Dylann Roof committed an act of terror, why isn’t he labelled a terrorist?
When I hear the name Dylann Roof, I think of a terrorist, not some crazy white man on drugs, or a man suffering from adverse mental health. In fact, we only think twice before branding this man because that’s the norm right? If Dylann Roof was a bearded man of Iraqi descent, or a black man, or in fact, any other race that isn’t white, how much attention would the media pay to their ‘mental state’ or ‘history of drug abuse’?
Dylann Roof walked in Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, sitting at the service for an hour, before opening fire and killing 9 black people. Perhaps you could argue the churchgoers in Charleston that day needn’t be so accepting of non-members, or newbies, but such is the openness of many black churches in America that these 9 people had no reason to fear for their life, especially not whilst worshiping, which only magnifies the terrorism-element of this fiasco.
To walk in and massacre a group of churchgoers is as clearer showing of coercive, racial and brutal intent than I can remember. That’s like 9 Ric Flair low-blows behind the ref’s back, getting away with each one, which in so many ways, America will. Of course this is just one man’s brutality (Dyalnn Roof), but it also reflects America’s willingness to tolerate events against minority groups.
I believe that should this have been 9 white people who died, because an Asian man, who prior to the shooting, set up an ISIS-like WordPress documenting his hatred and intolerance of the race, there would be a far greater sense of fear being evident in the media. Everything I’ve seen or read tends to dismiss this as another Treyvon Martin type event, as if to say, ”they’ll be pissed off, protest, we’ll just wait for it to blow over, then go again”.
I wouldn’t wish this type of terror on any person or race, but there needs to come a time where events against minority groups aren’t viewed as a minority’s problem but everyone’s problem. After all, are those 9 people not Americans? Or over here, are people like Mark Duggan suddenly not British when they become victims of government brutality? At what point do they transition from Britsih citizens to just representatives of their race? Do I become strictly Indian after I die? I mean how does this nonsense system work?
I must point out that I’m talking about the actions of the governments, and those with decision making powers. I don’t for one minute wish to undermine the groundwork of many regular citizens like you or I, but instead, feel like it’s time for the UK & US to stop wriggling out of terrorist attacks caused by their own people. This isn’t just a hate crime, it’s a terrorist attack designed to instill fear into black Americans. What Dylann Roof did was terrorism, a hate crime, an act of bullshit & a sadistic move on an important cultural symbol for many black Americans; their churches.
To summarise an insightful piece by the Atlantic, churches for black Americans have long-been focal points for their communities; often acting as a collective voice for a race who often lacked one. The church was the one place black people could comfortably enjoy as their own. The KKK’s bombing of the 16th Street Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, was certainly terrorism. The wave of fire bombings of black churches in the 1990s – terrorism, and the Charleston shooting is certainly no different. In 2013, the FBI found black people represented 66% of the victims of hate crimes, so maybe the word hate crime is government jargon for saying ‘terrorism against minorities’.
The FBI says domestic terrorism entails dangerous acts to human life (CHECK), appear to intimidate or coerce a civilian population (CHECK), occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the US (CHECK). So did I miss the race-specific small-print? Or?
ITV is playing in the background and the presenter asks, ”are these genuine photographs of a killer?” citing this photo:
Oh so the website clearly documenting his sickening hate for black people didn’t give it away? The picture of him with Apartheid badges sown to his jacket, guess that was cryptic banter right? A Tumblr joke gone wrong. When he admitted to killing 9 people, guess he was just high and maybe we should ask him again in a few days, after he gets some much-needed rest and refreshments to clear his head.
It’s a sad day whenever people are gunned down for absolute bullshit like this, so condolences to their family. I guess the events in North Carolina show that racism is very much rife and alive in America. It’s important to categorise these events for what they are; terrorist attacks, in order to fully embrace the problem. Will a white-dominant country want to tackle terrorism caused by white people on minorities? Maybe not, but they would find it a whole lot harder if said events were recognised as terrorist attacks, and not crazy white meth-heads gone a little nuts.
Also, apologies for being quiet recently. I was busy securing a 2:1 at university, which as you can imagine, demanded all my writing time, but now that done, stay tuned. R.I.P to the 9 people who died in Charleston on Wednesday.
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