The white supremacist terrorist who shot and killed nine parishioners in Charleston was radicalized by a racist hate group thatÂ Family Research Council president Tony Perkins addressed in 2001.
Saturday a website surfaced that isÂ believedÂ to belong to Dylann Roof, the man who has confessed to killing nine parishioners at a Black church in Charleston. On the site is Roof’s “manifesto” â€“Â for lack of a better term â€“Â a statement of his racist beliefs.
“The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case,”Â Roof says. “It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right.”
He continues, writing that that discovery, “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. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?”
TheÂ Council of Conservative Citizens, designated a racist white nationalistÂ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has nearly two dozen chapters across the United States. And it has its own “manifesto,” with statements like, “We believe the United States is a Christian country,” “The traditional family is the basic unit of human society,” and, “We believe the United States is a European country and that Americans are part of the European people.”
Under some of those beliefs, theÂ Council of Conservative Citizens states:
“We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called ‘affirmative action’ and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.”
“We believe in the traditional family as the basic unit of human society and morality, and we oppose all efforts by the state and other powers to weaken the structure of the American family through toleration of sexual licentiousness, homosexuality and other perversions, mixture of the races, pornography in all forms, and subversion of the authority of parents.”
TheÂ Southern Poverty Law Center on Saturday responded to the discovery of Roof’s website. In, “Charleston shooterâ€™s manifesto reveals hate group helped to radicalize him,” SPLC president Richard Cohen points to the 21-year old racist’s explanation of how he came to his beliefs, commenting, “Weâ€™re not surprised.” The SPLC also separately calls the Council of Conservative Citizens “Dylann Roofâ€™s Gateway Into The World Of White Nationalism.”
Nor should we be surprised that theÂ Southern Poverty Law Center has meticulously documented the actionsÂ of the Council of Conservative Citizens and the ties itÂ has to almost two dozen politicians, almost entirely Republican politicians.
Then there are the ties the Council of Conservative Citizens has to Tony Perkins.
Today, Perkins is the president of the anti-gay hate groupÂ Family Research Council. He has intimate access to the media, mostly via Fox News, although it’s not uncommon to see him on other cable news networks, speaking against equality and for conservative “family values,” which in reality are neither.
Perkins espouses lies, like, as GLAAD reports, “gay young people ‘have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict; homosexuals may recognize intuitively thatÂ their same-sex attractions are abnormal.‘”
But before that, Perkins from 1996 to 2004 was a Louisiana State Representative.
The SPLC reports that “in 2001, Perkins was photographed addressing a gathering of the white supremacistÂ Council of Conservative Citizens. The group, a direct descendent of the segregationist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s, has called African Americans a â€œretrograde species of humanity.â€ Perkins, who later denied knowledge of the groupâ€™s racist views, spoke in front of a Confederate flag (seen here, courtesy ofÂ Right Wing Watch).”
â€” Capital T Capital J (@Goatyeah) June 21, 2015
ThatÂ Right Wing WatchÂ article includes the image of Perkins, and reports on his speech, at which Perkins claims heÂ “cannot remember speaking.”
Media Matters reports on an article in which Perkins “said he wasn’t aware of” theÂ history of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which, given Perkins ties to KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, seems unlikely.
Joe JervisÂ notes “the CCC calls LGBT Americans ‘perverted sodomites.’ The SPLC also notes that the membership rolls of the Council Of Conservative Citizens ‘overlap greatly’ with those of the League Of The South, the racist group which recentlyÂ distributed signsÂ at an Alabama anti-gay marriage rally addressed by Roy Moore, whose return to the Alabama Supreme Court was bankrolled by the League’s former president.”
It was just a few short years ago that politicians, mostly Republican politicians, believedÂ that racist views, like anti-gay views, were not only perfectly acceptable, but moral, even biblical.
On issues of equality, be it for Blacks or LGBT people, there’s never a question between what’s right and what’s wrong.
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MN Police Officer Sentenced 3.5 Years for Death of George Floyd
Former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Keung has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for aiding and abetting manslaughter in the death of Black city resident George Floyd.
Keung, age 29, had accepted a plea deal in order to avoid an additional charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder. His guilty plea acknowledged that the restraining holds used by police on Floyd were excessive and likely to cause serious harm.
Video of Floyd’s May 25, 2020 murder at the hands of city police captured footage of Keung kneeling on Floyd’s back while another officer knelt of the man’s neck. for over nine minutes, officers applied pressure to Floyd while he laid face down in the street, crying and telling officers that he couldn’t breathe while also calling out for his mother.
Video of Floyd’s murder sparked international outrage and inspired protests against institutional racism and police brutality.
Keung is the fourth and final police officer to receive prison time for his role in Floyd’s death. He will serve his new sentence and a federal sentence for Floyd’s death concurrently, serving a total of about 2 1/2 years for the killing.
Virginia Republican Files Bill Defining a Fertilized Egg as a Human
Virginia State Delegate Marie March (R) has pre-filed House Bill 1395, a law that would define life as beginning at fertilization.
“Life begins at conception and each person is accorded the same rights and protections guaranteed to all persons by the Constitution of the United States,” the proposed bill states.
The proposed bill would effectively outlaw all abortions in the state and even endanger the use of Plan B (aka. “The morning-after pill”), a medication that prevents fertilized egg cells from attaching to a woman’s uterine wall.
The bill could also effectively criminalize in vitro fertilization, a method of inducing pregnancy that uses fertilized eggs and discards any unused ones.
Even though Republicans control the state’s House of Delegates, it’s unclear if the bill would have any chance of passing the state’s Democratic-led Senate. The legislature won’t reconvene until January 11, 2023.
Virginia currently allows a woman to get an abortion within roughly 26 weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has proposed passing a law that would reduce that window to 15 weeks, a period of time in which most women may not even realize they’re pregnant.
In response to March’s bill the Virginia Reproductive Equity Alliance said in a statement, “In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and despite the vast majority of Virginians who oppose it, Virginia’s anti-abortion elected officials keep proving there are no limits to their extremism and true intentions to ban abortion for all Virginians.”
Georgia GOP Says Its Voting Restrictions “Backfired” & Helped Dems Win Senate Seat
When two Republicans lost Georgia’s special runoff senate elections in January 2021, state Republicans in the General Assembly re-wrote voting laws to restrict absentee ballots and give voters fewer days to vote in future runoff elections.
However, after Republicans lost yet another runoff election for Georgia’s Senate seat — with Herschel Walker losing to his Democratic competitor, Rev. Raphael Warnock, earlier this month — state Republicans want to re-re-write the rules, hopeful of a more favorable outcome.
Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), the official who oversees the state’s voting procedures, said he plans on giving three proposals to lawmakers when they return to the General Assembly in January.
“[The proposals] include forcing large counties to open more early-voting locations (in an attempt to reduce the hours-long lines some voters waited in) … lowering the threshold candidates must achieve to avoid a runoff from 50 percent to 45 percent; and instituting a ranked-choice instant-runoff system that would not require voters to come back to the polls again after the general election,” The New York Times reported.
To be clear, it’s unclear whether these changes would’ve helped Walker win. But they stand in contrast to the changes state Republicans made to voting laws following their failed January 2021 Senate runoff ambitions.
The changes after that time severely restricted the types of people eligible to receive an absentee ballot. While 24 percent of the January 2021 vote came via mail-in absentee ballots, the rule changes resulted in 5 percent of mail-in votes coming in for the January 2022 runoff.
Republicans also lowered the number of in-person early voting days to five (though the rule change allowed counties to add extra days.) The Times found that 28 of Georgia’s 159 counties opted to add extra in-person early voting days — 17 of the counties that did largely backed Warnock while 11 backed his challenger.
Before the recent run-off election, Raffensperger also tried to enforce a state law forbidding in-person early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. However, Warnock successfully sued to prevent the law from going into effect.
Overall, the changes may have “backfired,” Republicans told The Times, actually encouraging Democratic voters to come out in greater numbers.
While Republicans point to the large turnout of runoff voters as “proof” that their changes didn’t discourage voting, Warnock’s campaign criticized the changes, saying that such restrictions shouldn’t make it harder for people to vote in the first place.
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