Over the weekend, leftist politicians and the media blamed the racist terror attack by 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof against a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina on conservatives across America.
Never mind that conservatives universally abhorred the attacks and immediately called for Roof to fry.
Never mind that not a single conservative could be found who would think of offering any defense of Roof (unlike the various members of left who will defend looters and rioters from Baltimore to Ferguson, or murderers like Mumia Abu Jamal).
The right had to be to blame for Roof, because in the view of the left, the right’s deep-seated racism longs for dead innocents in black churches. The same left that will insist that Muslim terror attacks inside the United States are all “lone wolf” attacks, even if those “lone wolves” have outside connections to terror organizers, says that Roof must be the ideological offspring of Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh – without evidence, naturally.
South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn told NBC’s Meet The Press that the “right-wing drift in the country” was responsible for the shooting. He specifically blamed the “discussion about the Confederate battle flag” – even though the Confederate battle flag was utilized in recent times as an openly racist symbol by Southern Democrats, and has been invoked by the left’s most beloved Southern Democrats as well, from Bill Clinton to Jimmy Carter to Jimmy Carter’s grandson just last year in his Georgia gubernatorial race.
South Carolina House minority leader J. Todd Rutherford told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Fox News was responsible for Roof’s racism:
It’s really hate speech and coded language and leads people to believe they can walk into a church, because it’s no longer a house of God; it’s a killing ground. It’s a place that they can feel free to desecrate and leave blood everywhere, and that’s what this man did. And he did so on some ill-gotten belief, on some wrong belief that it’s okay to do that. He hears that, because he watches the news and he watches things like Fox News, where they talk about things that they call news, but they’re really not. They use that coded language, they use hate speech, they talk about the president as if he’s not the president. They talk about churchgoers as if they’re not really churchgoers. And that’s what this young man acted on.
There is no evidence Roof watched Fox News. In fact, the only person central to the Dylann Roof story who watched Fox News is Debbie Dills, who spotted Roof’s car and called the police, ending in his arrest. Nonetheless, the distasteful Bill Maher blamed Matt Drudge, Fox News, and Matt Lewis of The Daily Caller for Dylann Roof:
We can never know why someone snaps, but I bet you I know where he got is news. I looked at your website the last week. There were a lot of stories about black people. A lot of stories. Same with Matt Drudge. I think they present a really twisted view. I’m not surprised this guy thought “they’re taking over the country.”
He then said the government had droned Anwar Al-Awlaki for driving terrorism through rhetoric, so why not Fox News? Explaining basic logic to those with IQs approximately equivalent to their height in inches may be a waste of time, particularly with regard to the dwarfish Maher, but here goes: Al-Awlaki openly called for terrorism, whereas Fox News and Matt Drudge simply report and highlight actual news incidents. Even Maher was forced to concede the stupidity of his argument when Lewis highlighted the fact that Maher had produced an anti-religious documentary, but that he should not be blamed for anti-religious secularists attacking churches.
In fact, if there is one fact we know clearly about Dylann Roof, it is that he was a lone wolf in the truest sense of the term. Roof considered himself alone, acting out of complete inability to find anyone with whom to connect. “You rape our women and you’re taking over the country,” Roof reportedly said as he murdered his victims at AME. In his reprehensible and disgusting manifesto, Roof wrote:
I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.
Roof saw himself as an aberration in the same South condemned as massively racist by leftists across America. As an overt and evil racist, Roof would presumably be better situated to identify the level of such racism in Southern society – and he couldn’t find anyone with whom to work. In the land of Confederate flags and war memorials and Fox News, according to the left, such racists should have grown on trees; instead, Roof said he could only act alone.
Racism exists in America; in a diverse, free society, evil views always have room to persist. But the notion that Dylann Roof’s acts are indicative a broader and deeper racism for which all of white America or conservative America should be held responsible is false and despicable.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.