“…to serve. It is at times a hard choice to make but those hard choices yield great rewards.” — Slain Pastor and SC State Senator Clementa Pinckney
Last week I promised to continue to dig into what has seemingly become a universal attempt to make Dylan Roof a “lone wolf” assassin, shooting and killing nine people June 17, 2015, at the Mother Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, SC, in his attempt to create racial mayhem all by himself. Notice the silence about the fact that this was not Mr. Roof’s first time at the church. Roof had been conducting a very sophisticated surveillance of the pastor and the church.
Young Roof knew both the inside and outside of the church’s layout. Roof also followed Rev. Pinckney from the State Capital in Columbia, SC to his home and church in Charleston, SC, a drive that takes a little over two hours.
We reported in last week’s column that the Southern Poverty Law Center in Birmingham, Alabama had reviewed Roof’s manifesto and determined — using plagiarism detection software — he copied from a White supremacy site. In other words, there were co-conspirators assisting him in this heinous act of assassinating one of the most beloved political and religious leaders in South Carolina and eight of his parishioners during their Bible study.
We also learned much by tracing Roof’s escape attempt from Charleston SC into North Carolina. Fleeing on Interstate Highway 26 towards Columbia, SC, and then heading north on Interstate 77, toward Charlotte, NC. Then west on to State Highway 74, which took him towards Shelby, NC, where he was apprehended.
What was it in that direction that he felt would provide him with sanctuary and shelter? Was it to continue along State Highways 74 and 64, and then turn north onto Routes 25 and 70, going through Ashville, NC, towards a White supremacy camp located between the small towns of Marshall and Mars Hill, NC?
The camp, between Interstate 26 and North Carolina State Highways 25, 70 and Route 213, is in a region that is a hot bed of White extremist terrorist activity in that part of NC. We know the problem is not over because of six Black Churches being burned in the South since the Charleston Massacre.
Targeting Pastor Pinckney was part of a well-planned conspiracy. The system must now make disappear the fact that there was a conspiracy to assassinate a leading Black political leader in South Carolina. Hence the insistence by state and federal authority that Mr. Roof acted alone and without assistance. This assassination is a reminder of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Tennessee, and the similarities with the escape and apprehension of King’s assassin, James Earl Ray, as he attempted to board a flight to South Africa from London’s Heathrow International Airport.
It’s almost as if the same individuals or agencies planned both of these actions, almost 50 years apart. Is that a coincidence? There is betting in some quarters that Mr. Roof, in the tradition of Jack Ruby, will not survive to stand trial.
I hope that that is not true, because justice must still be served, and the racial stability of our nation depends upon all the facts being known. Justice will not be served if those who planned the carnage of racial hatred are allowed to go unidentified.
God bless America.