My July 2 column (“Well-planned execution in Charleston, South Carolina: Was one of America’s most respected Black leaders the target?”), raised the question of whether the killing of one of the most powerful and respected pastors and politicians in South Carolina, State Senator/Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was a targeted assassination.
My July 9 column (“Unanswered questions in Charleston, SC: Dylan Roof: the disappearing person of interest”), raised questions about Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old White murderer-executioner terrorist who slaughtered the nine during their prayer and Bible study with Pastor Pinckney, at Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), Wednesday, June 17, 2015.
In this column, we explore the manhunt and surprising announcement last week by Scarlett Wilson, chief prosecutor and solicitor in Charleston county, that she seeks the death penalty for Dylann Roof, who is an embarrassing albatross around the necks of city officials charged with public safety. Roof’s evil, horrible crime was driven by hatred fueled racism. We need to learn more about whether he was a lone wolf or, as I suspect, working with friends and associates.
Mr. Roof was off the radar for 14 hours between the time he shot and killed the nine African Americans and when he was apprehended outside Shelby, NC. As we continue to follow this story, we pose the following questions:
- Who was Dylann Roof meeting with in York, SC, a small town, just south of Charleston, NC, on Route 321?
- Who were the individuals he was going to meet with in Marshall, NC on Route 213, just north of Ashville, NC?
- Is there a connection with the survivalist White supremacist training facility in Mars Hill, NC, that we first asked about over a month ago?
- Fourteen hours is a long time to travel only 250 miles. What really happened during this period?
We are also puzzled about the shooting of two White journalists in Roanoke, VA, where highway patrol was quickly on the alleged shooter, Mr. Williams, an African American, by using a very sophisticated scanning system that could read license plates and identify the driver in seconds. Why did this not happen with Mr. Roof in his flight from Charleston, SC, driving on a major interstate highway and secondary state highways? Thus we continue to ask: what other assistance did Dylan Roof have?
If it was not for a very vigilant White florist outside of Shelby, NC, Mr. Roof would have disappeared into the mountains of western North Carolina. He would have been close to one the most renowned White supremacist training camps along Tennessee State Route 321, just outside of Greenville, Tennessee.
Let us not be fooled, Dylan Roof was known to law enforcement officers in at least four different states — Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Tennessee. In York, SC, prior to the massacre in Charleston, he had been seen in the company of well-known and extremely dangerous White supremacists. The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN, are not giving us the full history of this young 21-year-old White terrorist, who carried out this well-planned assassination and execution.
These kinds of planning exercises take place all across America. The African American community needs to ask the hard questions about a possible race war in America. Whether it’s the Rev. Louis Farakahn, evangelical pastors, or the pope himself warning about being prepared, we acknowledge the very real threats in the corridors of racial hatred and animus.
So we will continue to raise the questions during the course of the investigation into the massacre in Charleston, SC.