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June 19, 2015

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why is it so apparently difficult for conservative spokespeople - people holding elected office, people running for elected office, conservative media organs like Fox - to acknowledge the racial motivation behind the shooting?

Because it will offend their viewers/voters/contributors, etc.

Better, like that jackass Santorum (not ever a commenter here AFAIK), to claim the shooting was an attack on Christianity and religion.

The conservative response is revolting. What else can be said?

I think there's some truth to the "sensitive to being somehow associated with Roof and his ideology".

Remember, this is the same bunch that are gung-ho on smearing all blacks, all muslims, all liberals, for the outrageous actions of a few. It can get pretty uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of that.

Lots of people will work very hard to keep from learning an uncomfortable lesson.

I don't have any problem acknowledging it. He was pretty explicit about it. Exactly who's denying it?

While we're on the topic, why all the denial about the knockout game being real? It's not just white racists who get violent, you know.

I'd say the difficulty with acknowledging it comes from habit. They so often see (unwarranted, in their opinion) accusations of racial motivation, that rejecting that explanation becomes a reflex. And that sort of reflex can be very hard to overcome.

Much like the first step in a twelve-step recovery program, the hardest part of fixing a problem is admitting that one exists. It seems to me there is a group unwilling to accept that the problem of racism still exists, and are so desperate to deny the existence of this problem that they will point to anything else, no matter how insignificant or circumstantial, in order to avoid having to admit this problem.

I don't blame them for not wanting to admit there is a problem. Admitting there's a problem means admitting you have been wrong in some way, shape, for form. Admitting there's a problem means something has to change, and our brains are pretty hard-wired to resist change with all our might.

I have no potential solution to this problem to offer. But until those in denial are willing to admit the problem exists and begin taking steps to untangle themselves from said problem, all the blog comments on the internet won't amount to more than a few tears in the rain.

While we're on the topic

The topic is the conservative response to the Charleston shootings.

Yes, there are racists who aren't white, and some of them are violent. So stipulated. Not the topic of this thread, so we're moving on.

Good on you for not having a problem acknowledging Roof's racism. Others seem to be unable to do so.

It's puzzling, and without wanting to assume or impute bad motives, I just want to understand the response.

I don't know how we address stuff like this if what seem, to me, to be the most obvious aspects can't be discussed candidly.

The people and organizations in question have a set of narratives that they use to fire up their most ardent supporters/viewers/listeners, so they're shoehorning this tragedy into one of those narratives. No talking about race hatred or gun violence, that's what the liberal opportunists do, so they've got to distinguish themselves.

There's probably an element of "how can we engage this story in a way that will piss off liberals?" as a subtext.

"The topic is the conservative response to the Charleston shootings."

Gotcha, only conservative wrongdoing is pertinent, identical behavior by liberals is not to be mentioned. I should have assumed standard rules applied.

Fine. Which others? I'd like some names, if you please, because I've somehow missed this phenomenon.

A quick google search shows me that there's a vast, and remarkably concerted concern about this supposed refusal to admit Roof is a racist, and that this motivated his killing.

Somebody wasted no time getting the talking point out, it looks to me. Journolist is back up to speed.

But, who's doing this denying?

Look at it this way. If your response to any suggestion of a motivation of racism is that the speaker is "playing the race card," it can be very hard to accept that racism actually was the motive in a specific case. Even if the perpetrator says that it was.

@Brett: http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/06/18/foxs-steve-doocy-its-extraordinary-that-charles/204043

4 minute clip discussing shooting as an "attack on faith."

Denying the denial is meta-weird.

Hypothetically, that could happen. I haven't seen any evidence it's happening. I don't know ANYBODY who's denying the dude is a racist, and did it because he was a racist.

I see there's an essay at National Review on this exact topic:

Dylann Roof’s Racist Massacre Was Universally Condemned — Why Are Liberal Pundits Pretending Otherwise?

"Dylann Roof’s Racist Massacre Was Universally Condemned — Why Are Liberal Pundits Pretending Otherwise? Visitors pray together at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. (Joe Readle/Getty) SHARE ARTICLE ON FACEBOOKSHARE TWEET ARTICLETWEET PLUS ONE ARTICLE ON GOOGLE PLUS+1 PRINT ARTICLE EMAIL ARTICLE ADJUST FONT SIZEAA by CHARLES C. W. COOKE June 19, 2015 1:50 PM @CHARLESCWCOOKE The young man who, on Wednesday evening of this week, shot nine black parishioners of Charleston’s Emmanuel AME Church, was motivated by pronounced racial animus. Explaining to the murdered why he was taking their lives, he told them stupidly, “I have to do it. You rape our women, and you are taking over our country. And you have to go.” He was, his former roommate informed the press with a disgraceful understatement of tone, “big into segregation and stuff” — intent, even, upon starting “a civil war.” A much-circulated photograph, taken appropriately next to a filthy swamp, depicts him wearing a jacket that boasts two unmistakable signs of white supremacy: an apartheid-era flag from South Africa, and the segregationist colors that once flew ignominiously over Rhodesia. There, as now, he resembles a silly and angry child — a fool and an ignoramus who has managed to adopt as his own some of the worst instincts within our culture."

Brett, my Facebook feed and an image board I read both have large swathes of individuals counseling us to not be too hasty about attributing motives to Roof. Still. Now. After his self-professed motives have been broadcast far and wide.

There really, truly are a lot of people out there denying that it's about race, even if by what I've seen they're mostly doing via concern-trolling about hastily and unduly jumping to conclusions before we've got a clear picture of what happened.

Maybe it isn't outright denial in many cases. It's just a very quick acknowledgement that leads directly into changing the subject.

Brett,

The NR piece is BS. See Santorum. See Haley. See Jeb Bush. See Fox.

They are scurrying like mad to define the shooting as anything but a pure racist incident.

Jon Stewart had no jokes last night.

Other comedians (in the Graham Greene sense) filled in:

It was an accident. He was a guy looking to kill Christians but he bypassed probably a couple hundred white churches on his way to a historic black church. It was not enough guns. It was Obama's bad attitude.

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2015/06/19/portraits-in-cowardice/

We don't know why it happened:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/jeb-bush-charleston-shooting-remarks

It was Caitlan Jenner's mental condition was why:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/erick-erickson-charleston-shooting-transgender

It happened because the Pastor of the Church, in his role as a Democratic lawmaker, put forth legislation to restrict firearms. It was because there aren't enough guns. The Pastor murdered his own parishioners was what happened:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/nra-officals-blames-pastor-charleston-church-shooting-article-1.2263911

That's kinda the idea I get with the "let's wait 'til all the facts are in" line, only larger scale - if this can be kept from becoming a narrative that can stand on its own for long enough, the media will change the subject, so try to keep denying that all the facts are in and counsel against intemperate judgement until the media gets bored and sees some new shiny object.

("That" = hsh's 7:55)

It may have been solar flares.

I want to get banned. From this thread, from this blog, I don't give a cream pie at this point.

Brett can suck my cream pie dry. He can take his fncking 2nd-Amendment cream pies and cram them up his nether pie hole.

You don't have to shout "N*gger, n*gger, n*gger!" to be a racist. You don't have to change the subject to prove you're an [expletive deleted]. Some of us can connect the dots, even if it's not polite to do so.

Nikki Hailey can suck my cream pie, too. Weepy little gun-loving conservadolls may think they're fooling somebody when they talk about "broken hearts" one day and dismiss the culpability of redneck gun culture the next, but they don't fool me.

And now Jeb! is on the teevee, telling the Faith and Freedom conference that he can't know what was in the gun-toting racist redneck's mind, proving that Jeb! "thinks he can hide behind his little finger", to borrow my late father's favorite description of transparent charlatans. Eat cream pie, Jeb!

Had I lost a brother, a mother, a daughter to the premeditated actions of a racist gun-toting redneck, I might well "forgive" the little sh1t because I'd go insane if I didn't. As it is, I am completely indifferent: lock him up forever, drop him in a vat of acid, I don't give a crap.

And also, as it is, I harbor an intense hatred for the following:
1) Whoever taught the murderous little gun-toting redneck drop-out to find Rhodesia on the map;
2) Whoever gave or sold a Glock to a shiftless racist redneck a$$hole;
3) Whoever refuses to acknowledge that the "right to keep and bear arms" has nothing to do with Mother Emmanuel, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Phoenix, etc. etc. ad nauseam; and
4) Whoever even tries to pretend that white racist hatred is confined to a few bad apples.
And, as it is, I forgive none of those people. They are not beneath my contempt; they need to know that I despise them.

If you, gentle reader, feel included in my contempt and hatred, all I can say is "If the shoe fits ..."

--TP

3) Whoever refuses to acknowledge that the "right to keep and bear arms" has nothing something to do with ...

--TP

There's a whole long list of prominent conservatives who are denying that this has to do with racism. Jeb Bush is one.

As to why? Well they have been using racist dog whistles ever since Lee Atwater's day as a political ploy. Maybe some glimmer of a guilty conscience?

he can hide behind his little finger

I always heard that there was a bit of a different meaning behind holding up the little finger:
"When you don't care enough to send the very best."

Indeed, a whole long list of prominent conservatives — although, to be fair, some of them are walking back their refusal and calling it racism now.

Rick Perry takes the obtuseness prize. He described the shootings as an accident due to prescription drugs. He'll probably back off from that soon, if he hasn't already. But I doubt that he'll stop blaming Obama for allegedly wanting to take away our guns.

As wonkie said, conservative politicians have a history of racist remarks they cannot afford to admit. Small wonder to me that they try to avoid talking about racism at all, and accuse those who do of "playing the race card."

I read a book about this a while back. My review discusses it and provides some useful links.

I was right about Rick Perry: http://www.businessinsider.com/rick-perry-misspoke-about-charleston-shooting-2015-6

But that was an easy call.

One other possibility for conservative denial might - underscore, might - be what wonkie suggests. That is, there may be the creeping discomfort that at least some of them know, deep down, that while they may not see themselves as extremists, that they have encouraged a narrative of extremism, fueled by their own refusal to face facts about their complicity in their playing of this card over and over, and their refusal to deal with a president who otherwise has been the most respectable and reasonable - shortcomings, flaws and all - that our politics can currently allow. They see that their privileged perch has been threatened, and while they don't have the courage to act themselves, they have created a climate where those ignorant/rabid/gullible enough to do so will. Add into this mix that old redoubt full of vile racist rape tropes, which say far more about the tellers than the told-upon, and you have a pretty toxic mix waiting to boil over.
That they're scurrying like rats from it may be proof of this (I say "may," as I don't know how much this adds to the current debate). If it went "well," whatever "well" means to them, they'll rally round it and bear it triumphantly. If it goes "bad" - as it is now - they hide, distance themselves, and go off and skulk over it.
This really is the most gutless, politics they can muster. But I doubt this will change them. They have far too much - in reputation, time, history, and money - invested in all this. They've gone from being lousy investors in a political pyramid scheme into gambling addicts bullying each other at a non-stop crap shoot who don't know when to stop even if they want to.

Maybe it's because none of the racists they know (including, perhaps, themselves) would actually go into a church and murder people. So they figure that the motivation must have been something in addition to the racism that they know and tolerate.

Or maybe they're just trying to change the subject.

1- Maybe we need to define racism. Some say it is fear and loathing of the other. Others say racism is systemic oppression. If racism is systemic oppression, then a pathetic gun nut shooting up a church is not racism.
2- Jesus worship religion is violent. It is obsessed with the gruesome execution of Jesus. Believers enjoy verbal abuse. We don't know what happened to Dylann Roof.(The spell check suggestion for Dylann is Landlady.)
3- The easy availability of deadly force is a problem. There are reports that Dylann Roof did not have the legal right to own a gun, because of some drug charges. Maybe having more gun laws is not the answer, if we don't enforce the ones we already have.
4- As for the whining in the media about what the other says about this, and how the media covers events... that is a good distraction from the trade agreements, global warming, the national debt, drone warfare, and the Kardashians.

"Maybe some glimmer of a guilty conscience?"

If only.

Now, now. Brett has previously claimed that Faux News is more a cynical capitalist's view of conservatism than a sincere version of it. It seems fairly credible that he could not know what the TV is saying.

I mean, this requires him to ignore most US conservatism, especially the older citizens who believe everything they see on FNC. Remove the enthusiastic Faux News fans and America probably becomes 'far-left' (centrist to moderate-leftist by world standards) overnight. But someone that far underneath his safety blanket could honestly not think "ANYBODY" is denying the racism.

And here, courtesy of TPM, is Erick Erickson somehow equating the Charleston shootings with Caitlyn Jenner.

Yeah, Brett. The right takes it seriously. What a joke.

Actually, if you read Erickson's full post, he's *trying* to do some moral growing, IMHO.

I mean, he starts by making an important point not enough people are emphasizing:

People who believe in white supremacy and segregation do not have to suffer from mental health, but do in all cases have to be evil.
Aside from his mis-phrasing (that would be "suffer from mental *illness*, Erick), I actually agree with this *completely*.

He also says:

Yet again we have a twenty-something white male loner or semi-loner who got a gun and decided to kill people.
-- which is really important, because he's saying it up front: a *white* male loner. Not many on the right have the guts to say that.

Then, yeah, he goes off the rails:

Everyone and everything gets blamed while ignoring the actual person who killed.

I realize now why that is. I realize why we will never have the conversation we should have.

A society that looks at a 65 year old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and “a new normal” cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good.

Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria.

But at least Erickson is revealing how his sense of morality is put together, so you can see the nuts & bolts. For him, and IMHO many, many like him, gender distinctions (and a gender hierarchy) are the first and foundational human distinction. You can't tell good from evil unless you can tell men from women ... which makes absolutely zero logical sense, but great sense from the POV of child development.

In Erickson's psyche, the distinction between girl and boy, mommy and daddy, was first and solidest, earlier and more solid than the distinction between right and wrong, good and evil. Instead of gender being one distinction among others, other dichotomies have been psychologically laid on top of gender and supported by it.

So he can't get make gender flexible without making EVERYTHING flexible, in his mind -- including good and evil.

It's far past time to recognize who the real terrorists are.

To address your question, russell: Why don't they? Well, they have been touting the line for about 40 years or so that racism has effectively ended in this country.

That's why.

To Erickson's points, I don't think anybody has a problem describing Roof's actions as evil.

It is, at this point, not at all clear that Roof is insane. He's arguably delusional, in the sense that he thought his actions would spark a race war. But being deluded is not really the same as being insane.

Roof appears to have had an enormous animus toward black people, and decided to shoot some of them. Because they were black. Erickson makes some interesting points, but all of his interesting points appear to be in the service of making the events in Charleston about something - anything, in fact almost everything - other than what it actually was about.

People are not unable to recognize evil, nor are they unable to recognize insanity. Not everyone shares Erickson's opinion about whether Jenner's desire to live as a woman qualifies as either. Not the same thing.

My concern, or puzzlement, in all of this is sort of along the lines of the issues that Areala raises. If you can't recognize something for what it plainly is, and name it as such, how do you possibly go about dealing with it?

I recognize that everybody has their blind spots, and I am, really and truly, not interested in ascribing bad motives to folks like Bush, or Erickson, or any number of others. Certainly not all of them.

It just seems like an astounding blind spot, and an astounding exercise in some kind of mass denial. I'd like to understand it, because I'd like for us, as a nation, to be able to deal with stuff like this candidly.

Frankly, I'd like to know if there isn't a way to walk what appears to be the conservative position back to one that is able to countenance the reality of racial animus. Not as an isolated or fringe thing, but as a really deep, persistent, and ongoing thing. Because it seems to me that it *is* deep, persistent, and ongoing.

As noted, I'm sure conservatives have their long list of liberal blind spots and points of denial. I'd welcome a discussion of those as well *IN ANOTHER THREAD*. We have conservative front-pagers, they are welcome to kick that off.

What I'd be interested in in *this* thread would be any comments or insights that conservatives here could share to shed some light on the general high-visibility conservative response to the shooting in Charleston.

I'm really not looking to judge, I'm trying to understand what's going on here.

Thanks to everyone for your comments here.

From the string of denials I conclude that the motive for the reaction is not the same for everyone and neither is the degree of good/bad faith. E.g. the NRA reaction to me looks like 100% bad faith while some of the Kristian(TM) reaction imo has a large degree of delusion (preculding bad faith, though not in a good way).

In general I see a subdivide between
I) 'this has to be about us' and
II) 'this cannot be about us'
I leave out for the moment:
III) 'this is a godsend to be used against X'

The first groups wants to identify with the victims and won't allow any other factors
=> this must be solely about the faith of the victims since WE are not black (or liberal or...)and thus the only thing we have in common with the victims is our professed faith.
From that almost automatically flow conclusions about the perpetrator: Since it is about OUR faith, HE must be an enemy of Kristianity(TM) => he must be liberal/atheist/etc.
But racism cannot be a factor since it would dilute the pure anti-Kristian(TM) motive so sorely desired in the perpetrator

Group II comes from the other direction but ends in more or less the same place. Since for whatever reason they cannot identify with the victims and neutrality is never an option, they have to avoid to be associated with the perpetrator. But all reasonable attributes crash with some part of their clientele and thus have to be denied. And the perpetrator looks awfully like 'one of US' (white Southern male, 'patriotic', gun-loving etc.). That leaves in essence only two exits (three, if claiming ignorance is included):
1) the guy must have been insane
2) the guy must be none of the above
For 1) the discussion ends there unless his insanity can be blamed on the enemy du jour.
For 2) all kinds of insane theories can and will be spun like 'false flag operation', 'the media lie about the perpetrator because they are all liberal'. => Obama did it and the killer was actually a black Marxist Muslim transgendered female from Mexico while the victims were all conservative Southern whites participating in a good ol' minstrel show (a traditional Southern appreciation of their black compatriots).

re Erickson: I congratulate Doctor Science for extending to that vicious creature something he would would never extend to her -- some, at least initial, understanding.

Moral growth? Looks like metastasis to me.

If any concern of the Doc's ever comes before any scarcely funded government entity Erickson's fingerprints are on, good luck.

The defendant in this case will be shackled and driven down streets named after Confederate heroes to stand trial under a Confederate flag, under this Judge, whose categories of humans beings seem to slop over into what might be construed as moral growth too, if we consider what it could be and was not too awfully long ago:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/dylann-roof-judge

No doubt the defendant will be condemned to death by the State and if carried out, the winner, according to all of the conservative suspects mentioned thus far in this thread, will be their hallowed death penalty by State action, which will be celebrated with an enthusiasm of much greater authentic feeling than their touching grief over these latest murders.

It won't be a deterrent to further mass murders, racial or otherwise, perpetrated by citizens armed by the same people and the governments they run.

That will be followed by certain states' Governors, including South Carolina no doubt, rushing to execute those now on Death Row, including blacks whose guilt may be in question.

It's all one face behind one conservative Death Mask.

Well, I'm back. Just in case you think I've been avoiding this, I've actually been at an astronomy party a friend held over on Paris Mountain, where my son got to see a transit of Io, and the rings of Saturn. (My friend has a REALLY good telescope, 10" reflector.) Got back about midnight, crashed, and woke a few minutes ago.

Basically, I dropped off the edge of the Earth 13 hours ago, and am only now catching up.

My first impression, on googling "Jeb Bush Roof" is that somebody put a REALLY big buy in for result placement with Google. I was two pages into the results before I found anything that wasn't from a liberal group, and that was a roofing ad.

My second impression is that Jeb Bush is not ready for prime time, if he didn't have somebody brief him on this topic even for a substantial time after the "Republicans can't admit Roof was racist" talking point was distributed. And isn't aware that refusing to be certain about something you haven't yet looked into is going to be interpreted as denial.

Once he got briefed he said, “It just breaks my hear that someone – a racist – would do what he did. It just breaks my heart, and I know it breaks your heart as well,”. Which is fine, but somebody who plans to be President has got to be able to get up to speed on events faster than THAT.

My third move was to check my facebook feed, which does after all have a fair number of conservative friends on it. None of whom were denying this was motivated by racism, which is not surprising, 'cause nobody at my workplace, which is pretty darned conservative, was either.

It seems to me that you're equating not wanting to commit before getting informed, and nuance, with denial. It also seems to me this was very well orchestrated.

But, hey, politics isn't beanbag, so I've got no basis for complaining on THAT score.

It seems to me that you're equating not wanting to commit before getting informed, and nuance, with denial.

That's possible.

The first thing I'll say is that my point is limited to quote/unquote public conservatives - highly visible people, people holding elected office, people in broadcast media, etc. As far as personal acquaintances go, my experience is the same as yours - liberal / conservative / what have you, most folks recognize the stated and explicit racial motivation of the shootings.

There are a small handful of exceptions, mostly folks who assume this is some kind of "false flag" thing intended to provide a pretext for Taking Away Our Guns. Briefly, I just consider those people to be nuts - not necessarily clinically insane, just monomaniacally fixated on their obsession with imaginary liberal plots - and I basically ignore them.

The number of public figures who have asserted motivations other than racism for Roof's actions is actually quite large. No, I won't go Google them and enumerate them for you, suffice it to say I'm not making it up. And while it's true that much has been made of it, it's also true that they said the things they said.

I'm not looking to condemn them for it, I'm trying to understand what the hell they are thinking.

Conservative talking points:

We have a black president, and we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, so the problem of racism was fixed many years ago, by the Republicans, and not by those racist Democrats.

Any suggestion that racism still exists is simply an attempt by moochers to use past wrongs to get something that they do not deserve.

All the statements by right wingers about this flow from the above.

Mostly what I've seen is an assumption that this was due to a combination of racism and (Fill in the blank), where the blank is filled in by something ranging from moderately reasonable, (Insanity, drugs) to just somebody's favorite hobby horse.

Actual denial that racism was a large part of it? I'm not seeing that. Maybe I don't get out enough.

"There are a small handful of exceptions, mostly folks who assume this is some kind of "false flag" thing intended to provide a pretext for Taking Away Our Guns."

I wouldn't assume the actual killing was a false flag operation. Rather, I'd assume that, just like the Pentagon has a filing cabinet full of contingency plans, (Grenada invades Hawaii? Third drawer down.) the anti-gun movement has these scripts ready to go, just waiting for a mass shooting.

You can't predict the individual events, but you know that they're going on at some (Pretty low) frequency. So you figure out everything you're going to do, brainstorm different responses depending on the details of the hypothetical event, and then when something happens that matches one of your contingencies, it's GO GO GO.

And a stupid meme pops up across the internet at every liberal outlet simultaneously, while the other side is floundering, thinking, "Where did THAT come from?"

That's what I think went on here. Nobody made Roof go off on his rampage, but people were prepped for the next Roof, ready to go.

Why do they deny racism?

Because the magic of the free market makes racism impossible!

Well, the first thing I ran into about the whole affair was a string of videoclips of definite denials not tempered by 'we have to wait for all facts'. Of course the compilation had been done by a liberal channel but the contents were clearly not ripped out of context. Jeb's flub and Perry's gaffe* were near the bottom of the list as far as outrageousness went.
And as descibed in my earlier post, it was a mix of delusional and obvious bad faith.
This does not mean that these guys represent all conservatives but neither were they just some kooks that no one would hear of without these outings (i.e. not the New Black Panthers or the last surviving member of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Western Nebraska).

The question of the whole post is, why are there those reactions in the upper echelons of the establishment on the Right and why do some of them seem to be genuine and not just a tool to bash the opposition in bad faith?
Btw, the same question could be asked about the absurdist "Perry And Abbott ended Texas' drought by prayer and stricter abortion laws. California still suffers due to lack thereof." spectacle that imo includes at least one 'viable' GOP POTUS candidate.

Btw, I agree about Jeb not being ready, and I am genuinely surprised. It's not that he makes mistakes but the kind of silly and unnecessary ones he does. Romney minus the slime but plus an F in 'Faking it'.

*I am inclined to believe that he really simply misspoke using 'accident' instead of 'incident'. It says nothing about his agenda, just his general deficits.

Well, the first thing I ran into about the whole affair was a string of videoclips of definite denials not tempered by 'we have to wait for all facts'. Of course the compilation had been done by a liberal channel but the contents were clearly not ripped out of context. Jeb's flub and Perry's gaffe* were near the bottom of the list as far as outrageousness went.
And as descibed in my earlier post, it was a mix of delusional and obvious bad faith.
This does not mean that these guys represent all conservatives but neither were they just some kooks that no one would hear of without these outings (i.e. not the New Black Panthers or the last surviving member of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Western Nebraska).

The question of the whole post is, why are there those reactions in the upper echelons of the establishment on the Right and why do some of them seem to be genuine and not just a tool to bash the opposition in bad faith?
Btw, the same question could be asked about the absurdist "Perry And Abbott ended Texas' drought by prayer and stricter abortion laws. California still suffers due to lack thereof." spectacle that imo includes at least one 'viable' GOP POTUS candidate.

Btw, I agree about Jeb not being ready, and I am genuinely surprised. It's not that he makes mistakes but the kind of silly and unnecessary ones he does. Romney minus the slime but plus an F in 'Faking it'.

*I am inclined to believe that he really simply misspoke using 'accident' instead of 'incident'. It says nothing about his agenda, just his general deficits.

I'll observe Russell's request of me in the original post and see you folks in the funny papers at a later date.

Brett,
that's some projection ya got going there. Liberal anti-gun groups, organized with contingency plans? Tell me, do the transits of Io look different from your planet?

You might try exploring some alternate explanations for the widespread responses you've observed. Just a hint.

Brett,
that's some projection ya got going there. Liberal anti-gun groups, organized with contingency plans? Tell me, do the transits of Io look different from your planet?

You might try exploring some alternate explanations for the widespread responses you've observed. Just a hint.

That's what I think went on here. Nobody made Roof go off on his rampage, but people were prepped for the next Roof, ready to go.

Since this seems now to have become at least a monthly occurrence, it would be silly not to. Event predictable*, reactions (from both sides) predictable. See ya for the next iteration about mid-July. Bets can be put on the specific circumstances: abortion clinic, gay wedding, black church, campaign event or headquarters of a Dem or RINO candidate, school/campus or some place where 'illegals' are expected to be, mosque (real or perceived) maybe even an assembly of 'Israel-hating' Jews.

*as occurring, unfortunately not where.

Actual denial that racism was a large part of it? I'm not seeing that.

Two meanings for denial in this context:

"Racism had nothing to do with it!", vs. an apparent failure to recognize and acknowledge the racial aspect. I.e., denial meaning cognitive binders.

I'm referring to the latter.

What more or less astounds me in this case is the phenomenon of two different communities of people, living in the same country, looking at what appears to be a fairly unambiguous aspect of an event and seeing completely different things.

No doubt factors besides racism were involved here. Most racists don't sit in a meeting with a bunch of people for an hour and then kill them in cold blood.

But the failure to acknowledge that Roof shot those folks *because they were black* just seems inexplicable. To me.

Likewise, to see the racial animus that Roof demonstrates as just some anomalous artifact of the aberrant mind of a disaffected loser also seems like a species of denial. To me. Perhaps that's where the left and right perspectives on this part, at the point where racism is seen as something larger than just Roof's pet grudge.

I got into the blogosphere because I was curious about what people who weren't like me thought. What they believed, what they assumed about the world, what made them tick, why they thought the things they thought.

Still why I'm here. I already know what I think, I don't need to hang out online to find that out.

Not sure there's that much more to say about it than has been said so far on the thread. Thanks everyone for your comments.

Count, very much appreciated, thank you.

Well, there are other sorts of no less reprehensible, and rather more common events that my side doesn't orchestrate media tsunamis over. But that might be lack of an institution like Journolist, (Which I conclude is back.) and not virtue.

But the topic here is explicitly the orchestrated meme, and I'm just going to reject it: There is no general phenomenon of conservatives denying Roof was motivated by racism. It's just a stupid talking point.

Isolated instances, reluctance to commit before being briefed, and nuance are not the same thing as general denial.

The Republican party has a deliberate and conscious policy of encouraging racism. This diverts low-income whites from the actual plutocratic economic objectives of the party. The party deliberately took over this racism from Southern Democrats after the Civil-Rights era.

These politicians, and the talking heads on Fox News, are not idiots - they know what they're doing and they will keep doing it as long as it pays off in elections. They are saying what the white racist audience wants to hear. And most of the older working-class racists will not change either. The hope is that younger whites will not continue on this path - otherwise change will just depend on shrinkage of the racist demographic as non-whites increase.

You just can't understand these statements as other than racist pandering.

Brett,

I can easily believe that you and your friends and coworkers understand that this was racist violence.

Actually, I can easily believe that Jeb Bush understands it too, though I have my doubts about Santorum. But I ask you to be realistic about the public statements made by prominent Republicans where they pretend not to.

Here is Boehner,

'On behalf of the whole House, let me say how shocked and heartbroken I am by the murder of innocent churchgoers in Charleston'; 'Anyone who would do something so unspeakable is pure evil'

Yes, they were innocent churchgoers, but anyone with half a brain knows that they weren't murdered for being churchgoers. So WTF can't Boehner say something about that?

What I think those statements mean is that those leaders understand that their supporters don't want to hear it and refuse to believe that there is real racism in the country, including violent racism.

But the topic here is explicitly the orchestrated meme, and I'm just going to reject it

OK, that's one county heard from. Thanks for your input.

Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof's Racist Manifesto: On what appears to be his website: "We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet."

One thing I've seen in the National Review comment threads are people saying that liberals are hypocritical for saying we shouldn't stigmatize Islam for the actions of a minority and then we turn around and stigmatize Confederate flag wavers for the actions of a few murderers.

I'll take that as a victory in the struggle against Islamophobia except that I don't think they really mean it. Anyway, in such cases it does show hat some conservatives are acutely aware that the stigmatizing they do can come back and bite them. (.though incidentally, a fair number of self-styled liberals are also Islamophobes but that is a different problem as generally such people don't romanticize a group of people who starts a war to defend slavery.)

Either my fat fingers or my IPad's correction program gets the blame for the typos above.

russell: No doubt factors besides racism were involved here.

Quite right. Lots of people are racist; very few of them shoot up black churches. For one thing, some racists probably don't even own guns.

So it's quite natural for a racist to think "Hey, racism could not be the main factor here because somebody like me would never do such a thing." Same goes for gun nuts.

Politicians who cater to racists and gun nuts are no doubt aware of this phenomenon. Hence their "reluctance to commit before being briefed".

Had Jeb! said, "Let's face it, guys. The little twerp is a racist fnck, and I'm no scientist but I don't think he was born that way", I wonder what "orchestrated meme" we'd be hearing from such powerful institutions as Fox News or Journolist.

--TP

Brett's doing exactly what all those prominent "conservatives" are doing: yadayadayada the racist murderer part and get right into the "But The Left...." part.

it's the same play they've all used for every high-profile white-on-black murder: deflect and attack the left.

they know their own culture of fear, hate, paranoia and Guns4All! contributes to these events, but they aren't going admit it. so they admit the bare facts and then spin spin spin away.

There is no general phenomenon of conservatives denying Roof was motivated by racism. It's just a stupid talking point.

There is a general phenomenon of conservatives being far less willing to discuss it openly at any significant length or at any significant depth than non-conservatives. The thing is, they don't really want to get into.

Denial might not be exactly the right word. Avoidance is possibly better.

The one conservative response I'd praise would be that Republican legislator who wants to take down the Confederate flag. I understand the fascination with the Civil War and even the romanticized whitewashing ( pun appropriate here) and read Shelby Foote's trilogy a few years ago, but it is long past time--150 years past time-- for all the Confederate flag wavers to say what Grant said, which ( paraphrasing from memory) was that a lot of southern men fought bravely for one of the worst causes in history.

I just visited Ta-Nehisi Coates's blog. Worth reading as usual.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/take-down-the-confederate-flag-now/396290/

Speaking of the Civil War:

The Republican party has a deliberate and conscious policy of encouraging racism. This diverts low-income whites from the actual plutocratic economic objectives of the party.

Sounds familiar, no?

Either my fat fingers or my IPad's correction program gets the blame for the typos above.

One thing left and right can definitely agree on: auto-"correction" programs are a nasty invention. And a simple way to disable them ought to be provided on any platform which decides to inflict them on users.

I hae noticed a positive development. Romney has come out against Confederate flags, acknowledging them as symbolic of "race hatred". A SC Republican legislator wants the flag on their capital to come down. There was a prominent Republican politician other than Romeny who also spoke of the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism, but I cant remember who it was.

Sorry, Don, you beat me to it!

"There is a general phenomenon of conservatives being far less willing to discuss it openly at any significant length or at any significant depth than non-conservatives. The thing is, they don't really want to get into."

Republicans don't want to embrace stupid Democratic talking points, news at 11.

addressing the poisonous culture that lead directly to this murder is embracing a stupid talking point.

I am a long-time lurker here at ObWi, and have always appreciated the level of discourse you folks generally maintain – in terms of quality, not just civility (which, after all, is kind of overrated – I personally prefer passionate conviction, even if it contains the occasional F-bomb or nasty crack, to mealy-mouthed polite condescension). That said, I am finally commenting because I would like to ask Brett Bellmore a question.

I note that you take issue with the original post and most of your fellow commenters because you don’t believe most of the Republican public figures, media conservatives and other right-wing commentators on the Charleston shooting have “denied” that the motive of the attack was racism. My question is, how are you defining “denial”?

What I mean is, you appear to be holding the definition to a very specific standard: i.e., unless a public figure has explicitly stated “I do not believe this event had anything to do with race,” he or she cannot be said to have “denied” that racism was involved.

But let me give you an example – a non-partisan one – and in all honesty, I would be most interested in any comment you might have about it.

Let’s say a young man murders his parents. We don’t know why – maybe they’d abused him his whole life, or maybe they were nothing but loving, and he killed them for money. But in any event the next day, the newspaper prints the story under the following headline: “Area Man, 27, Murders Elderly Couple.”

Wouldn’t it strike you as an astonishing omission of a crucial fact? Wouldn’t you think there MUST be a motive behind such an egregious omission?

Now, what if you then turned to the Op-Ed page of the same paper, and the editorial column was all about “the shameful epidemic of elder-hate crime,” and how nobody wants to talk about how elderly people are oppressed and under attack in elder-hating America. Would THAT strike you as dishonest? Doesn’t leaving out the fact that the murdered couple were the killer’s parents turn any discussion of “elder-hate crime” into a, what’s the word? DENIAL of the screamingly obvious?

When someone commits patri/matricide, they may have any number of other motives – personal hatred, vengeance for ill-treatment, greed, simple depravity, and, yes, possibly an ideological hatred of elderly people in general. But the very name of the crime tells us that, whatever other factors may have been at play, this man most certainly killed his parents because they were his parents.

The original post here is positing that the glaring omission of racism from the list of possible motives mentioned by most of the prominent conservative Republican commentators constitutes denial of same. You seem to be taking the position that unless an explicit denial has been verbally stated, it doesn’t exist.

Getting back to my example – would you also say that the newspaper can’t be described as “denying” the fact that the man killed his parents, because it didn’t print “Area Man, 27, Murders Elderly Couple Who Most Certainly Were Not His Parents”?

Excellent questions, Auntie.

If virulent and pervasive racial discrimination is still a thing, if innocent people of color are hurt or severely disadvantaged by its effects, then governments are justified in acting to oppose its effects.

Conservatives are in general opposed to the government offering help specifically to people of color, for any reason, with anything. They've been crying "reverse racism" about it since before Bakke.

So, reasoning backward from conservative axioms to reality, virulent and pervasive racism must not exist, because if it did, conservative opposition to government countermeasures would be exposed as what it is: racism hiding behind "conservative principles" that are pure rationalization for racial animus. Thus, it is is impossible that evidence would support the existence of virulent and pervasive racial discrimination by conservatives, because such evidence would contradict an axiomatic belief of conservatives. Therefore, such evidence can not be admitted to exist. It is invisible to conservatives.

I draw your attention to events in Kansas:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2015/06/the-greatest-crime-one-can-commit-in-the-united-states-calling-racist-whites-racist


Added later: such evidence would also contradict a second key axiom of movement conservatism : the belief that white conservatives are the true victims in our society.

I'm not so sure that "white conservatives are victims" is really an axiom of movement conservatism. I think it may merely be part of their explanation for why their obviously correct (in their minds) views have not completely taken over the country.

Roof himself explains, both his actions and the witless, revolting conservative response:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2015_06/right_wing_media_and_their_rac056188.php#

"The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case."

Back to a quiet week.

I don't think it's that complicated. It was sheer political calculation. Republican politicians carefully cultivate the substantial racist segment of their base. They need them but they don't want responsibility for them. Early on, when all we had was eyewitness accounts of the shooter's clear statements that he was killing people because they were black, Republican politicians thought they still might be able to obscure that fact. Now that we have pictures and written statements that make it clear that trying to do that only makes you look either completely clueless or dishonest they are backing off.

Democrats used to be the ones making that calculation, of course, but after they made the decision to change and support civil rights legislation, angering that segment of their base, the Republicans of the time just couldn't bring themselves to support moving away from our racist past when there was such a great political opportunity available. Hence the "southern strategy" and all that has come with it.

Auntie Social: Excellent question, except that it assumes, against all the evidence, that Brett Bellmore is arguing in good faith.

"My question is, how are you defining “denial”?"

The usual definition: Affirmatively asserting that something isn't so.

Not, reserving judgment until you've had a chance to look into the matter, and certainly not suggesting that other factors were also present.

I think we can all agree that Root being a racist wasn't the solitary cause of this; If every racist went on a homicidal rampage tomorrow, it would be an extinction level event.

So, you can't just say, "He did it because he was a racist!", and leave it at that. Not honestly, anyway.

But that seems that some here are determined to regard anything short of that as "denial". That's the rather sketchy basis of this mass denial claim, so far as I can tell. Least bit of hesitation to commit or nuance? Denial!

I think racism certainly dictated his target. That he wanted to/was willing to kill people? I think there had to be additional factors present. Drug use, mental problems.

You think that's unreasonable?

"If virulent and pervasive racial discrimination is still a thing, if innocent people of color are hurt or severely disadvantaged by its effects, then governments are justified in acting to oppose its effects."

That is getting closer to the heart of the matter, IMO....well, sort of....

There is a very real political war going on in this country and it doesn't pay to give your opponent any edge.

Here is reality from a white conservative point of view, if you're ready for it.... Blacks kill whites because the victim is white, but rarely, if ever, is it called racism. Black on white violent crime is far more common than the reverse, but racism and hate crime seems to be only something whites can be guilty of. Furthermore, any evidence of white racism is used as a rallying cry to transfer more unearned power to blacks and their white liberal handlers. When you set the game up this way, with that kind of stacked deck, there will, of course, be a reactionary denial of racism *even when everyone knows that real racism really was a factor; even if THE factor*.

That's one reason and, it seems all to human and, actually, quite logical a response on the part of conservatives.

One racist little sissy white psychopath with a dumb haircut goes on a homicidal rampage and the mainstream media is immediately tarring all of Southern culture, lumping every white person South of the Mason Dixon into the same category as said sissy and calling for all kinds of sweeping reforms. Again, the reaction to such typical liberal hysteria power grabbing tactic is to deny the connection to racism. Again, this seems logical, or at least quite human.

Next, as someone(s) upstream has said, lots of people have racist views - whites, Blacks, Asians (especially Asians). Overwhelmingly they do not murder members of the race they do not like. So, it makes sense for a racist to want to distance her/himself from a murderer because murder is not typical of those who hold racist views. There must be another reason for the murder to have been committed (e.g. drugs, mental illness).

This is much like when Muslims murder in the name of their religion and then everyone denies that they are *real* Muslims and starts in with the whole "religion of peace" mumbo jumbo.

Ok?

Cerrtainly there are lots of people out there with racist views who do not engage in violence as a result of those views. But regardless of what pushes a specific individual over into violence, that doesn't change the fact that his underlying motivation, and thus the root cause, was racism.

Would he have become violent in some other fashion without that cause? Unknown and unknowable. But that cause wasn't absent. And, by his own words, it was his primary (if not sole) motivation.

I need to say this as well, there is a tone on this blog that feels like, "if you don't agree with my far left point of view then you are a racist" or "...except that it assumes, against all the evidence, that Brett Bellmore is arguing in good faith."

I mention this because it is line with my first comment; that there is a war going on in this country and it's take no quarter given on all sides.

How is it conducive to open conversation with the aim of arriving at the truth of things to insinuate that people that disagree with you are not arguing in good faith? Assuming that honest open discusion is what Russell and others really want (hey, how does that feel?).

WJ, "And, by his own words, it was his primary (if not sole) motivation."

Are you sure those are his own words? You know the providence of the site his alleged manifesto was lifted from? I sure don't.

You'd think the left would have learned after their gentle giant being shot in the back with his hands up meme got deflated, but here we go again.

Brett,

"My question is, how are you defining “denial”?"

The usual definition: Affirmatively asserting that something isn't so.

Well, OK. But doesn't asserting that something else is so sometimes qualify?

Let me clarify. Santorum absurdly called the shooting an attack on religious liberty, or something of that nature. Now, maybe you don't think that constitutes a "denial" that it was a racist act, but it sure sounds like it to me.

IOW, once you define the act as primarily something other than racist murder you deny, ISTM, that the racial aspect is the key motivation.

Or take Bush and Haley, among others, who claim not to know what motivated Roof. Given the evidence of Roof's own words, ISTM that they are denying the racial aspect. Either that, or they are the most stupid people in the country.

So drop it.

What people say and do is not necessarily proof of their underling motivations. To know that would require a bit of mind reading.

"So, it makes sense for a racist to want to distance her/himself from a murderer because murder is not typical of those who hold racist views. There must be another reason for the murder to have been committed (e.g. drugs, mental illness).."

Makes perfect sense for a racist to say that the Sun rises in the East, and sets in the West, too. Makes perfect sense, because, well, it does. The point is that it makes perfect sense for ANYBODY, racist or not, to claim that there had to be a reason besides racism for Root to start killing people, because if that were enough to make you go on a homicidal rampage, there'd be a lot more homicidal rampages going on.

I suppose one could argue that Root was just really, REALLY racist, and that's enough, and the shortfall of racist homicidal rampages is due to most racists only being moderately racist. In fact, that's plausible. Only problem is that research has shown that the vast majority of murderers actually ARE mentally ill.

So it's quite a bit more plausible to think that Root was, yes, a sociopath, and that the racism just dictated who he felt like killing.

Gets a bit more complicated with Islam, I guess, in as much as it actually does teach you to go off and kill infidels. Thank goodness most Muslims aren't very devout.

"Well, OK. But doesn't asserting that something else is so sometimes qualify?"

If they're mutually exclusive, sure. If I assert that it's hot, I'm denying that it's cold, for instance.

How many motives for killing are mutually exclusive with racism? Not many, I should think.

"Thank goodness most Muslims aren't very devout."

This is called bigotry. I have a devout Muslim accountant who does our taxes. He wears a T shirt with the word "love" on it. The New Yorker has an article this week about the devout and lovable Muslim students murdered in North Carolina a few months ago.

What the freaking fuck is the limit here? If Brett were a regular anti-Semite saying exactly the same things about Jews based on the actions of some settlers, generalizing to all Jews and about Judaism, how long would this be allowed? Both the Bible and the Koran have passages that can be and are used to justify every crime up to genocide and we all know this and it doesn't mean every devout Muslim, Christian or Jew is a terrorist or would- be genocidal killer. This is Religion 101--it's more basic than that. Any reasonably intelligent grade school kid could understand this point.

And btw, I saw this with some National Review thread commenters, with Brett, and with Eric. They all immediately seem to think of the parallel with Islamic terrorism and you can tell it eats at them, that many American conservatives could be stuck with having to deny a link to terror the same way that Muslims are. They obviously think that Muslims are fair game. Here is their problem. To the extent that they wave the Confederate flag around or pretend that the flag has nothing to do with terror, it is perfectly legitimate to suspect that they may have some sympathy with white terrorism against blacks.

Btw, I know that Brett isn't a neo-confederate, or anyway I haven't seen any hint of that. I don't know about Eric. But the Republican embrace of the Southern strategy is well known and contrary to Eric's belief, there is no actual war going on that would justify making excuses for racists because it might give one's political opponents an advantage. At least some Republicans seem to understand this better than Eric.

Seems like Brett's response to this topic is to change the subject.

"This is called bigotry."

Well, hurrah. You're wrong, but at least you didn't say "racism". Pisses me off when liberals call something utterly unrelated to race "racism", at least you've got the category right.

"Both the Bible and the Koran have passages that can be and are used to justify every crime up to genocide"

And yet a Muslim can walk through Vatican city in perfect safety, while a Christian in Mecca would likely be murdered. And yet, Islam is legal in mostly Christian countries, and you can get executed in majority Muslim countries for converting to Islam. I could go on with the comparisons.

Probably has something to do with the fact that the Old Testament, where those passages are found, is supposed to be superseded by the new, while the murderous parts of the Koran are still in effect. With Mohammad, Islam's officially perfect man, being a mad dog killer who converted people at sword point.

Yes, I've known some Muslims, and they were nice people. And an ounce of U235 in isolation is just a shiny piece of metal, while 25 kgs in one place is called an "atomic bomb". I think the best way to put it is, Muslims have unfortunate social dynamics in large numbers.

"Seems like Brett's response to this topic is to change the subject."

Seems like my response is to deny the premise is true. I don't see any reason to discuss why something that isn't so is happening. Even if it IS the latest talking point that's been handed out to everyone on your side of the aisle.

Anyway, good night, all.

"So - my question: why is it so apparently difficult for conservative spokespeople - people holding elected office, people running for elected office, conservative media organs like Fox - to acknowledge the racial motivation behind the shooting?"

If this is the actual question, you are just wrong. I did Google, I can't find anyone that denies it. A few poorly phrased initial responses and the liberal machine in full voice to condemn the right for "what we know they really mean". It is beyond tiresome.

As much as I love the Count in many ways.

you can get executed in majority Muslim countries for converting to Islam.

Actually no. Converting to Islam is entirely legal and allowed in all Muslim countries. Not a problem at all.

But perhaps you meant converting from Islam....

Brett, you said that the reason most Muslims aren't killers is because they aren't devout--now you change the subject to actual human rights violations one can find in many Muslim countries because your original claim, the one I criticized, is bigoted crap. If you know nice Muslims and any of them are devout, you just spat in their face with your earlier post.

Your superseccionist theory for why Christianity is allegedly superior to Islam is more crap. Apparently you think Christian religious wars ceased after the NT was written, or else Christians somehow hadn't bothered to look at the later portion of the Bible until the Enlightenment

And even that is crap, because Christianity in some forms is still linked to ideological justifications for war--Latin American fascists thought they were defending Christian civilization against secularists, Marxists and in Argentina, Jews and rightwing Christians in America were their supporters in some cases. Oh, btw, ever hear of the connection between the NT and Antisemitism? I have--my rector preached on this just a few weeks ago. Try telling a Jew that Christianity is morally superior to Islam because of the NT. You obviously don't have the faintest clue what you are saying.

And ironically enough, Christian Zionism now justifies whatever human rights violations the Israelis choose to inflict, while still seeing Jews as unconscious players in bringing about the End Times. yeah, no relationship between Christianity and violence at all. The fact that churchgoers in America are more likely to support the CIA's interrogation program--nothing to do with Christianity. (Actually, as a Christian I don't think any of these evils is part of what Christianity should be, but Christianity as it is--well. yes, some Christians continue to use their religion as an excuse to support horrific policies, just as some Muslims do. And some Jews also.)

And no, I don't deny the horrific atrocities committed in the name of Islam, or the intolerance or the fanaticism, but somehow, Brett, I can do this without swimming in the sewer with you. I don't have to make sweeping statements about people of a given faith or deny atrocities committed by any faction, but you do.


As for the difference between bigotry and racism, they are fundamentally the same type,of thing. In both cases people belonging to a certain category are all lumped together and labeled inferior. This can be done on the basis of religion or ethnicity or some nebulous category called race. It's hard to say whether anti-semitism is racism or bigotry--it would depend on the individual antisemite and what sort of stupid notion he has about Jews.

Regarding Muslims in groups, I used to hear exactly the same argument from white southerners about black-ruled countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The detailed history didn't interest them, only the fact that they could use atrocities as a justification for their bigotry. Oh, excuse me, their racism.

I'm not seeing any denial either in my google searches. Maybe Russell could link to some examples; and not just a line or two possibly taken out of context, but complete statements.

Otherwise, this seems like another liberal propaganda operation designed to keep the base of social justice warriors' indignation level high enough to continue fighting the specter of systemic racism. Because, we all just know, that inside every Southerner is a Dylann Roof just waiting to emerge. Whatever.

And no, I am not a neo-confederate, whatever that is. My ancestors did fight in Lee's Army. You will never get me to feel guilty about that; especially given how Blacks have done so well your "enlightened" Yankee cities, "Southern Strategy"...lol....you carpet baggers took the blacks from doing the sh!t work in the South so they could do your sh!t work in the north and, when the work ran out, you left them with crack rocks and welfare and you went off to live in protected neighbors while they kill each other off in the streets. And you advocate for immigration so Mexicans can do the work that whites don't want (aka sh!t work).Go ahead and feel as morally superior as you want to though.

The war between the states had less to do with slavery/racism than you want to make believe it did.

All that said, since it seemed to be questioned, I am only concerned with a person's character, not their color. What that little twerp did is wrong. I doubt, however, that he wrote that manifesto himself. Too well written for a 9th grade dropout moron like that; not the content, the form. It wouldn't surprise me at all if a liberal wrote it to fan the flames - or maybe it was written by a racist conspirator. Unlike the liberal media, I'm not rushing to make assumptions.

look, for fuck's sake.

Here is what happened: a white person went to, not just a black church, but a church that is historically notable as a black church, shot nine black people in cold blood, told the folks he was shooting that he was doing it because they were black, wrote a manifesto about his animus toward non-whites and Jews, posted pictures of himself wearing the flags of the world's most notorious apartheid regimes, and apparently planned the murders for several months before carrying them out.

Roof is a racist, and he killed nine people because they were black, and he wanted to precipitate a race war.

The response from prominent conservatives have included statements that it was an attack on Christians and/or religious liberty, that Roof's motives were not racial but that he was simply "whacked out", that it was the drugs, that it was the pastor's fault because he opposed concealed carry. Also, that the real issue here is mental illness not racism, and that liberals are just using this as an excuse to Take Our Guns.

There are *also* some conservatives who have acknowledged Roof's racial motivations, Jeb Bush among them, to his credit.

But there are a large number of conservatives who seem intent on discussing every aspect of the situation *except* the act that Roof was explicitly and blatantly a racist, and killed the folks he killed *because they were black*.

I find that weird. So, I was curious if anyone could unpack it for me.

In particular, I was hoping that some of the conservative folks on this board might offer their thoughts. Do conservatives simply disagree that racism is a significant factor in the murders? Are they reluctant to wade into the whole freaking tiresome issue of racism yet again? Are there other issues that they see as being more relevant, or more important, in this particular case, and so that is their emphasis?

I'm not making any assumptions that I "know what they really mean", at all. I would like to know WTF they really mean, so I'm asking anyone who thinks they might have an insight to give me a clue.

What this case looks like, to me, is a stupid loser drop-out kid whose head has been filled with racist bullshit, who has embraced that, and who went and got himself a gun and killed some n****rs.

Because he thought they should die.

That's what it looks like to me. Not just "looks like", but manifestly and obviously *is*.

Why the reluctance to acknowledge that? Why the focus on 1,000 peripheral issues?

That's my question.

Why do I ask? Because I live here, and for my sins I have to share my political, social, economic, physical, and every other kind of environment with conservative people whose point of view makes no sense to me at all.

On my way home tonight, I was listening to a Ted Cruz rally. I don't know why, it was on the radio. Trust me, I won't make that mistake again. Every time the guy opened his mouth, giant exclamation points and question marks exploded around my head. I have NO FREAKING IDEA what the guy is on about. None. He would make a statement that he apparently felt to be self-evidently so, and I would think, "Wait, what?!? WTF?!?!"

For, like, 15 minutes, until I finally just turned it off.

And, every time he opened his mouth, he was loudly cheered by what was apparently a large roomful of people *WHO LIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS* who thought he was the cat's freaking meow.

I have to live with you all, and you make no f***king sense to me whatsoever. You all are like some kind of alien civilization that has come to live alongside us normal reasonable folks. You don't seem to be going away, and I'm not going anywhere either, so I'd like to try to understand what the hell is going through your minds.

That's why.

I'm not judging anybody, or condemning anybody, or calling anyone a bad person. I'm perfectly happy to acknowledge the human dignity and value of every conservative person.

Hell, it's the first Unitarian Universalist principle. how can I do otherwise?

I just have no idea what the hell the conservative commentariat are on about. I have no idea how somebody responds to the Charleston shootings by saying "they're coming after the Christians", or "the pastor should have been packing", or "sure there are some racists around, but that kid wasn't one of them, he was just a whacked out kid".

If you have any useful insights to share, I'm all ears. If your total contribution is "your question is totally bogus, that never happened", then I'm not interested, because I have a fucking brain in my head, and it's plainly clear to me that a significant number of conservatives want to talk about every other aspect of the Charleston shootings *except* the fact that Roof was motivated by his hatred of black people.

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