The racially motivated killings of nine worshipers at a black church in Charleston, S.C., by a 21-year-old white supremacist are illustrative of the "growing globalization of white nationalism," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s
Morris Dees and J. Richard Cohen, the organization’s founder and president, respectively.
"The days of thinking of domestic terrorism as the work of a few Klansmen or belligerent skinheads are over," warn Dees and Cohen in an op-ed published in The New York Times.
"We know Islamic terrorists are thinking globally, and we confront that threat. We’ve been too slow to realize that white supremacists are doing the same."
The symbols donned by the accused Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof —
patches of South African and Rhodesian regimes during a time of "brutally enforced white minority rule," and a litany of photos displaying the Confederate flag —
combined with a 2,500-word manifesto calling on whites to take "drastic action," are just a couple of the red flags pointing to Roof’s white supremacist beliefs.
Mother Jones reports
that the white supremacy group Council of Conservative Citizens —
the website Roof purportedly used as a resource to glean much of the information in his manifesto —
has issued a statement defending Roof’s "legitimate grievances" but condemning his "murderous actions."
"Our society's silence about [such] crimes—despite enormous amounts of attention to 'racially tinged' acts by whites—only increase the anger of people like Dylann Roof," the Council of Conservative Citizens writes, according to Mother Jones. "This double standard only makes acts of murderous frustration more likely
[emphasis theirs]. In his manifesto, Roof outlines other grievances felt by many whites. Again, we utterly condemn Roof’s despicable killings, but they do not detract in the slightest from the legitimacy of some of the positions he has expressed."
Far-right domestic terrorism," like the Charleston shootings, needs to be viewed in the same "international dimension" as Islamic terror, Dees and Cohen write, adding that blaming multiculturalism for undermining the "white race" is occurring well beyond the United States.
"Europe has also seen the rise of a powerful, far-right political movement that rejects multiculturalism. The anti-Semitic Jobbik Party in Hungary and the neo-fascist Golden Dawn in Greece are prime examples. In Germany, there has been a series of murders by neo-Nazis. Britain, too, is experiencing an upswing of nationalist, anti-immigrant politics.
"The message of white genocide is spreading. White nationalists look beyond borders for confirmation that their race is under attack, and they share their ideas in the echo chamber of racist websites."
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