Charleston shooting: Leader of group cited in ‘Dylann Roof manifesto’ donated to top Republicans
Why is that conservative Republicans have been twisting themselves into political pretzels trying to avoid saying that the massacre by 9 innocents in a church in Charleston was racist when shooter Dylann Roof is clearly a self-avowed racist? That has been a lingering question. Now the Guardian reports that some key Republicans were getting campaign donations from the leader of the group cited in Roof’s hate-filled (against many groups, not strictly blacks) online “manifesto” gave money to some key Republican conservatives. This comes via The Guardian:
The leader of a rightwing group that Dylann Roof allegedly credits with helping to radicalise him against black people before the Charleston church massacre has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republicans such as presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum.
Earl Holt has given $65,000 to Republican campaign funds in recent years while inflammatory remarks – including that black people were “the laziest, stupidest and most criminally-inclined race in the history of the world” – were posted online in his name.
After being approached by the Guardian on Sunday, Cruz’s presidential campaign said it would be returning all money the senator had received from Holt.
Holt, 62, is the president of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), a Missouri-based activist organisation cited by the author of a manifesto-style text that was posted on a website registered in Roof’s name along with photographs of the gunman. The FBI said on Saturday it was investigating the website.
The manifesto’s author, who has been widely reported but not verified as Roof, recounted learning about “brutal black on white murders” from the CofCC website.
“At this moment I realised that something was very wrong,” the manifesto said.
Roof, 21, is charged with the murders of nine black people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last Wednesday. He is accused of joining a bible study group before opening fire and fleeing.
In a statement published on Sunday, Holt said it was “not surprising” that Roof was apparently informed by the group’s website as it reported race relations “accurately and honestly”. However, he added: “The CofCC is hardly responsible for the actions of this deranged individual merely because he gleaned accurate information from our website.”
And that has also been akin to how some conservative Republicans have reacted: it’s all about someone who’s deranged and mentally ill and if some of these conservative Republicans were tortured at Guantanamo or forced to listen to 20 hours of Justin Bieber music you still could not get them to flatly say about Roof: he was a racist and he murdered people because he hated black people due to their race (which is what Roof even is reported to have said as he was mercilessly snuffing out lives.)
And it’s an almost cult like process: some politicians or talk show hosts pick up a line that the MAJORITY of Americans know is this and it then becomes a line used on websites, on comments and on facebook.
But it is just that: a line. And sometimes even “line” without the “n.”
Holt has since 2012 contributed $8,500 to Cruz, the Texas senator running for the Republican presidential nomination, and his Jobs, Growth and Freedom Fund political action committee, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. On some filings Holt’s occupation was listed as “slumlord”.
He has also given $1,750 to RandPAC, the political action committee of Paul, the Kentucky senator and presidential contender, and he gave $2,000 to the 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney.
A further $1,500 was donated by Holt to Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and 2012 Republican presidential primary runner-up, who is running for president again in the 2016 race and attended Sunday’s memorial service at Emanuel AME Church.
In response to questions from the Guardian, Rick Tyler, a spokesman for Cruz, said in an email: “Upon review, we discovered that Mr Holt did make a contribution. We will be immediately refunding the donation.”
Already some of the folks who received the donations are scrambling to do damage control and give the money back. But would they have given the money back if they had simply learned about the group and there had not been a massacre?
Just don’t expect them to make flat declarations that this was a racist crime. And don’t expect those who support them in this little but significant and revealing word game to try and avoid characterizing this as a racist massacre to admit that these politicians are committing an act of political cowardice that dishonors the African-Americans who were terrifyingly butchered due to their race.
Roof wasn’t there to kill Christians.
He wasn’t there because he was a random nutcase who just happened to walk into a church filled with African-Americans who had the bad luck to be there when he randomly opened their door.
He planned a RACIST campaign and like the Nazis proudly used the word “racist” suggesting there’s nothing wrong for being one because it’s defense of Your Pure Group.
He was there to kill black people — and he was imprinted not just by Holt’s group but by a culture than enables, encourages, and foments feelings of hatred and resentment on so many on many fronts to get people to listen to radio shows, watch tv, go to websites and blogs and donate to causes or buy products.
The candidates now returning the money seem more like when you pick up a rock and little bugs come scurrying out when they see someone sees what’s under the rock.
Take bets now as to whether you think the word games will end and you won’t hear candidates afraid of losing votes in Southern state primaries — or losing donations — will flatly characterize the murders as racist hate crimes.
But if you’re betting they will, here’s a bit of advice:
It might be wise not to bet your house.
— Vida Politica (@LaVidaPolitica) June 22, 2015
— Gary Denton (@EasterLemming) June 22, 2015
Republicans quickly returning donations from Earl Holt III, leader of the hate group Council of Conservative Citizens, cited by Dylan Roof.
— James Brickhouse (@JustABrick) June 22, 2015
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) June 22, 2015
— Anthony Kennerson (@AJK_RGClub) June 22, 2015
Checkout: http://t.co/fKU593s7Be This is relevant because? ?? New York Times suggests bc Holt III donated to Republicans, they're racist?
— Andy Talley (@Ih8suicidebomrs) June 22, 2015
Has Mark Halperin said yet that reports on the many donations to Republicans by Earl Holt of the CofCC are bad news for Hillary Clinton?
— Steve M. (@nomoremister) June 22, 2015