Courtesy of Media Matters for America, this article by New Republic compares and contrasts the media coverage of two explosive racially-motivated events, 52 years apart, by the National Review; the bombing of Birmingham, Alabama’s 16th St. Baptist Church in 1963 and the murder of 9 people at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charlotte, South Carolina this 2015 by Dylann Storm Roof. It begs to remember that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Both National Review’s 1963 theory that about a “crazed Negro” and Delgado’s notion that Roof doesn’t “look white” spring from a profound commitment to the myth of white innocence. The underlying idea is that white people have only good intentions, so horrific crimes like Birmingham in 1963 or Charleston in 2015 must somehow spring from another source, most likely a dark-skinned person.
Parallel to the idea that Roof is not white is the desire to deflect attention from Roof’s racist motivation in the church killing, the evidence for which has been steadily accumulating. “He was big into segregation and other stuff,” Roof’s roommate told ABC News. “He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself.”