It’s yet another reminder that online hate has consequences. In a manifesto of sorts he posted before he shot and killed 9 black people in a Charleston church, Dylann Roof noted that he had learned his racism online. He even specified one of the hate sites that fuelled his hate: the Council of Conservative Citizens.
Now it appears he was also a regular commenter at The Daily Stormer, an especially vicious neo-Nazi “news” site.
In his manifesto, Roof wrote that he “was not raised in a racist home or environment.” As he explained, it was the Trayvon Martin case that
prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong.
After this terrible “discovery,” Roof wrote, “I researched deeper,” ultimately “[finding] out about the Jewish problem and other issues facing our race, and I can say today that I am completely racially aware.”
One of the places he conducted this “research” was, evidently, the Daily Stormer. A researcher at the Southern Poverty Law Center has discovered that a number of passages in Roof’s manifesto are virtually identical to comments left on The Daily Stormer by someone calling himself AryanBlood1488. It seems likely that this was Roof himself.
Just as Elliot Rodger seems to have picked up some of his misogynistic beliefs from PUAhate, a site whose best-known moderator at the time was a regular contributor to A Voice for Men, Roof seems to have picked up some of his “racial awareness” at The Daily Stormer, a site appealing to many of the same people — literally the same people — who regularly read and comment on popular “manosphere” sites like the proudly racist Chateau Heartiste and Roosh Valizadeh’s Return of Kings, which recently ran a long Naziesque screed, by Roosh himself, on the evils of “degenerate” and “cosmopolitan” Jews.
No, The Daily Stormer doesn’t see eye-to-eye on everything with pickup-oriented manospherans like Heartiste and Roosh; Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin thinks pickup artistry is “pure snake oil” and doesn’t consider Roosh to be sufficiently white. But he’s also praised Roosh’s “anti-Jew article” as “excellent.” As Anglin sees it, Roosh
no doubt sees which way the winds are blowing, and is attempting … to keep his media base in tact in the face of rising Nazism.
And it goes without saying that Anglin is as violently misogynistic as any of those I write about on this site; recent headlines on his site include Jew Announces a Bitch to be Featured on $10 Bill and God Should be a Bitch Says Church of England’s Slut Priestesses.
In the end, the various fine distinctions one can make between, for example, racist, misogynistic far-right hate sites that promote pickup artistry (like Chateau Heartiste) and racist, misogynistic far-right hate sites that don’t promote pickup artistry (like The Daily Stormer) seem less important than their innumerable similarities. They are all part of the same big ball of hate.
First Elliot Rodger, now Dylann Roof. In the past two years alone, two young men who read and commented on two specific hate sites I’ve written about on this blog have literally committed mass murders inspired by the hatreds they learned and developed online — and which they’ve spelled out clearly and unequivocally in manifestos they left behind.
Online hate has consequences in the real world. I can only hope that the authorities are paying attention.