July 10, 2015 by Liberty
The comment said, “You’re completely ignoring the words he said. He said exactly why he did it.”
This comment attracted my attention. When an idea first attracts my attention I can rarely ever put my finger on exactly why. At first glance I wanted to agree with it. In the aftermath of Dylan Roof’s spree, tons of sources tried to answer the why question. I actively tried to avoid hearing news about the case and it still ended up getting pushed into my focus repeatedly.
Dylan Roof was, according to the limited sources I’ve referenced, a self-radicalized white supremacist. I tend to assume the words news stories use are exaggerations. That being said, he was apparently open about having plenty of racial motivations. Specifically I’ve heard claims that he said he wanted to start a race war. I don’t know if that’s a fair explanation of his claims. Quite frankly… if you finish reading this article you’ll hopefully understand why I really don’t care.
I cannot tell you why Dylan did what he did but I can guarantee you, it had almost nothing to do with the words that he said.
Post Hoc Logic
There was a study done on people with short term memory problems. The individuals were told to do something like point at the ceiling. The individuals would do as they’re told. After the subject forgot the reason they pointed at the ceiling the researchers would then ask them why they were pointing at the ceiling. The subjects regularly made up reasons like, “there was something up there,” or “I was stretching.” They rarely admitted that they didn’t know.
Even when a person has absolutely no reason for something, they will almost always give you a reason. Usually it will be a logically consistent reason. People are unbelievably good at coming up with reasons after something happens. Those reasons may be logical but they are not necessarily factual.
Dylan had connections to his idea before he committed his atrocities. Logically, he could be linked to this kind of a motivation but that does not mean that it was really his motivation. He was considered “too smart” by the people close to him. That just increases his capability at bullshitting reasons. (It’s why so many great “conspiracy theorists” are intellectual powerhouses. The smarter you are, the better you are at explaining away your stupid lizard brain.)
I say this only to introduce the possibility that he may not be completely forthcoming about his motivations. Not only that, he may be completely ignorant of his own motivations. If a guy says he ate a sandwich because he was hungry. That may or may not be true. He may not even know it. It could be purely emotional and not the slightest bit physical. For the most part, no one cares.
When someone suddenly decides to shoot a bunch of people putting their own life on the line, the idea that anyone knows their motivations should seem awfully sketchy. Hell… you know the old phrase, “I’m not racist. Some of my best friends are black.” Some of his best friends were black. Why weren’t they shot?
Smart People Know Better
The general assumption of the media is that this guy was smart. I don’t tend to believe criminals that are smart get caught but I’m sure it happens occasionally. Perhaps this was one of those cases.
If he was smart and cared to spread a race based civil war or his racist ideas, why the hell would he choose a shooting spree? It makes no sense.
There have been shooting sprees repeatedly. Have any of those shooting sprees ever led to any positive changes for any political movements? Did the woman hater suddenly cause women to change? Did the politician hater suddenly cause politicians to change? Did the liberal hater ever get liberals to change? No! In fact, I’m willing to bet the majority of these major killers have almost never got their manifestos read by receptive eyes. Most people reading them are morbidly curious or journalists (but I repeat myself.)
No one takes any of them seriously.
Why would this “smart” guy expect to have any real impact on race relations?
If he wanted to start a race based civil war then there were millions of smarter ways he could have done it. He could have dressed as a cop for that matter. He could have gathered a group of people to increase the odds. Nope… he just went on another pointless killing spree that, if anything, got everyone to rally against him instead of against each other…
The idea that he actually was trying to start some racially motivated problems is logically consistent with his past but doesn’t fit at all beyond an instant psychological breakdown.
Powderkegs – Culturally Acceptable
This is the standard example of a complete mess waiting to happen. It wasn’t inevitable but looking at his history, this shouldn’t catch anyone by surprise. He had huge family problems. He did drugs that were known to cause violent outbursts. He was notably weird by virtually everyone that chose to speak out about him.
None of this made him a killer but to suddenly dismiss all of these correlations with other killers is insane. I can’t say what motivated his killing but the idea that race had anything to do with it just looks bleaker and bleaker the more I hear about it. Race is the reason that was logically convenient and culturally acceptable.
By logically convenient, I mean, it’s a subject that he was apparently pretty well steeped into. That being said, if he was a classic tv fan, he might have just went and shot modern television stars to make his point. Would television be what everyone talks about? No… everyone would assume the dude was crazy and ignore his claimed motivations. That connects to culturally acceptable as well.
By culturally acceptable, I’m not saying that killing blacks is culturally good. I’m saying it’s something that culture accepts as a motivation. Shooting up television studios for the crap they produce today wouldn’t be culturally acceptable so he’d be considered crazy. Blacks, on the other hand, yea, he can somehow do that without everyone dismissing him as a complete whack off.
The media constantly categorizes these assholes. Some are crazy. Some are political extremists. Some are racists. Some are sexists. The media is just dying to fit each and every one of these stories into one it’s already designed niches. What did this guy do?
He actively participated in a niche. He was known to hate having pictures taken BUT he actively took pictures of himself at confederate (racist? I don’t care to find the right word. Pick what you like.) landmarks. His behavior discrepancy was a sign that he was marketing an idea from the get go. He prepared the media his whole story. He claims to have wanted to start racial problems while doing something that would definitely not cause a racial problems…
His reason is a ruse. It’s a distraction from something that should have been obvious to everyone around him. He marketed racism to everyone. The contradictions in his activities were countless. He wants everyone to think he’s a white supremacist with white supremacist motivations.
He wants no one to notice the fact that he’s just f**king nuts. Why he’s f**king nuts is the question everyone should be asking.