Nov 6, 2019
In Part 2 of a special series on hate and violence in the United
States, Sara and Misasha continue the dialogue with Charleston, and
how we normalized hate in 2015 and going forward, as seen in
Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, Poway, El Paso, and Gilroy.
Join Sara and Misasha as they discuss Dylann Roof and the church
massacre that set off this current resurgence of hate in a way that
we haven’t seen in this country since the Birmingham bombings in
- Roof was caught immediately and, unlike the Birmingham bombers’
extreme delay of justice, put on trial within two years of
committing the crime.
- Sara and Misasha read selections from articles and discuss
forgiveness from the perspectives of a survivor and family
- In Columbia during the trial, there was a lot of gossip about
what his real motivation might have been. Those who knew the Roof
family said that there had been a rape of someone close to Roof at
the hands of a group of black men.
- A parallel is drawn to the 2016 movie, The Birth of a
- The defense in court presented another twist, which was answers
to Roof’s rage lay in his unique psychopathology.
- Although Roof was found to have a high IQ, it was ‘compromised
by a significant discrepancy between his ability to comprehend and
to process information and a poor working memory’.
- This was translated into some kind of OCD behavior that led him
to fastidiously keep 88 friends and take 88 bullets to the church.
This number reportedly has a link to Hitler and the Nazis.
- The court-appointed psychiatrist found that a lack of a
sensible network, how fast he was radicalized to this extreme hate
level, coupled with his inability to form any known connections
gave credence to a diagnosis of a schizoid personality disorder, a
mixed substance abuse disorder, depression by history, and a
possible autistic spectrum disorder.
- Despite these disorders, he was declared competent to stand
trial not once, but twice. That’s why he was allowed to excuse his
legal team and handle some of his capital murder trial,
- The white supremacists of today, having been kicked off
Twitter, often have Instagram bios that offer this “warning” to
their opposition: ‘Goodnight, left side’. They’re young, white,
often brag about how many guns they have because these are the guns
that will save them in the coming race war.
- They’re clearly armed and often under-educated, or somewhat
educated but really socially awkward, or at least until they get
sucked into these chat rooms in this world of white supremacy where
they can find friends.
- Roof was educated in a state whose educational standards from
2011 are full of lesson plans that focus on the viewpoint of slave
owners and highlight the economic necessity of slave labor. When
this is what you’re learning at school, it’s kind of hard to
separate that when you’re on the internet in white supremacists’
- In the Massachusetts educational system, slavery is talked
about more than 100 times in their curriculum, whereas Louisiana
mentions it less than 5 times. There is a huge disparity in how
we’re taught in our schools.
- The rise of what has happened politically since 2015 has
emboldened men and women who have always been there, to come up and
say that they are being supported.
- The Anti-Defamation League wrote about 4 separate examples of
individuals who may have been inspired by Roof.
- Lone-wolf terrorism is notoriously difficult to catch and
prevent. This is terrorism that comes from within that is young,
white, and armed.
- Sara and Misasha discuss the “Incel” movement. This stands for
- Next week in PART THREE of this 3-part series, Sara and Misasha
will discuss the present acts that are occurring, the takeaways,
and the psychology behind it.