Donald Trump, today’s Benjamin Tillman, Dylann Roof with money?


This video from the USA says about itself:

Dylann Roof’s Burger King Meal Proves A Devastating Point

23 June 2015

“The man accused of gunning down nine people inside a historic black church in South Carolina was “polite” and “quiet” while he was in police custody in North Carolina, according to a police chief who spoke with the Charlotte Observer.

Dylann Roof, 21, was apprehended by Shelby police on Thursday. He has been charged with nine counts of murder in a mass shooting inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last Wednesday.

Police arrested him without incident.

Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford told the Charlotte Observer that when Roof complained he was hungry, cops went to a nearby Burger King and bought the accused mass murderer a meal while he was in custody.”

Read more here.

Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

Let us stay in Charleston, South Carolina, in the USA, where Roof committed his massacre, for a comparison.

On 4 April 2015, in Charleston, African American Walter Scott was stopped by police. Was Walter Scott a suspect of murdering nine people? No, Mr Scott was ‘suspect’ of a malfunctioning brake light of his car. Did police buy Walter Scott a Burger King meal? No, Police Patrolman 1st Class Michael Thomas Slager murdered Walter Scott.

Weeks later, at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, racist Dylann Roof said: ‘You rape our women and you’re taking over the country. You have to go.’

And then, Dylann Roof proceeded to murder three men and six women; not one of them had ever harmed him. Not one of them had ever committed rape. These nine people were in South Carolina because their ancestors had been kidnaped from Africa and transported in chains on trans-Atlantic slave ships.

Is Dylann Roof an isolated phenomenon? No. Roof stands in a long tradition of racism and violent crime in South Carolina. A racist and violent heritage which is often not rejected, but honoured in South Carolina today, where Dylann Roof grew up.

Benjamin Tillman (1847-1918) played a big role in South Carolina’s political history. He was proud that he had murdered black people. Like his fellow Confederate flag waver Roof today, Tillman ‘justified’ his crimes by saying that black people (‘black fiends’ according to Tillman) were supposedly rapists. And were supposedly ‘taking over the country’, by having the right to vote. As governor of South Carolina, Tillman abolished African Americans’ voting rights in 1895.

This video from South Carolina says about itself:

Clemson Quotes Tillman at Tillman

8 March 2015

“People from Clemson University read quotes from founding trustee and former governor of South Carolina—racist, white supremacist, murderer, Benjamin Tillman—whose name adorns the University’s Main Building.

In 1962, the Main Building on the campus of Winthrop College in South Carolina was renamed Tillman Hall in the late politician and self-confessed murderer’s honour.

Tillman is not only still honoured at Deep South universities. There is a bronze statue honouring the memory of the late Governor and U.S. Senator Benjamin Ryan Tillman in front of the Statehouse in Columbia. Columbia is the capital of South Carolina; and it is also where Dylann Roof was born and lived.

So, now to millionaire and presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Daily Kos blog in the USA wrote:

Thu Jun 18, 2015 at 09:22 AM PDT

Donald Trump Said Much The Same Thing That Dylann Storm Roof Said Before He Pulled The Trigger

This is what happens when you stoke the fires of racism, bigotry, stupidity, hatred and fear.

“I have to do it,” the gunman was quoted as saying. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” Dylann Storm Roof

“They (Mexico) are not our friend, believe me…The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems…When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs and they are bringing crime, and they’re rapists.” Donald J Trump

In which way is Trump similar to, and in which way is he different from, Dylann Roof and Benjamin Tillman?

Well, Tillman was a Democrat. Trump is a Republican. In the wake of Barry Goldwater’s and Richard Nixon’s ‘southern strategy‘ for the Republican party, which drove away most southern African Americans (traditionally mainly Republican voters, at least the minority who had any voting rights) and attracted many white southern racists.

Donald Trump has a lot more money than Dylann Roof. And probably also more than Benjamin Tillman, though Tillman was rich.

Donald Trump‘s quote differs from Dylann Roof’s in making Mexicans and other Latin Americans scapegoats of his racism. But Trump’s racist accusations of rape are rather similar to Roof’s and Tillman’s. Tillman supported the 1898 neo-colonial war with Spain; but was against taking over the Spanish colony Puerto Rico because non-white people lived there.

And, of course, contrary to Tillman and Roof, Trump did not kill anyone. However, if Trump would become president of the USA, he would get the power to kill lots of people. Not a comforting idea.

Many political pundits say that is very unlikely that Trump will become president of the USA. However, a recent poll in New Hamphire says that Trump is second of the many Republican candidates. Trump got just three percent less intended votes than Jeb Bush, the vulnerable front runner, who has only 14% of the intended Republican New Hampshire vote.

Also, many political pundits today don’t look whether a candidate is an honest person. Whether a candidate has good ideas. Whether a candidate is racist or not. Not even whether a candidate is good-looking. Or whether his wife is good-looking. They look at how much money a candidate’s campaign has. And Trump does have that money.

From Blue Nation Review in the USA today:

Univision Dumps Trump, Miss USA Pageant Over Remarks On Immigrants

The Donald may largely be considered a joke here in the United States, but across Latin America, especially in Mexico, the sting of Trump’s remarks on Mexican immigrants has left many incensed.

So much so that Univision, a broadcast television network with the largest Spanish-speaking audience in the world, has severed ties with Trump and the Miss USA Pageant, which the Republican presidential candidate partially owns, the Associated Press reports.

Donald Trump to sue Spanish-language TV network for dropping coverage of Miss USA pageant over his comments about Mexicans: here.

United States Republicans’ money from Charleston massacre’s inspirator


This video from the USA says about itself:

How is The Council Of Conservative Citizens Different From ISIS? (1/2)

22 June 2015

Thom Hartmann discusses the right-wing hate group known as The Council of Conservative Citizens which Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof claims radicalized him.

And this video is the sequel.

By David Brown in the USA:

Republican candidates received donations from white supremacist

23 June 2015

Several Republican presidential candidates received significant donations from a leading white supremacist who helped inspire Dylann Roof, the person accused of killing nine people in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.

According to an exposé in the Guardian newspaper, Earl Holt, the president of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), which calls for opposition to “all efforts to mix the races of mankind,” gave $65,000 to Republican campaigns over the past few years, including the current presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum.

Roof cited the CofCC web site in his manifesto as crucial to his own development as a white supremacist. Roof describes his development as a white supremacist after being “truly awakened” by the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, which he saw as an act of self-defense on the part of the shooter, George Zimmerman.

The manifesto states, “It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right, but more importantly this prompted me to type in the words ‘black on white crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.” His search took him to the CofCC web site and its hysterical denunciations of “brutal black on white murders.”

In an online statement, Holt responded by saying, “The CofCC is hardly responsible for the actions of this deranged individual merely because he gleaned accurate information from our website.”

The Cruz campaign announced that it would return the $8,500 that Holt has given to the candidate since 2012. The Paul and Santorum campaigns announced that they would donate to charity the $1,750 and $1,500 Holt had given them, respectively.

The ties between groups like the CofCC and sections of the Republican Party is a dirty secret of American politics.

Other Republican politicians that have received money from Holt over the years include Mitt Romney for his 2012 presidential campaign, Senators Tom Cotton and Jeff Flake, and Representatives Steve King and Michele Bachmann. High-ranking members of the Republican Party have also been speakers at rallies and conferences called by the CofCC since its founding in 1985.

Trent Lott, the former senator and majority leader, spoke at a 1992 conference, declaring that the organization stood “for the right principles and the right philosophy.” According to a 2004 report in Intelligence Report, at least 38 elected officials spoke at meetings of the white supremacist group between 2000 and 2004.

Although the number of politicians publicly attending CofCC rallies has diminished since the 2004 revelations, state and local officials still occasionally attend, including the then-chairman of the Carroll County Democratic Party in Mississippi, Bill Lord, in 2013.

In 2013, the current South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, appointed a member of the CofCC, Roan Quintana, to co-chair her re-election campaign. Connections extend beyond the CofCC. The current House majority whip, Steve Scalise, notably spoke at a white-nationalist and neo-Nazi conference in 2002 that was led by ex-Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.

The ties between sections of the Republican Party and white supremacist groups go back to the Republican strategy of winning the segregationist vote away from the Democrats, who had been the stronghold of the southern elite before and after the Civil War. Following the first steps toward federal desegregation, the Republican Party adopted the long-time political methods of Southern Democrats, and many of the determined segregationists like long-time senator of South Carolina Strom Thurmond switched party affiliation to Republican at the time.

In the decades since desegregation, the continued involvement of white supremacists in the US government has been an open secret. When these ties erupt in a scandal, it is quickly buried by the news media and hushed up by Democrats and Republicans alike.

The author also recommends:

The Republican Party and racism
[24 December 2002]

Networks fail to report Republican ties to racist groups
[1 January 1999]

American militarism and the Charleston killings: here.

I’m still waiting for white people to start apologising for Dylann Roof. When will they finally condemn their own people’s extremist tendencies? Here.

CALLS TO REMOVE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG SPREAD “What began as scattered calls for removing the Confederate battle flag from a single state capitol intensified with striking speed and scope on Tuesday into an emotional, nationwide movement to strip symbols of the Confederacy from public parks and buildings, license plates, Internet shopping sites and retail stores.” Supporters of the flag are suddenly finding themselves in the minority amidst the public outcry. These six companies have publicly declared they will no longer sell items displaying the banner. And looking beyond the flag, here are other tributes to the Confederacy across the South. [NYT]

REASSESSING THE ‘PERCEPTIONS OF TOP TERRORIST THREATS’ “Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.” [NYT]

Alabama Governor Removes Confederate Flag From State Capitol: here.

Charleston has a long and painful history of racism – which the labour movement must come together to resist, says TIM WHEELER: here.

Racist Charleston church massacre, reactions


This video from the USA says about itself:

Shooting Victim’s Friend Blames Fox News ‘Hate Speech’ for Charleston Church Massacre

18 June 2015

Friend of Charleston Victim: Fox News ‘Hate Speech’ a Potential Influence

Todd Rutherford, a South Carolina state legislator and a friend of one of the victims, spoke out on CNN this afternoon about how “the rhetoric in South Carolina, the rhetoric nationwide, has led people to believe… that it’s okay to walk into a church and take nine lives.”

Rutherford spoke to Jake Tapper about the Charleston church shooting and the death of his friend Reverend Clementa Pinckney.

He said that South Carolina is part of the problem because there’s no hate crimes law and the Confederate flag flies at the capitol. Rutherford referred to networks using “coded language” before calling out one network in particular:

“[The gunman] hears that because he watches the news and he watches things like Fox News, where they talk about things that they call news, but they’re really not. They use that coded language, they use hate speech, they talk about the president as if he’s not the president, they talk about churchgoers that they’re not really churchgoers. And that’s what this young man acted on. That’s why you can walk into a church and treat people like animals when they’re really human beings.”

Related: update: Gunman Dylann Storm Roof, 21, spares 1 woman telling her: ‘tell the world what happened’. Gunman to Victims: ‘You Rape Our Women’

The gunman who killed nine people during a Bible study meeting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, spewed a message of hate. Sylvia Johnson—a cousin of church pastor Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in the attack—says a survivor told her the gunman reloaded five times. “He just said ‘I have to do it,’” Johnson reports the survivor saying. “‘You rape our women and you’re taking over the country. You have to go.’”

Earlier, a local NAACP official said the killer told one woman, who has not been identified, that she was allowed to live so that she can tell everyone else what happened. Police confirmed that at least three people survived the attack, and that the gunman sat with the prayer group for at least an hour before he began to shoot. The FBI has named Dylann Storm Roof, 21, of Columbia, South Carolina as the suspected killer of nine people at a black church in Charleston. Roof was previously arrested on April 26 on a trespassing charge and was awaiting moderation. His sparse Facebook page shows an image of Roof in a jacket with the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia, which was an apartheid state before it became Zimbabwe.

By David Walsh in the USA:

The mass killing in Charleston, South Carolina

19 June 2015

The mass killing of six women and three men at an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday evening is a horrific event that speaks to a deeply dysfunctional and diseased society.

The alleged gunman, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, of Columbia, South Carolina, was apparently motivated by racist and right-wing nationalist sentiments. He reportedly told those he was about to shoot in cold blood, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country, and you have to go.”

On his Facebook profile page, Roof included a photograph of himself wearing a jacket with badges representing the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the 1928 South African flag in particular has been adopted around the world in right-wing circles “as a symbol of white supremacy.”

The response of the political establishment in general has been hypocritical and empty to an obscene extent. Whatever the immediate political or psychological driving forces behind Roof’s alleged action, such a killing emerges in a specific political and social context.

The most obvious hypocrisy came from leading political figures in South Carolina. Various individuals associated with the South Carolina Republican Party have been exposed as members of the blatantly racist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), the descendant of the old White Citizens Council, the “respectable” version of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1950s and 1960s.

South Carolina’s Republican Governor Nikki Haley declared Thursday that the state’s “heart and soul…was broken” by the mass killing. In 2014 she defended the flying of the Confederate flag at the statehouse on the grounds that “not a single CEO” had complained to her.

In his statement, President Barack Obama expressed on Thursday his “deep sorrow over the senseless murders” in Charleston. Obama continued, “Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy.” The president suggested that “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

Yes, but at which point exactly? Obama, like his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, has had to make this sort of ceremonial appearance following a killing rampage on numerous occasions. If the president needs reminding about what has occurred during his administration alone, one could point to the April 2009 massacre of 13 people at a civic center for immigrants in Binghamton, New York; the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabby Giffords and the killing of six other people in Tucson, Arizona in January 2011; the mass killing at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater in July 2012; the murder of six people and wounding of four others at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in August 2012 by a white supremacist; the killing of 26 people, including 20 children, in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012; and there are many more.

Following each killing, one portion of the media, looking to Scripture for its inspiration, asserts that the tragedy proves the existence of “evil” and presumably Man’s Fallen Nature; another, more officially liberal-minded, claims that gun control will somehow mysteriously solve everything; a third sighs over the “senselessness” of it all and collectively shrugs its shoulders. The cluelessness of the official punditry is one indication of the moral and political bankruptcy of the American social order.

There is, of course, an irrational element in each of these tragic episodes, including the most recent one. Roof apparently let one elderly woman live because, he told her, “I need someone to survive,” indicating that he planned to kill himself, “And you’ll be the only survivor.”

But the claim by the media that such mass killings are incomprehensible is a self-serving lie. The commentators, along with Obama and the political officialdom, cannot and will not “reckon with” the phenomenon because even to begin probing the various massacres would be to lift the lid on the reality of American life and, above all, the atmosphere of unrelenting violence and aggression that has been generated by two decades or more of almost nonstop war.

The alleged actions of Roof, who was obviously unbalanced and disoriented and came under the influence of pro-Confederate and white supremacist propaganda, have a racist coloring. But, changing what must be changed, is there much of a difference in terms of social type between the Charleston suspect and the young killers at Columbine High School in 1999; or Seung-Hui Cho, the South Korean immigrant, who murdered 32 people and wounded 17 others on the Virginia Tech campus in April 2007; or James Eagan Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado shooter, and the various others?

What psychological and sociological features do the various perpetrators share in common? A highly advanced state of social alienation, great bitterness at other human beings, self-hatred, isolation, general despondency and the recourse to extreme violence to solve their real or imagined problems.

These tendencies recur too often and too devastatingly to be mere personal failings; they clearly come from the broader society. They reflect a terrible malaise, the mentality of individuals living perpetually under a dark cloud, who have no hope for the future, who can only imagine that things will get worse. Only look at the Facebook photograph of Dylann Roof if you want some idea of this bleakness and despondency!

The generation to which Roof belongs, unlike any other in American history, has known nothing but the combination of war and the building up of immense social inequality. If one sets aside with contempt the media’s fantasy version of American life, in which things have never been better—and, after all, don’t young people have Facebook, Twitter and iPhones?—no generation in modern times has experienced such harsh and discouraging circumstances. Capitalism, the subordination of every aspect of life to the drive for profit and personal wealth by the corporate elite, is at the heart of the problem.

The American ruling elite would have us believe that endless war, belligerence, aggression and threats of new, more catastrophic wars, part of the drive for US global domination, have no consequences. Violence and killing on the part of the American military or intelligence apparatus is a daily occurrence. US officials and politicians, mafia-like, blandly discuss “killing” alleged terrorists or “eliminating threats” to “America’s national interests.” Murder, whether by drone or other efficient modern means, has become routinized, banal. The president, as we know, meets with his advisers every Tuesday, to go over “kill lists.”

Someone like Roof, if he turns out to be the culprit, has known nothing but this expanding and escalating violence all his life. And not only violence overseas. Police in the US have been given a green light to open fire and kill innocent civilians. Only two months ago, in North Charleston, South Carolina, less than 10 miles from the scene of Wednesday night’s mass killings, a local police officer murdered Walter Scott in cold blood with five bullets in the back.

The crisis of American society is reaching a breaking point. It cannot go on like this. Roof’s is the unhealthy, twisted response of an infinitesimal portion of his generation. Masses of young people and masses of working people will respond to the crisis in a rational, progressive manner, by turning against the criminals and liars in power and their rotten economic and social system.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

[Mass murder suspect] Roof had complained recently that “black people are taking over the world”, a former high school friend of his says. Someone should do something against that, according to Roof. He also supported racial segregation, according to the friend.

Roof had told the friend recently that he had bought a weapon with the money which he had got for his birthday. He also said he had a plan, but Roof did not say what that plan was.

CHARLESTON GUNMAN PLANNED ATTACK ‘FOR MONTHS’ “Dylann Roof’s roommate says the suspect was planning something big leading up to the alleged shooting at a South Carolina church Wednesday that left nine people dead. Dalton Tyler told ABC News that he’d known Roof for at least seven months, and that the 21-year-old was ‘planning something like that for six months.'” Here’s why the flags Roof is wearing in his Facebook profile picture matter. And watch President Obama discuss the horrific episode. [Andy Campbell, HuffPost]

MEET THE CHARLESTON VICTIMS Hundreds stood outside the Emanuel AME Church doors yesterday to mourn the nine victims of the Charleston shooting, who ranged in age from 26 to 87. [David Lohr, HuffPost]

RACISM: NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS “When white people go on shooting sprees, their actions are frequently attributed to mental illness and, thus, they’re not considered fully accountable for the harm they’ve inflicted. This narrative — which is not afforded to people of color — feeds into the assumption that incidents like what happened at Emanuel AME Church are isolated tragedies executed by lone gunmen. Essentially, it excuses the system that allows racialized terrorism to keep happening.” [HuffPost]

As Nation Mourns Nine Black Victims of Church Massacre, Details of Suspect’s White Supremacism Emerge: here.

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ call to take down the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina Capitol.

Why don’t Americans call mass shootings ‘terrorism’? Racism: here.