black hater/murderer dylann roof as
THE NEW FACE OF THE GOP
Merino, renowned independent art critic, has published over
70 reviews. He is a ceramic
artist and has lectured internationally on contemporary
the evening of Sunday, October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown
led 21 men on a raid on the armoury in Harper’s Ferry,
Virginia. The raid failed. John Brown was captured and hanged
on December 2, 1859. In response to the event, The Press
and Tribune, Chicago Illinois warned:
affair at Harper's Ferry is but the "cloud in the distance
no bigger than a man's hand," but it is the presage of
the future storm, that shall desolate the whole land, if the
people give this abolition doctrine their approval. It necessarily
tends to servile insurrection, civil war and disunion.
correctly, that Brown’s terrorist actions predicted a
great national crisis, America could not abide both an abolitionist
president and slave holding states.
hundred and fifty-six years later, another terrorist tried to
ignite a race war. Unfortunately, the contemporary press did
not see it as reflective of a major political movement. John
Brown’s actions came out of his zealous believe in the
Abolitionist movement. Dylann Roof’s actions were equally
reflective of the populist movement within the GOP.
Sunday, June 17, 2015, Mr. Roof walked into the Emanuel African
Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where
he shot and killed nine people. During the shooting, Roof declared,
"You rape our women and you’re taking over our country."
Most of the media attention was paid to two auxiliary issues.
shooting ignited a debate over the Confederate flag with which
Roof was famously posed on his social media feed. Most of the
other coverage dealt with the fact that the South Carolina State
House still displayed the Confederate flag at its capital building.
A little more than a month later, on Friday, July 10, 2015 Governor
Nikki Haley had the Confederate flag removed.
media’s attention was also spent fending off the spin
from the far right -- that Roof’s action was an attack
on religion. Fox News featured a pastor E.W. Jackson who declared:
people jump to conclusions about race. I long for the day when
we stop doing that in our country. But we don’t know why
he went into a church, but he didn’t choose a bar, he
didn’t choose a basketball court, he chose a church.
argument was also endorsed by South Carolina Senator Lindsey
Graham who stated, “It’s 2015, there are people
out there looking for Christians to kill them.” While
this argument was near hastily dismissed, it didn’t go
Graham also pointed out that “this act is not a window
into the soul of South Carolina.” This was generally accepted.
There were a few opinion pieces that did address Dylann Roof
not as a lone madman but as representative of a cause.
June 19th, The LA Times ran an op-ed piece by Jason
Morgan Ward, a history professor at Mississippi State University
and author of Defending White Democracy and the Making of
a Segregationist Movement and the Remaking of Racial Politics,
1936-1965. Mr. West provided a historical context for Roof’s
those who persist in this phobia, the mere sight of black people
engaging in American civic life — whether peaceful protestors
and voters, a South Carolina state senator or the president
of the United States — can be too much to take. Indeed,
for decades, the central lesson of white supremacy was that
any black engagement in public life could and would ultimately
destroy the nation.
White asserts two things. First, like Brown, Roof’s actions
were unacceptable to the establishment of American politics.
Second, Roof’s motivations reflected a common issue in
American politics, and that the end goal is more to eliminate
than suppress the black vote in America.
of the media conflated Roof’s racism with his mental illness.
His manifesto is based on a racist supposition. That blacks
are so innately inferior to white Americans that merely being
in proximity to a black person degrades a white person. Roof
about the White people that are left behind? What about the
White children who, because of school zoning laws, are forced
to go to a school that is 90 percent black? Do we really think
that that White kid will be able to go one day without being
picked on for being White, or called a “white boy”?
And who is fighting for him? Who is fighting for these White
people forced by economic circumstances to live among Nnegroes?
No one, but someone has to.
virile racism has long ago been rejected on a personal level.
I assume most Republicans do not feel that being near a black
person is degrading to their humanity. The accession of Trump
to the presidency indicates that Roof was far more in tune with
the zeitgeist of the American right and the Republican party.
to running for office, Trump was primarily known for being the
main champion of the birther movement. The birther conspiracy
asserted that Obama was born in Kenya and therefore was an illegitimate
president. Birtherism was just a nudge, nudge, wink, wink way
to say; ‘aint no nigger gonna be my president.’
A vote for Trump either endorsed this sentiment or assumed it
was not a disqualifying position to hold.
the day he announced he was running for office, Trump famously
launched his campaign citing Mexicans -- a different minority
-- were “rapist and murderers.” Late in the campaign,
Trump did concede that Obama was born in the United States.
Shortly afterward he revisited the case of the Central Park
Five, in which five minority men had been tried and convicted
of the brutal rape and assault of a woman while still in prison.
Their sentences were overruled when convicted murderer and rapist
Matias Reyes confessed to the crime. A DNA match confirmed that
Reyes did in fact rape the woman. On October 7th, CNN reported
Trump’s statement on the event:
[T]hey admitted they were guilty. The police doing the original
investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case
was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous.
And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.
was a clear sign to the racists in the Republican party –
despite his concession on the birtherism issue – that
he still was going to view African Americans as less equal than
whites. Trump made it clear that blacks in the criminal justice
system would not be innocent until proven guilty.
validates West’s second point regarding the extent of
hostility to black and minority voters. On October 9, 2014 the
Reflective Democracy campaign did a survey of over 42,000 elected
offices. White men make up about 31% of the population; they
hold 65% of the elected offices in the country. Combined, white
men and women held 90% of all elected seats. Non-whites comprise
37% of the population and only have 10% of the vote. Clearly,
the only non-white voice that Roof, Trump and the GOP can tolerate
his election, Trump has already set the wheels in motion to
achieve this end. He announced he would provide a racial quota
to the FBI and border services to arrest or deport 2,000,000
Latinos. The problem facing law enforcement is while it is easy
to cull people who look Hispanic from the population, it is
hard to by sight determine those who are illegal and citizens.
as Nixon used the war on drugs as a way to disenfranchise the
black vote, Trump can use an immigration crackdown to disenfranchise
Latino voters. In Florida, the largest swing state in the country,
a felony conviction results in a lifetime ineligibility to vote.
On October 6, 2016 The New York Times reported that
21.3% of black men cannot vote in Florida.
great historical irony is that the Republican Party was born
with Abraham Lincoln in his embrace of John Brown’s mission.
Today, no logical person can doubt that Trump has taken on Dylann
Roof’s mission, just as no logical person can expect 37%
of the population to passively accept the annihilation of their
representational power. America, once again, is on the road
to “servile insurrection, civil war, and disunion.”
Art Against the State
Cave & Funk(adelic)
Thank you very much for the insight. Even Benjamin can be wrong
& Opinion, a bi-monthly, is archived in the
Library and Archives Canada.