Dylann Roof Authored a Horrifyingly Racist Manifesto

“The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case,” the suspected gunman wrote.

A photo from what appears to be a website authored by Roof.

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A more than 2,000-word manifesto that appears to have been authored by Dylann Roof, the suspected shooter in Wednesday’s church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, emerged Saturday morning. If confirmed to be authentic, the website, which also contains a trove of disturbing images, will no doubt become key evidence for law enforcement officials, who are investigating whether the murders of nine congregants at Emanuel AME church will prove to have been a hate crime or an act of domestic terrorism.

The writing, posted on a crudely designed website called “The Last Rhodesian,” makes specific reference to a motive for the attack in Charleston: “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.”

There is other racially tinged material. “The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case,” the writing says. “It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words ‘black on White crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.”

The metadata embedded in the photos indicates that they were created from August 2014 up to the day of the shooting, June 17, 2015. Several show him posing with a handgun or a Confederate flag, or both, and one shows a picture of the gun placed next to seven bullets. Another photo depicts Roof burning an American flag.

The site concludes with a subheading, “An Explanation,” that in part reads: “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.”

Editor’s note: Mother Jones has removed a copy of the document from this post and a related file sharing system.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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