The Slatest

Dylann Roof Burns U.S. Flag, Details White Supremacist Worldview in Shocking Online Manifesto

Dylann Roof is seen burning a U.S. flag in an undated photograph included as part of a downloadable Zip file in what appears to be the South Carolina shooter’s website.


Also in Slate: Dylann Roof’s alleged manifesto portrays a loner well-versed in white supremacist thought,  

Ever since a shooter opened fire and killed nine people at a historically black church in Charleston on Wednesday there has been lots of talk about what motivated him. Once it was reported that Dylann Roof was the suspected killer, those already apparent motivations became clearer. Now, in what appears to be his own personal website that was uncovered Saturday, it seems even more obvious that Roof was motivated by racism and thought long and hard about his actions. Although no one has confirmed the authenticity of the website yet, it includes a zip file filled with photos, one of which appears to match his Facebook profile. Other photos include him posing with his gun and in front of Confederate flags. And Twitter user Emma Quangel claims to have confirmed the identity through a simple domain site search.


In the text file, Roof (presumably) writes that the killing of Trayvon Martin sparked his path of white supremacy:

The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. 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 first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?


His bloodcurdling screed is then divided into sections: Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, East Asians, Patriotism, and An Explanation. By far the most space is dedicated to expounding on his thoughts and feelings about black people, whom he describes as “the group that is the biggest problem for Americans,” and there is a constant shift between feelings of superiority as well as complaints about how white people are victims.

Modern history classes instill a subconscious White superiority complex in Whites and an inferiority complex in blacks. This White superiority complex that comes from learning of how we dominated other peoples is also part of the problem I have just mentioned. But of course I dont deny that we are in fact superior.


Only a fourth to a third of people in the South owned even one slave. Yet every White person is treated as if they had a slave owning ancestor. This applies to in the states where slavery never existed, as well as people whose families immigrated after slavery was abolished. I have read hundreds of slaves narratives from my state. And almost all of them were positive. One sticks out in my mind where an old ex-slave recounted how the day his mistress died was one of the saddest days of his life. And in many of these narratives the slaves told of how their masters didnt even allowing whipping on his plantation.

To the writer, slavery wasn’t really so bad, and now white people have to suffer due to “historical lies, exaggerations and myths.” Everyone seems to ignore the real victims in this person’s world:


What 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 negroes? No one, but someone has to.

Some people feel as though the South is beyond saving, that we have too many blacks here. To this I say look at history. The South had a higher ratio of blacks when we were holding them as slaves. Look at South Africa, and how such a small minority held the black in apartheid for years and years. Speaking of South Africa, if anyone thinks that think will eventually just change for the better, consider how in South Africa they have affirmative action for the black population that makes up 80 percent of the population.

It is far from being too late for America or Europe. I believe that even if we made up only 30 percent of the population we could take it back completely. But by no means should we wait any longer to take drastic action.

The reference to South Africa is notable, after a photo of Roof wearing a patch of an Apartheid-era South African flag, a hate symbol, was found on his Facebook profile. The name of the website,, is also notable, because he was also wearing a patch of the Rhodesian flag in the Facebook photo, a photo which also appears on this site. The writer also devotes a section to spouting on about his belief in racist pseudoscience

As for Jews, the writer thinks that “if we could somehow destroy the jewish identity, then they wouldnt cause much of a problem.” Still, he dedicates a few lines to them, saying that “I dont pretend to understand why jews do what they do. They are enigma.” The writer’s hatred isn’t limited to races and religions, but also to the United States itself. He says that “modern American patriotism is an absolute joke,” because it involves “pretending like they have something to be proud while White people are being murdered daily in the streets.” That may explain why he posts pictures of himself spitting on the American flag and setting it on fire.


In the end, the writer seems to offer a justification for the mass murder Roof allegedly committed:

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.

Unfortunately at the time of writing I am in a great hurry and some of my best thoughts, actually many of them have been to be left out and lost forever. But I believe enough great White minds are out there already.

Some are already speculating the screed could nix the chance of an insanity defense. He quotes his favorite movie at one point—apparently Himizu—to make it clear he thinks he is doing something for the greater good: “Even if my life is worth less than a speck of dirt, I want to use it for the good of society.”


Read more of Slate’s coverage of the Charleston shooting.