“I was not raised in a racist home or environment,” Dylann Roof writes in the opening sentence of his presumed manifesto. “Living in the South, almost every White person has a small amount of racial awareness, simply beause (sic) of the numbers of negroes in this part of the country. But it is a superficial awareness.”
I use the word “presumed” not because I think Roof incapable of these sentiments. No, what makes me suspicious is the manifesto’s style, syntax and vocabulary.
I have taught writing at every level. Most college students don’t write this well. This is better written, for instance, than Obama’s essay at the same age, “Breaking the War Mentality.”
The failure to correct the spelling of “beause” further suggests that its author did not spend much time reviewing the draft. If a drug-addled, ninth-grade dropout wrote this in one sitting, he is something of a prodigy.
Roof’s stepmother and friends all insist he is “smart.” He may be. If so, there will be other writing samples. And until those are compared to the manifesto, it would pay to be cautious.
Dissecting the manifesto’s style is more than an academic exercise. Roof’s life may hang on its authenticity. “These writings will likely make it difficult to prove insanity,” Jane Moriarty, an authority on insanity pleas, told the Washington Post.
If Roof did not write this himself, he might have an older, better educated accomplice, and that would surely be worth looking into.
As an alternative theory, if Roof did not write this himself, the real author might be trying to set him up and/or discredit the political right.
The Post describes the two anonymous computer geeks who unearthed the document as “far left.” When the Post uses that phrase, one can only imagine how desperately far left they must be.
One of the two activists goes by the name Emma Quangel. “I will not stand for another news cycle of ‘poor little boy gone wrong because of mental illness/dysfunctional family/drug use etc.,'” Quangel told the Post, “while victims like Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner are painted as thugs and criminals.”
Given her defensive take on Martin, it strikes me as more than a little suspicious that Roof writes, “The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case.”
Again, how many ninth-grade dropouts have ever strung the two words “truly awakened” together?
The Martin reference inspired the Huffington Post’s Terry Krepel to publish an article Monday headlined, “Did Right-Wing Media Influence Dylann Roof?”
In the article, Krepel quotes Roof on Martin and then asks the twisted, defamatory question, “Where have we heard before that the death of Trayvon Martin was justified and blacks are nothing but thugs and criminals?”
The answer to the first part of that phrase, Krepel insists, is here on the pages of WND. As to second part of that question – the “nothing but thugs and criminals” part – one has to wonder whether the cash-strapped HuffPo has fired all its editors – and lawyers for that matter.
Yes, two years ago, WND published my book on the George Zimmerman case, “If I Had A Son.” Yes, the WND editors and I believe it is wrong to send an innocent man to prison for 30 years. Krepel slams us for so thinking.
The paragraph of the manifesto that begins with the Martin reference continues with this perfectly grammatical declaration: “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.”
Not surprisingly, this inspired headlines like, “Council of Conservative Citizens Promotes White Primacy, and G.O.P. Ties” in the New York Times. As it happens, the co-author of this article, Lizette Alvarez, was the first to designate Zimmerman a “white Hispanic.”
One irony of this whole affair is that Roof and Trayvon Martin were, in fact, both “poor little boys gone wrong,” each having suffered from nearly identical family dysfunction.
Both watched their parents split when they were about 3 years old, and both suffered a further fracture in their lives at age 15 when their fathers left their stepmothers.
In “If I Had A Son,” I observed the following, “When Tracy [Martin] left [stepmother] Alicia for Brandy Green, Trayvon was 15, that was the time when Trayvon began to wander off track and there was no one readily available to redirect him.”
Alicia thought of herself as Trayvon’s rock, and suddenly that rock was pulled out from under him. That is when Martin began his unfortunate but undeniable turn to drugs, guns, fighting and even burglary.
The British Daily Mail says the following about Roof: “When the divorce was finalized in 2009, Dylann’s last chance of a stable family life disappeared.”
The Daily Mail continues, “The files show that [stepmother] Paige was the closest thing Dylann ever had to a mother until Franklin’s alleged abusive behavior removed her from his life.” Dylann was 15 at the time.
At 17, Martin had obviously not strayed as far off course as Roof did at 21. That much said, to insist Martin was the innocent victim of a racist thug, as the left continues to do, is to provide fodder for the Dylann Roofs of the world.
Had Zimmerman not shot Martin, it is likely that Martin would be in prison today. Until the media begin to speak honestly about race and about the societal consequences of family breakdown, we can expect to see a lot more Trayvon Martins and, unfortunately, a few more Dylann Roofs as well.
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