According to the New York Times, a website that seems to have been published by Dylann Roof has now surfaced, on which is posted an explanation for the Charleston attack, photos of Roof posing at slave plantations and Confederate landmarks, and a racist manifesto detailing an assortment of complaints about various minority groups. It is not yet possible to confirm that Roof himself wrote the text or took the photos.
The explanation given on the site for last week’s attack is the following:
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.
In the manifesto, which ends with the above explanation, the writer attempts to outline how he became a white supremacist, even though he was “not raised in a racist home or environment.” His journey to self-proclaimed racial superiority began with the shooting death of the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 (which the writer thought was justified), and he claims that story “prompted me to type in the words ‘black on White crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.” After that, the writer came to adopt the various absurd justifications for white-supremacist victimhood: that black people are biologically inferior, dangerous, and complain too much; that white people shouldn’t feel guilty about slavery because the common understanding of American history is “all based on historical lies, exaggerations and myths”; that segregation and Apartheid South Africa were great; and so forth. He also endorses discredited pseudoscientific claims about black people having genetically lower IQs, complains about interracial relationships, and celebrates white culture as “world culture.”
Though the majority of the manifesto is focused on the writer’s fear and hatred of black people, he also authors sections on other minority groups. He notes that Jews would be okay if they didn’t have a Jewish culture, help black people, or “network” so much. Similar why-can’t-you-just-be-white ire is directed at (light-skinned) Hispanic people, though he praises East Asians for being “by nature very racist” and thus potential allies. In addition, the writer disavows the American flag and American patriotism essentially because the country isn’t racist enough. In photos posted on the site, Roof is seen spitting on and burning American flags. Other images show him posing with Confederate flags.
In additional reporting by the Times on Saturday, the paper tried to confirm that Roof, a high-school dropout, had in fact authored the site:
A friend of Mr. Roof’s, Jacob Meek, 15, said the references to the Trayvon Martin case made clear that Mr. Roof had written the essay. “That’s his website,” he said. “He wrote it, and I just can tell.”
Benjamin Wareing, a blogger in Britain, said the writings were nearly identical to blog entries that Mr. Roof posted several months ago on a Tumblr page. Mr. Wareing was preparing to write an essay on the dangers of Tumblr and troubled youths, so he took notes on the writings.
Mr. Wareing added, “He never made direct threats at all on Tumblr, at least it didn’t seem like that, just weird ramblings about how he felt he ‘didn’t fit in.’” Both Roof’s website and his Tumblr have now been taken down.
From the EXIF metadata embedded in the photographs he published on the site, it appears they were taken between March and May. They include images of Roof posing at plantations in South Carolina that once used slave labor, as well as Confederate landmarks in the state. Another image shows a .45-caliber Glock handgun, the same caliber officers reportedly found in Roof’s car at the time of his arrest, while yet another image shows Roof pointing his handgun at the camera. In some images taken on a beach, Roof has written “1488” in the sand, a known white supremacist code number. The Daily Beast’s Justin Miller has constructed a useful gallery and timeline to reflect how the photographs correspond to Roof’s arrest record, the statements made by those who knew him, and the details of Wednesday’s attack. Miller also reports that two photos on the site were modified at 4:53 pm on the night of the assault, about three hours before Roof walked into the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston.
A pair of Twitter users located the site Saturday morning after doing a reverse WHOIS search for Dylann’s name, at which point they discovered the web domain LastRhodesian.com, which Roof had registered in February:
This post has been updated as more details became available.