Today Democracy Now did a segment with the NAACP President on Dylann Roof's Lack of Regret for Massacre. In her setup for the piece, Amy Goodman said:
This week Dylann Roof faces a possible death sentence for murdering nine black worshipers at the Emanuel AME Church in June of 2015. As Roof acted as his own attorney in a brief opening statement during the sentencing phase of his trial, he offered no apology and no explanation for his massacre, telling jurors he was psychologically fit to stand trial. In the prosecutor’s opening statement, they quoted excerpts of a racist manifesto written by Roof while he was held in a Charleston jail, in which he wrote, "I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did. ... I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed." We get response from Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP, who is also a civil rights lawyer and a minister.
|You know what the flag means but do you know why the 88 on his shirt is even uglier?|
We’re also concerned about the racial animus, the sanitized, homogenized, alt-right atmosphere in the country that is giving rise to this kind of sentiment and driving violent crimes. We’ve seen this around the country. We’ve seen it in the FBI hate crimes statistics. We’ve certainly seen it in the numbers reported out by the Anti-Defamation League. And so, as chilling and as concerning and as alarming as the sentencing phase of the trial of Dylann Roof is, we should be chilled and concerned and alarmed about the state of America, because Dylann Roof may seem like an abhorrent aberration, but we’re concerned that that kind of behavior can be normalized because of the racial animus in the country, the xenophobic attitudes in the country, the homophobic attitudes in the country. The point being here is, we cannot separate the tone and tenor of the last campaign from what’s going on in Charleston even as we speak. And so, the NAACP is standing in firm opposition to both the atmosphere that gave rise to Dylann Roof’s crimes, even as we call for his prosecution and punishment. And so, make no mistake: This is not about the trial of one individual; it’s about the state of America more broadly.This got a little closer to the heart of the matter because it is important to understand that Dylann Roof sees himself as in the vanguard of an extreme wing of the alt-Right movement that calls for making the United States an all white country and is willing to use mass murder to make that happen. They are known by the symbol 1488. Amy Goodman should have pointed out that the "88" on Roof's shirt in one of the pictures she used, is alt-Right code for "Heil Hitler", the eighth letter of the alphabet, H, twice. Progressives must learn to recognize these these codes and fight their meaning, not pass over them in silence. Roof may be portrayed as a lone bigoted nut, but he sees himself as part of a white supremacist movement that calls for the extermination of black people and now has a foothold in the White House.
In Why Green Party's @DrJillStein should drop her presidential bid, I blogged about this symbol and the connection it revealed between Dylann Roof and Steve Bannon, months before one was a convicted murderer and other, the president's chief strategist:
Stephen Bannon is Trump's new campaign chairman. He is also the current chairman of Breitbart News. Ben Shapiro was the editor-at-large of Breitbart News for four years, and he said "Under Bannon's leadership, Breibart openly embraced the white supremacist Alt-Right." Breitbart News has become central command for the politely named Alt-Right movement.
|Dylann Roof was part of the 1488 movement|
But most mainstream Alt-Right supporters aren't that extreme, according to Allum Bokhari, a reporter for Breitbart, "They want to build their homogeneous communities, sure — but they don’t want to commit any pogroms along the way. Indeed, they would prefer non-violent solutions...The bulk of their demands, after all, are not so audacious: they want their own communities, populated by their own people, and governed by their own values."
In point of fact, even if it can't be shown that Dylann Roof had any membership in white supremacist organizations or direct ties to the likes of Steve Bannon, shouldn't he be treated the same as an ISIS terrorist lonewolf self-radicalized over the Internet? The 1488 he displays in his photos and writings are his pledge of allegiance. They are like the black jihadist flags of the Islamic terrorists if you know their meaning.
Amy Goodman didn't mention any of this before the election, when it could have made a big difference. Instead, she helped Donald Trump get elected by focusing all her fire on Hillary Clinton as the greater evil and promoting Jill Stein as the progressive alternative that ultimately would go on to take just enough progressive votes from Hillary Clinton to put Donald Trump in the White House. Now that these open white supremacists hold state power in the United States she has a duty not to paper over their uglier connections.
Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!