Authorities said Saturday that the man accused of killing nine African Americans in a venerable Charleston, South Carolina, church left a racist manifesto targeting blacks, Jews and Hispanics on his website, a denunciation that appears to offer a rationale for the shootings.

The broadside, loaded with offensive racial characterizations of blacks and others, includes the declaration that “someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”

“I have no choice,” reads part of that final section, titled “An Explanation.” “I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is the most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country.”

Law enforcement authorities said the site belonged to Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old man accused of gunning down nine people at a bible study in Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Wednesday night, and reflected his views. The site also hosted 60 photos, most of which showed Roof.

As the investigation continued, a church member said that Emanuel would be open Sunday morning at 8:30, with worship services beginning an hour later.

Roof was arrested Thursday about 250 miles north of Charleston, in Shelby, North Carolina, and is being held on $1 million bond, charged with nine counts of murder and possessing a firearm while committing a violent crime. He is in solitary confinement in the Charleston County jail and, according to county police, is on suicide watch.


The manifesto unearthed Saturday says that “the event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case,” which, a friend of Roof’s said Saturday, is a theme Roof has spoken of before. Martin, an unarmed African-American high school student in Florida, was shot dead in 2012 by George Zimmerman in a racially charged case. Zimmerman, who claimed he acted in self-defense, was found not guilty of second-degree murder.


But the vast majority of the white supremacist rant, which displays some unusually sophisticated language if all of it was written by Roof, a ninth-grade dropout, reveals a deep hatred of minorities – particularly blacks – and a strong belief in racist stereotypes.

“Negroes have lower Iqslower impulse control, and higher testosterone levels in generals,” the manifesto declares. “These three things alone are a recipe for violent behavior.”

It observes that “if we could somehow destroy the jewish identity, then they wouldn’t cause much of a problem” and that there are “good hispanics and bad hispanics,” many of whom, it says, “are White.”

“But they are still our enemies,” the section on Hispanics concludes.


The manifesto also strongly condemns whites who have moved to the suburbs in search of better schools and neighborhoods, which, it declares “is just a way to escape blacks and other minorities.” That passage used an epithet for African-Americans.

“I hate with a passion the whole idea of the suburbs. To me it represents nothing but scared White people running. Running because they are too weak, scared and brainwashed to fight,” the manifesto says. It also spurns patriotism as “people pretending like they have something to be proud while White people are being murdered daily in the streets.”

One passage acknowledges “great respect for the East Asian races,” who “are by nature very racist” and could be “great allies” of whites.

Authorities and people who have spoken to survivors of the massacre have said that Roof spent an hour with the bible study group in the landmark Charleston church before methodically executing them with a handgun. He stopped to reload five times and spared one woman so she could tell the story of what he had done, according to some. Two others, a woman and a 5-year-old girl, escaped.

“I have to do it,” the shooter told his victims, according to Sylvia Johnson, cousin of a pastor who died in the attack. “You rape our women, and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”

Joey Meek, a friend of Roof’s, has said that when Roof was drunk he spoke of “wanting to hurt a whole bunch of people.” But Meek said he shrugged it off because Roof was drinking.



Roof has confessed responsibility for Wednesday night’s rampage and wants his actions known, according to law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The 60 photos on the website are mostly portraits of Roof, many of which appear to have been taken at South Carolina historic sites. There are photos of Roof – clad in camouflage pants and combat boots – posing among Confederate gravestones, crouching amid the hanging moss of a plantation and standing in front of former slave quarters.

There also are more provocative images, such as Roof wearing all black and standing on an African burial site, burning an American flag, holding a Confederate flag and posing shirtless in a bedroom with a handgun pointed at the camera.

In one photo, Roof is shown standing in front of a Confederate history museum in Greenville, South Carolina.

In another photo, Roof scowls at the camera on a beach, where he’s written the number “1488” in the sand. The numbers, according to the Anti-Defamation League, are a combination of two white supremacist numeric symbols. The number 14 is shorthand for the “14 Words” slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

The number “88” stands for “Heil Hitler, according to the ADL, due to “H” being the 8th letter of the alphabet.

“Together, the numbers form a general endorsement of white supremacy and its beliefs,” according to a statement on the ADL’s website. “As such, they are ubiquitous within the white supremacist movement – as graffiti, in graphics and tattoos, even in screen names and email addresses.”

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