When Dylann Roof, the white supremacist terrorist behind the 2015 Charleston massacre, issued his manifesto, he did so with a specific vision of America in mind.
To Roof’s mind, the United States was his country — a white man’s nation, worth reclaiming through horrid bloodshed, done in the name of racial supremacy. To Roof, white supremacists could still conquer their country, even if they made up only a fraction of the population.
Ideas that white people in America should pack up and relocate elsewhere were ludicrous to Roof. Movements to cleave part of the country — say, the Pacific Northwest — into a whites-only utopia were anathema to Roof’s endgame. “I think this idea is beyond stupid. Why should I for example, give up the beauty and history of [South Carolina?],” Roof claimed. “The whole idea is pathetic and just another way to run from the problem without facing it.”
Fast forward four years, to last weekend. In El Paso, Texas, a white supremacist picked up where Roof left off. In a reprise of the Charleston shooter’s slaughter, the alleged El Paso shooter murdered some 22 individuals at a local Wal-Mart, all in the name of white nationalism. A manifesto purportedly written by the shooter lays out his extremism: how he was specifically targeting Hispanics, how his massacre would help prevent Texas from becoming a Democratic stronghold, how he aimed to end “racial mixing.”
The alleged El Paso manifesto however, carries a different vision for an American future than that pushed by Roof — one overlooked in the days following the attack, and one that may portend a growing shift in the end-goals of white supremacist extremists. To the shooter, America was, in a sense, beyond saving. Instead, the shooter wrote, the country must fracture entirely. [Continue reading…]