On Tuesday it was announced that Dylann Roof, 22 would be sentenced to death for the June 2015 killings of nine black church goers at Emmanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Twelve jurors deliberated for three hours and came to an unanimous decision to impose the death penalty.
If there was any case in which the death penalty was deserved it would be this case, but what if the death penalty in this particular case would do more harm than good?
Dylann Roof is a known white supremacist. The hate crime he committed when he walked into Bible Study that faithful night was done in hopes of starting a race war. If you’ve read some of the details of that horrific night you’ll know that Roof was so evil that he “spared” the life of one of the attendees so that she could go and tell others what heinous of an act he had committed that night.
However, like any other martyr death is the ultimate price to pay to get the message across. Dylann Roof didn’t kill nine black people in a church by happenstance. He planned it he thought of the significance and the damage he would be inflicting not just on the Charleston community but on black people everywhere and he didn’t care for a second.
As part of his closing statement Roof acknowledged in some part the reason as to why he chose to take the lives of nine innocent people.
” ‘I think it’s safe to say that someone in their right mind wouldn’t go into a church and kill people,’ he said. ‘You might remember in my confession to the FBI I told them I had to do it. Obviously, that isn’t true because I didn’t have to do it. I didn’t have to do anything. But what I meant when I said that was I felt like I had to do that.’ …
Dylann Roof’s mission is only halfway complete as far as I’m concerned. Roof is a martyr and like with any other martyr the mission is only complete when you sacrifice your life for the cause at hand. The dirty little secret that many don’t want to admit or speak on is Roof’s cause.
Roof committed this act in the name of white supremacy and the state killing him would only further his mission of promoting white supremacy. Death in this instance might be far too easy of a punishment for such an evil person to have the benefit too.
Regardless of whatever ends up happening to Dylann Roof one thing that we should remember is that nine lives were lost that day and it’s those people we should continue to talk about and give headlines to, not a coward who can’t or won’t even admit fully why he decided to take nine innocent lives.
Quotes in this post from The Post and Courier