Over the weekend, what appears to be a manifesto writen by alleged Charleston massacre perpetrator Dylann Roof emerged. And in addition to a fairly typical list of white supremacist ideas and storylines, several key things jumped out at me. First was that Roof said that he had been radicalized by the Trayvon Martin shooting. And first shaken into “racial awareness” by media reactions to the Martin/Zimmerman saga, he then found a group called the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) online, which revealed to him a purported epidemic of black on white violent crime which, at least in his own accounting, led him on the path which ended at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last Wednesday.
Longtime readers of TPM will definitely remember the CCC, a group with roots in the Civil Rights Era ‘White Citizens Councils’ which attempts to straddle the line between white supremacist organization and far-right part of the conservative coalition. As chronicled early in the last decade, the CCC has hosted quite a few politicians from the Deep South, including most notably Trent Lott, in addition to many others.
Overnight, the Guardian published an important piece of reporting showing how the current head of the CCC, Earl Holt, has contributed some $65,000 to Republican committees and candidates over recent years, including what seems to be most of the GOP presidential candidates. Ted Cruz seems to have gotten the most, at $8,500. His campaign says he will now return all the money.
Obviously, campaigns aren’t always able to vet all or most of their contributors. But the giving seems to speak for itself.
What strikes me more than this, though, is how Roof described his radicalization: being exposed to the CCC’s lurid descriptions of an epidemic of black on white violence, black mobs, black home invasions, etc. – a picture that is like a 21st -century version of Birth of a Nation.
You’ve probably seen that we have this new feature My Conservative Inbox, which is a selection of some of the stuff we get from the various conservative mailing lists we’re on. Most of it is unintentionally funny – weird conspiracy theories, hyperbolic political statements and so forth. But another thing I’ve noticed basically since the beginning of the Obama era is a staple of books, articles and products tied to the purported scourge of ‘black on white crime’ washing over America. White Girl Bleed A Lot by a guy named Colin Flaherty seems to be the core book of the field. And if you read the conservative World Net Daily, a big chunk of its coverage is devoted to ‘black on white’ crime.
In a sense there’s nothing new about this at all. It’s as old as America and a staple going back to the Reconstruction Era. But it’s certainly a resurgence and presentation in a new form of something that was considered totally verboten on the mainstream right for several decades. But no more.
Here’s a selection of headlines from WND emails.
* Walking while white could get you killed. The epidemic of black-on-white violence doesn’t look like it’s ending soon, as these three men — “crackers” — learned the hard way.
* Look what judge bans in black-on-white torture-murder trial. When the vicious killers in this black-on-white crime spree — already found guilty in the gruesome killing of a young white couple — get their retrial, THIS will be banned.
* $10, cell phone and a bullet to head. The epidemic of black-on-white mob violence continues with yet another horrific incident the national media apparently don’t want to report.
* Look who’s carrying out black-on-white violence now. If you think the “Knockout Game” — the unprovoked, random beating of whites into unconsciousness by black attackers — is being perpetrated only by disadvantaged, low-achieving African Americans, think again.
* VIDEO: Blacks pummel white guy for ‘fun of it’. You may have heard about the white man who was brutally beaten by six black teens in Cincinnati, leaving him unconscious and in intensive care for four days.
* You’re white, you’re guilty, you’re dead! If you think the destructiveness of the victim mentality foisted off on young blacks by so-called civil-rights leaders, academics and members of the media only damages the black community, these three white girls would beg to differ.
* 100 blacks beat white couple, media bury attack. What’s worse, a group of 100 black teens pummeling a white couple driving home from a show?
* Call for crackdown on black-on-white terror. It takes courage to acknowledge America’s growing racial divide and to point atblack-on-white violence as one of its primary manifestations … and causes.
* Busting out all over: Black mob violence. It’s been a crazy three weeks in THESE U.S. cities.
* The drumbeat of these stories is truly endless. These were just a few I grabbed for searching through WND’s ‘Breaking News’ feed.