Jared Taylor writes:
The massacre at the Emanuel AME Church has shaken our country more than any event since the attacks of September 11. And like those attacks, it has prompted an outpouring of emotion and a strong desire to take action.
Within just ten days of the killings, Amazon, eBay, Sears, Walmart, Google Shopping, the Apple app store, and the gift shops at Fort Sumter and the Gettysburg battlefield announced they would no longer sell Confederate-flag merchandise. The Alabama State Capitol and the chapel at the Citadel took down battle flags they had displayed for years. Many have called for a renewed emphasis on America’s past sins of slavery, lynching, and Jim Crow, as a way to combat hate.
These actions express the shock and outrage that Americans rightly feel, but I do not believe they will help prevent future racial violence. I think they will make it more likely.
I have never met Dylann Roof. He is reported to have been a high school dropout and drug taker, who expressed confused and even incoherent opinions about race. He is also a mass murderer. However, for professional reasons, I am acquainted with a large number of young white men—and some women—who share enough of his views to give me what I believe is a good sense of his motives.
If we want to prevent more Dylann Roofs, we should try to understand him. This may seem futile and even immoral. Some would say that pure evil cannot be understood, and that trying to understand Roof is tantamount to excusing him. These objections are understandable but misplaced. First, some of his views are spreading. They should be grappled with, not simply condemned. Second, by understanding what drove Roof to mass murder we may be able to make mass murder less likely. If we examine the anxieties, vulnerabilities, and resentments behind his views—and those of other young whites—it may be possible to palliate them in ways that do not violate our values and that could prevent future violence.
The press routinely describes Roof and others like him as “white supremacists,” but this is not a useful term. It implies a desire to rule over or dominate other races, and there is no evidence Roof wanted that. Roof, and the many people I know who think to some degree as he does, are profoundly disaffected from American society. The ones I know are unlike Roof in that they are educated, sophisticated, attractive professionals, but like Roof, they reject and even despise conventional attitudes about race. Their thinking is not, however, a modern-day survival of the slave-holder or segregationist mentality. It has similarities, but it is rooted in current circumstances. It is a new way for whites to think about race. “White supremacist” is an outmoded expression that does not cast light on today’s realities.
To understand Dylann Roof, we must set aside much of the framework that shapes the way we think about race. One difficult concept to grasp is that although everyone, beginning with Barack Obama, has agonized over the “hatred” that led to the church killings, Roof did not hate black people in any conventional sense…
Roof wrote that the Martin/Zimmerman case was the spark but that the real tipping point was the website of the Council of Conservative Citizens, where he found many reports of black-on-white murders. How could this have so affected him that he has “never been the same since that day”? The answer requires an examination of the nature and extent of interracial crime, and how society views it.
The website of the C of CC, as the council calls itself, is a lurid chronicle of black-on-white (and sometimes Hispanic-on-white) crime. Its typical posting includes a photo of an attractive young white woman alongside a photo of the black boyfriend or mugger who killed and/or raped her.
The website does not pretend to be balanced. It covers other subjects, but its main mission seems to be to find and memorialize every white victim of interracial violence. It never mentions white perpetrators. In that sense, it is pure propaganda, and most people would call it hateful propaganda. However, the C of CC does not make these stories up. It finds crimes that are reported locally, lists them, and argues that if the races were reversed, at least some of them would be headline news.
Roof “was in disbelief” that the press, which made a national racial scandal over George Zimmerman’s self-defense killing, completely ignored so many black-on-white murders, some of them barbaric, some of them racially motivated. The C of CC’s propaganda may be shocking and deplorable, but it contains more than a grain of truth. Disaffected whites take it as a truism that the press underreports black-on-white violence, and there is reason to think they are right.
Every year, in what is called the National Crime Victimization Survey, the Justice Department gathers detailed victim reports—including race of attacker—from a sample of more than 100,000 Americans. Survey data offer a clearer picture of interracial crime than counting arrest records because it eliminates any possibility of police bias. The latest figures for 2012 and 2013 show that of the nearly 600,000 crimes of interracial violence involving blacks and whites committed each year, blacks were the attackers 84.5 percent of the time. The proportions have been about the same for decades.
This is a huge, black-on-white imbalance. Some would argue that this is because there are five times as many whites as blacks, so black criminals are simply more likely to encounter white victims. However, in the case of interracial crime involving blacks and Hispanics, the proportions are similar: Blacks were attackers 82.5 percent of the time, despite the fact that there are only about 30 percent more Hispanics than blacks.
There may therefore be some justification for the view among disaffected whites that blacks deliberately target people of other races. Violent “flash mobs” are almost always made up of young blacks who mainly rob and beat whites. The “knock out game,” in which someone tries to knock out a victim with a single punch, has also been called “polar bear hunting” because the perpetrators are almost always black and the victims are almost always white.
The victimization survey bears this out. When whites commit violence they chose blacks as victims only 3.6 percent of the time, whereas violent blacks chose whites as victims almost as often as they chose blacks (38.6 percent vs. 40.9 percent, while 14.5 percent of their victims were Hispanic). To express the figures differently, although the individual likelihood was extremely low, a black person was 27 times more likely to attack a white than vice versa…
There have been black-on-white crimes of such brutality and drama that disaffected whites may be justified in thinking that if whites had done equally horrible things to blacks there would have been widespread outrage.
In 2000, two black brothers, Reginald and Jonathan Carr, broke into a Wichita home in which three white men and two white women, all in their 20s, were spending the night. The Carrs stripped and bound all five, and over the course of several hours beat the men and repeatedly raped the women. They forced both the men and the women at gun point to commit sex acts on each other. They took each individually to ATM machines and forced them to withdraw money. They then drove the victims—three stuffed into the trunk of a car, the men naked and the women naked from the waist down—to a remote soccer field, where they forced them to kneel in the snow, shot them all execution style, and ran them over with a truck. One woman miraculously survived, and walked nearly a mile in sub-freezing weather to report the crimes.
In 2007 in Knoxville, three blacks hijacked Christopher Newsom and his girlfriend, Channon Christian. They bound and gagged Newsome, raped him anally with an object, walked him barefoot to train tracks, where they shot and killed him. His attackers then set fire to his body. Christian was repeatedly raped orally and vaginally over a period of several hours, and her vaginal area was beaten to a pulp. Her attackers sprayed bleach down her throat. They then tied her up, wrapped her in garbage bags, and stuffed into a garbage can where she suffocated to death. Neither of these incidents gained much national attention, and in neither case did authorities make any attempt to determine if the criminals had a racial motive.
It is hard to find crimes of such brutality by whites against blacks, but when they occur they become well known. Many people have heard of James Byrd. In 1998, three white men beat him savagely, urinated on him, chained him to the back of a pickup and dragged him to death. The two men most responsible for the crime, Lawrence Brewer and John King were described as white supremacists. During previous jail sentences they had joined a white prison gang in order to seek protection; King said he had been gang-raped in prison by blacks. Byrd’s name is now on both Texas state and federal hate crime laws, and the crime has been made into a feature-length documentary.
This case gained notoriety in part because it was seen as a racially motivated murder. Racially motivated murder of whites by blacks does not get the same attention. John Mohammad and Lee Malvo terrorized the entire Washington DC area during a 2002 shooting spree. Their crimes were world news—yet how many people heard that John Mohammad carried out the crimes because he believed that “the white man is the devil,” and that he planned to kill six white people a day for 30 days?
Other explicitly racial killings attract little attention. In Wilkinsburg, near Philadelphia, 39-year-old Ronald Taylor killed three men and wounded two others in a 2000 rampage, in which he targeted whites. At one point, he pushed a black woman out of his way, saying “Not you, sister. . . . I’m just out to kill all white people.” 
Also in 2000, Obie Weathers of San Antonio, Texas, attacked but did not manage to kill two elderly white men. Later that day, he found 82-year-old Norma Petrash in her home and beat her to death. “I hate all white people,” he explained to a detective.
In 2005, Philip Grant stabbed Concetta Russo-Carriero to death in a parking lot in White Plains, New York. In a video-taped confession, he explained, “I was thinking that the first person I see this morning that looks white, I’m killing them. I have no remorse whatsoever because she was white.” 
In 2007, Steven Johnson was sentenced to 240 years in prison for shooting and wounding three white people and spraying kerosene on several others while he shouted that “white people are going to burn tonight.” He told police he was seeking revenge for the mistreatment of blacks.
In 2008, a white woman wept on the witness stand as she described her rape at the hands of a black man who broke into her apartment in Raleigh, North Carolina. He told her he was punishing her for the historic crimes of whites.
In 2009, Los Angeles police arrested a black man, John Floyd Thomas, Jr., thought to have been the most prolific serial killer in the city’s history. Over a period of more than a decade he raped and killed an estimated 30 older women. All were white.
In 2010, a black man, Omar Thornton, was caught on video stealing beer from the Connecticut distributor where he worked. Offered a choice between resigning and being fired, he shot eight white co-workers to death and wounded two more. Before shooting himself, Thornton phoned his mother and claimed the killings were retaliation for workplace racism. Other minority employees said his claims of racism were unfounded.
None of these crimes—and there are more with a clear racial motive—got national attention the way the Byrd killing and the Charleston shootings did.
In a way, the legal system recognizes the seriousness of all interracial crimes—not just white-on-black crimes—by designating some as hate crimes. The latest FBI hate crimes report includes 2,919 crimes motivated “on whole or in part” by race. Whites committed 52.4 percent of all bias crimes and blacks committed 24.3 percent (strangely, Hispanics are a victim category but not a perpetrator category and are grouped with whites). This means blacks were 2.89 times more likely than whites (including Hispanics) to commit hate crimes. The greater likelihood of blacks to commit bias crimes is well known by disaffected whites but rarely reported otherwise.
Hate criminals are eligible for enhanced penalties because bias is thought to be particularly damaging to society. However, which did more harm to race relations: the 2,919 crimes officially designated as racial hate crimes in 2013 or the nearly 600,000 black/white violent crimes (and the 950,000 crimes involving other racial combinations) that were not so designated? Interracial violence can leave deep scars; it is little comfort to the victim that the rapist or mugger did not happen say “ni**er” or “spic” or “white motherfu**er.” In an era of what may be increasing racial tension it would make sense to consider adding enhanced penalties to all violence that crosses racial lines…
There were other reasons for Dylann Roof’s disaffection, and his rambling manifesto hints at some of them: Blacks are encouraged to be preoccupied with race and to advance their interests while whites are told they have no legitimate interests; immigration and demographic trends are reducing whites to a minority; the national enthusiasm for diversity means valuing every other group over white men; whites are treated as the villains of history and rarely credited for their contributions; there is strong evidence that races are different and unequal but scientists who study race risk their careers…
In 2009, Eric Holder called America a “nation of cowards,” because it refuses to talk about race. Five years later he repeated the charge. I suspect that Eric Holder would not consider anything in Dylann Roof’s manifesto a legitimate subject of conversation. I suspect he would be indignant at the idea that whites could have legitimate grievances. I’m sure many whites would agree. But if white grievance is ever laid to rest, it will be only through honest debate of the kind we do not have.
Rightly or wrongly, those grievances are spreading. Dismissing them as ignorance and silencing those who express them only drives them underground, where they feed bitterness and disaffection. It is my fervent desire that white grievance—real or imagined—never again erupt into murderous violence. But I fear that, though they may have good intentions, many of our political and media leaders are following a course that makes it more likely.