explain that this is probably a case of terrorism.

The problem isn’t that we call it “terrorism” when the suspects look Arabic and have Muslim sounding names. It’s that we DON’T call it “terrorism” when the names of the suspects sound and look White.

Even the location of this attack screams “terrorist.”

If this were a protestant church in Northern Ireland and the shooter were from Southern Ireland - we would call that an act of terrorism whether they were directly connected to the IRA or not.

The Emanuel A.M.E. church is not just a random church with a black congregation in the South - it’s the site of one our country’s earliest acts of white supremacist terrorism. Emanuel A.M.E was co-founded by Denmark Vesey in 1816. Vesey was a freed slave who was implicated in a slave revolt plot and executed six years after founding Emanuel A.M.E.

White supremacists burned the original church to the ground after Vesey’s execution - and today the church stands as a physical reminder of the long history of domestic terrorism committed by white supremacists against black Americans.

And one of the victims of today’s attack was Clementa Pinckney - the church’s pastor, and a state senator.

The shooter also left one victim alive - so that she could report to others about what he had done and share his statement that he was killing Black people because, he is reported to have said, they were "raping our women, and taking over our country..."

All of this adds up to a terror attack - he targeted a church with historical and cultural significance - he murdered an elected member of state government - and he meant to send a message designed to terrorize black Americans.

He may be a “lone wolf” terrorist like the shooters in Garland Texas or the man who attacked police with a knife earlier this month in Boston. But just as we looked at how those terrorists were radicalized by ISIS and other elements of Islamic extremism - we need to look at how Dylann Storm Roof may have been radicalized by white supremacist groups and radical Apartheid states.

Dylann Roof was motivated by hate - there is no doubt about that. And President Obama is right - this once again brings up the question of gun access in America. But there is a broader issue - that the American media, and even the American government - hesitates to declare that white Christians who commit acts of terrorism are “terrorists.”

President Obama referenced the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham in 1963. But even though a number of sources refer to the Birmingham bombing as “an act of white supremacist terrorism” - the FBI omits the attack on its webpage of “Major Terrorism Cases.”

The list does however include the 1920 Wall Street bombing - and the Weather Underground bombing of the State department in 1975. But according to that webpage - not a single major act of terrorism occurred in the 1960s.

Never mind the fact that 35 black homes and churches were firebombed in Birmingham in 1963 - none of those were deemed terrorist acts. Those were “hate crimes.”

And that’s the point - it’s not that these aren’t “hate crimes” - it’s that they’re ALSO “acts of terrorism.”

The reality is that White people have been inflicting terror on Black people in this country since Europeans first brought slaves to this continent more than 400 years ago. And it’s time we stop letting homegrown terrorists off the hook just because they’re white – or they’re Christian – or because they didn’t kill any white people in their attack.

Terrorists can be fueled by hate - terrorists can be mentally ill - terrorists shouldn’t be able to get guns. Calling this shooter a terrorist doesn’t diminish any of those facts.

But by NOT calling this an act of terrorism - we White people once again fail to realize or remember that Whites have been committing acts of terrorism against Blacks for four centuries - and continue to do so to this day.

Somebody needs to wake up our media and our politicians.


Kilosqrd's picture
Kilosqrd 7 years 50 weeks ago

To me, it really doesn't matter. I never really understood the "hate crime" thing other than it allows the Federal Government to get involved. The suspected perp has been caught. Give him his due process/trial and if he is found guilty,( word is he has confessed) put him away for life, hang him, sit him down in ol' sparky and flip the switch, stand him in front of a firing squad, or whatever the jury decides.

Whatever his motivations were, they are irrelavent at this point.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 50 weeks ago

Is St. Sen. Clementa Pinckney (victim of Dylann Storm Roof) somehow related to the South Carolina Pinckneys of the Revolutionary era?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 50 weeks ago

Lawn Jockey is the term for the thing Reagan was pictured with.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 50 weeks ago

By not lowering the Confederate flag to half staff as it has done with the American flag, South Carolina is flying the Confederate flag higher than the American flag, a violation of flag-flying rules.

Raypc800 7 years 50 weeks ago

Hey there Thom;

It would seem that the DOJ agrees with you for they have charged him with Domestic Terrorism as they should of.

It is about time they start charging these guys this way and then investigate and go after any group that they associated with as a Domestic Terrorism organization.

richinfolsom 7 years 50 weeks ago

Imagine the hysteria and outrage against the Obama administration had this product of American economics and education - the land of "exceptionalism" - been dark skin with an Arabic name!

Since the forcible defeat of the economics of slavery – known as the Civil War - the United States has ever since been living through an unspeakable cold war of economic indebtedness; proliferation of religion in the name of cheap labor; and in my lifetime has rejected education, science, and outsourced our jobs, sent millions to prison, and is a witness to war on our city streets – and destroyed our political discourse.

Victims’ families spoke out offering forgiveness. Children of Chicago lives are brutally cut short by gun violence. We offer forgiveness. Crazed souls terrorize innocent kindergarten children without provocation. We offer forgiveness. A congresswoman, federal judge, a young girl, and others are insensibly gunned down in Tucson. We offer forgiveness. Families are destroyed in a Denver movie theater. We offer forgiveness.

American terrorists – for that is what they are – perhaps are seeking to stir up another civil war. Shall we forgive them?

Why are those who forgive not gathered in the streets by the thousands upon thousands to say “No More.” Like lambs, Americans have given up their identity to assure for the common welfare and defense – and I am not referring to another nation.

cccccttttt 7 years 50 weeks ago

When basic terms do not share a common meaning, rational discourse is


First noticed this in right and left wing talk shows.

Each side immediately sets up their own vocabulary, and after that

their conclusions seems obvious.

Take away: do not waste your energy in dialog with the other side.

Rather spend your energy getting similar thinking people to the polls.


ekurpiel's picture
ekurpiel 7 years 50 weeks ago

I respectfully disagree that his motives are irrelevant. They are essential in differentiating between domestic and foreign terrorism. It is essential to understand that whenever anyone advocates hatred against another, race or ethnicity, those people need to be called out and recognized for what they are.....terrorists. Motivation is the key to perhaps understanding and possibly preventing further massacres such as this one in S.C. It is essential to understand that no other country has such hatred against their fellow countrymen and women. To understand that the lack of gun control in this country is also a factor. To understand that racism is rampant in this country and needs to stop immediately. But until the same prejudices are experienced by white people, I don't see any major changes.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 7 years 50 weeks ago

Thom Hartmann you will get no agrument from me. His actions were clearly those of a lone wolf terrorist. His targets were people he hated merely because of the color of their skin. This is what racist people do when they act out their feelings. This young terrorist was taught to hate black people, and he took the easy opportunity to murder his chosen innocent victims. He chose the victims, the location, and the manner of their deaths in hopes to causing terror among black Americans. That was his intention. He failed to terrorize us, but that was his intention. He is a murderer and a coward. I hope they place him in prison for nine consecutive life sentences so he will have ample time to consider the terrible and senseless actions he took with a pistol. I do not want him to be sentenced to death, that would be too easy. I rather see him live for the next 70 years in a dark, dank prison surrounded by people just like him.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 50 weeks ago

ekurpiel -- Who do you respectfully disagree with?

Also, Ireland would challenge your statement that no other country has shown that much hatred towards their fellow countrymen.

Craig Ziegler's picture
Craig Ziegler 7 years 50 weeks ago

The entire country is the victum. Our failed citizenship is the culprit. Citizenship is the key, which is culture driven, and culture is everything. But as you witnessed the ascension of the MBA degree programs being offered at every university in the land, you witness the symtom of the transformation in culture, forsaking the fundamentals of citizenship for the almighty dollar........well its no wonder. Embodied in the typical themes intrinsic to the notion of MBA........there is one preemptive goal and one only, get the money, and never mind what you have to destroy to get it, anything goes as long as you make money at it..........all other values are not a consideration, not at all. So the liability of the community for failing to properly instill the beliefs of our culture, and keep track to make sure the individual is properly taught and cared for, that he in turn would feel compelled to transmit and act intelligently on behalf of his fellow citizens is dismissed. Our most recent history manifests a singular commitment to one thing only, greed, nothig else matters. And so a child, improperly raised and nurtured by freshly minted values grounded in the assumptions comensurate with the culture of greed.......well what can you expect. The child is not solely at fault.....his family is, his community is, his culture a world this new drift in what is known to be a derivative of western civilization is failed, a bankrupt investment in that which had already been previously beaten back to offer the hope of the American experiment, but in the end the wrong road was taken. That any one segment of the society is at fault is a ridiculous notion. The most recent manifestation of this debacle was percipitated by the community; real estate agents, private in house loan vendors, home apprasiers (commercial and private), development firms comprised of builders, archietects, lawyers, the inevitable money guy, institutional loan officers, bankers the list is long and exhaustive........the financial sector where the johnny come latelys in this enterprise, enthusiastically jumping in once they perceived the money to be made.........and now culminating in "high speed trading".........a joke to call it investment...........greed and greed only prevails now, and that will not last much longer in any meaningful way..........short of a radical return to some sort of intelligent cultural set of norms, based in whatever you like, religion, philosophy, science, reason, whatever..........we have torn the fabric that bound that culture to shreds, and nothing will restore its once fabulous strength and potential, with all its threads of enlightenment.............but then this was obvious even before Viet Nam, but Viet Nam was the catalyst, the starting gun, that sent the horde on a mad dash to this brutal end of what was once a truly fantastic possibility.........but it is no more

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 7 years 50 weeks ago

Question: What if Roof's defense (team?) proves he was brainwashed by white supremicists? Wouldn't that make Roof a victim? Shouldn't he be "de-programmed" and treated, rather than jailed or executed?

White supremacists have been brainwashing young people for decades, no less than religious fundamentalists - Christian, Muslim, etc.

Who is the FIRST victim?

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 7 years 50 weeks ago

Oklahoma City and 9/11 were terrorist attacks resulting in thousands of deaths. With extraordinarily rare exception, the common defining factor of murderous terrorists is that they are male. These violent individuals come in all races and religions, with a full range of ideologies, but are overwhelmingly male. What's the solution?

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 7 years 50 weeks ago

I can empathize with much of what you write, but I don't think there is a solution. For years, it has been politically profitable to pit people against each other by class and race. This has been achieved very successfully. We've been in similar cultural and economic messes before, when the richest few were able to gain extraordinary power over our politics and policies. Each time in the past, the poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, ultimately united to fight back -- to everyone's benefit. That can't happen this time.

The US has been sinking for years now. When Reagan was first elected, launching the campaign against our poor, the overall quality of life in the US was rated at #1. By the time Obama was elected, this had already plunged to #43, and we can no longer adequately compete in the modern world market. Obviously, it's impossible to save/rebuild the middle class/country without shoring up the poor, but today's middle class would rather drown than allow a crumb to trickle down. That's just the way it is.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 7 years 50 weeks ago

I hear people say that gun control laws don't work and that people who want guns will always get them and those that want to, will use them anyway.

While it's true that we can't legislate morality; the laws of a nation, or the lack of certain laws, define the moral character of a nation.

When we think of the Citizens United decision and the inability to enact even basic common sense gun controls that the majority of the nation supports, then we see that out government has become morally bankrupt. Greed and selfishness have become our moral standard. Is it any wonder that depraved people feel empowered to act on their most heinous urges?

whateverittakes 7 years 50 weeks ago

The kid is 21 years old. What does he know about how Black men treat White women? I see "planted" all over this. Arguing about whether it was a hate crime or a terrorist attack feeds right into the hand of the real perpetrators. They're leading us around by the nose.

Find the YouTube video called A Noble Lie about the OKC bombing. Watch it.

Americans need to familiarize themselves with the extent to which our so-called "intelligence" agencies, to wit the FBI, have infiltrated white supremacist groups in America, and are using members they have co-opted there to foment violence at large. This is a more difficult story to tell, requires detailed research and the making of Deep State connections.

This story is about forces within this country that are determined to destroy the country, its citizenry, and its Constitutionally-granted freedoms. If we let them continue to perpetrate mayhem everywhere--Connecticut, Boston, Colorado, New York--and then befuddle us as to who is really doing what, we've lost their game. We've helped them win.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 50 weeks ago

Whateverittakes, I don’t need extensive research to be convinced that our country has been overtaken by fascism. And where we have fascists, we have scapegoats.

This didn’t spontaneously combust out of nowhere; it has been planned and orchestrated for decades. The seeds for it were planted immediately after WWII via Operation Paperclip, when a bunch of Nazi engineers, scientists, etc. were secretly escorted into our country. I think it can reasonably be assumed these toxic clowns didn’t come here with the desire to create a more peaceful, freer, egalitarian society!

Meanwhile I've had my fill of these fucking gun nuts whining and shrieking about their "rights". They can shove that Second Amendment right up their white privileged little asses. South Carolina's governor says we'll "never know" why these mass shootings take place… yeah right. Not only disingenuous, but a tired cliché. Like ole Papintonio says, the hell we don't know; it's white terrorism! Angry little white men with guns.

I think it’s also worth noting that whenever times are hard, these racists come crawling out of the woodwork like cockroaches. They’re always looking for someone to blame so they can have themselves a nice big dump, all under the illusion that they’re taking back whatever empowerment they’ve lost.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 50 weeks ago

P.S. Sorry Thom, I hate to say it but President Obama is himself a terrorist. He's killed hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people with his fucking drones. He keeps a hit list of individuals, both domestic and foreign, targeted for assassination without charge or trial. Please pardon me for my bluntness, but if that ain't a terrorist I don't know what is. When I heard Obama's speech following this massacre, I could've puked.

And Mathboy, forget about South Carolina flying their ugly-ass Confederate rag half-mast. Why not tear the fucking thing down, and have a nice little bonfire?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 50 weeks ago

Reply to #10: Chuck, he’s dfisagreeing with Kilo in post #1.

Reply to #12: stecoop, in a country where black folks get executed in the street for jaywalking, selling loose cigarettes, playing with toy guns or doing nothing at all, I’d find it a little hard to stomach witnessing a mass murderer like Roof “de-programmed and treated” instead of fried. I’m no supporter of the death penalty... but talk about white privilege!!!

I agree with Mr. Henderson (post #9); that kid should get life without parole. In solitary confinement, I might add. A fate worse than death, in many respects.

Kilosqrd's picture
Kilosqrd 7 years 50 weeks ago

"the inability to enact common sense gun controls"

Please, tell us what are those "common sense" laws you are speaking of.

whateverittakes 7 years 50 weeks ago

You're so filled up with your own self-righteous rage that you seem not to have understood what I wrote. That being the case, it would be a waste of time to respond.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 50 weeks ago

kilosqrd -- I liked the gun control bill created by the dems in the house and, per polling, approved by 90% of the people. If you think the 2nd amendment has anything to do with this (it doesn't since it was created to keep slave patrols in place), it only takes 67% vote to do away or modify an amendment. Of course, the gun manufacturers (AKA the NRA) bribed enough dems (and all the repugs) so the bill would not pass. So much for the democratic process.

Also, I like Thom's idea of a license to own a gun and insurance to cover any damages. Lethal weapons, like cars, do have those "common sense" laws.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 50 weeks ago

Bravo, Chuck! I concur.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 7 years 50 weeks ago

kilosqrd - I'm detecting a whiff of "Chem Trails" from your snarky comment. However, I consider commonsense gun control laws, any laws that keep guns out of the hands of anyone, who so soon in the wake of this last massacre, believes that our gun laws are too restrictive.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 7 years 50 weeks ago

AIW - My point is that as long as there are all these purveyors of hatred out there, able to pump thier brand of hatred into young people, we will always have the Roof's and others like him to be dealt with; 'frying' Dylann Roof won't solve the problem, anymore than cutting the head off a dandelion gets rid of the weed.

As a society, we must look at, and fix, the root cause of these problems, otherwise, they will always be with us.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 50 weeks ago

Of course, stecoop, you're absolutely right. Like I said, I'm generally against the death penalty. It's just that in cases like this, my own vengeful side gets the best of me at times, in the comments I make. I'm aware that frying the murderous little punk won't solve anything.

The root cause of problems like this goes way beyond "race". The ruling elite would like us to think it's just a race issue, but race is only part of it. During hard times, scapegoating becomes even more prevalent. Lots of people are hurting and on the edge. Brings out the worst of the worst. Gotta have someone to blame. It's one of the traits I've found most detestible in humans.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ 7 years 50 weeks ago

Well, its based on fear, not hatred. Half of all murders are comitted by blacks, even though they make up only 12% of the population.

Racial conflict is not as dumb as you guys think it is. It is based on current realities which are based on self-reinforcing behaviors. Blacks are often excluded from society, so crime is higher. If there is more crime, there is more fear, more segregation, and more exclusion. But this does not justify anyone from ignoring the higher proportion of crime by blacks, just as if whites were put in a similiar situation would act similiarly.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 49 weeks ago

But Dr. E, these mass shooters invading schools, churches and movie theaters are all young white guys. Try explaining that.

Thomas L Morey's picture
Thomas L Morey 7 years 49 weeks ago

I have tried calling but number is "not accepting mssgs at this time". I disagree with your gun statistics Thom. It seems the data is engineered to fit this political agenda. To be completely unbiased, how many of these gun deaths are from unregistered illegal firearms? Most of these accidental shootings are a result of incompetent Parents that should be held responsible!

Finally, our Constitution is very clear about Second Amendment rights. This whole incident in S.C. was a perfect opportunity for Obama to put on his (very bad) attempt at acting. As he tried to act emotional. (But couldn't hide his underlying grin) as he said. "The American People need to wake up, but something will be done either way". Its no secret his aims at taking away our rights to bear arms. The many secretive executive orders that he ran past congress and the people. Do u think its a smart idea to disarm a population, when we have a Rogue Government in power?

You yourself have said the Corporations and the Fed. have bribed their way into our government. I think banning guns will have little effect on gun violence. And if that does happen. This country will fall into a total dictatorship.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 49 weeks ago

Thomas, I agree about this rogue, corporatized government. However I don't believe anyone is trying to "ban" guns. Licensing & insuring firearms seems like basic common sense, just like licensing & insuring motor vehicles. Anything with the capacity to kill human beings should be registered, licensed and insured. Interpreting such efforts in that direction as "banning" the object of controversy is just paranoid BS.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ 7 years 49 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland wrote:

"But Dr. E, these mass shooters invading schools, churches and movie theaters are all young white guys. Try explaining that."

You should read the shooter's document. He said that he was surprised when he found out all the crimes blacks did to whites. Why was he surprised? Why didn't the black history month at his school or the black studies day or whatever talk about crime rates? Why doesn't the media talk about it?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 49 weeks ago

Dr Econ -- Why doesn't the NRA let the CDC keep track of gun murders? Are there any murders by blacks on whites? How do we know?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 49 weeks ago

Thomas L Morey -- Have you read the 2nd Amendment? Being clear is not one of its characteristics.

Do you have an example of any secretive executive order? By its very nature an executive order is on display for everyone to see.

We do not have a rogue government. At least the repug part is under total control of the billionaires.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 49 weeks ago

Thanks, chuckle8. I asked the question of how the 2nd Amdt. should be rewritten on the old version of Thom's website, and I got 10 pages of people saying it didn't need rewriting because it's perfectly clear and everyone but them interprets it wrong. Ha!

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 7 years 43 weeks ago

Wasn't Dylann motivated by fear and culture? If we didn't have people in families and on-line spewing fear (and hatred) to make others fear as much as they do, we wouldn't have Dylanns motivated to do such terrible acts. He even TOLD the people in the church that he almost couldn't do this because they'd been so kind to him, but he HAD to, because Black people were going to take over the world. I'm not sure that's really hate... I think it's just FEAR, instilled in him by others who aren't brave enough to perform their terrible deeds. I pity him more than I dislike him for any hatred. He's the type of young man who could have been introduced to the TRUE BLACK PLIGHT if he'd have been educated properly. I don't think fear and hate are quite the same emotion. Do any of you? He had been wrongly convinced that his kind would be enslaved or exterminated by erroneous postings on-line. And after being exposed to their kindness for a short time, he had doubts about his mission. That's not a hater to me... that's an impressionable young person who has been seduced by others who really DO hate people for beling a different color. If he had been introduced to those people earlier by a different means, and had been able to feel and see their kindness, I don't believe he would have been seduced by radicals. We need to stop other impressionable people from being victimized by these radicals who hate because they've been taught to do so.

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