There was a disgusting and pathetic effort to spread the word that the murders of nine Black people in Charleston, South Carolina, wasn’t motivated by racism, but rather by the war on Christians that the right wing keeps complaining about. But now, I think most of us agree that the White terrorist who yelled “I’m here to shoot Black people” was probably motivated by racism.
Part of the effort to downplay the possibility of White racism was pointing out that Dylan Storm Roof had many Black friends on Facebook. All those Black friends might be vexing to some.
So I did what I could to look up the friends pictured in Gateway Pundit’s article “Weird… Half of Dylann Storm Roof’s Facebook Friends Are African-American”, and other sources, and of the few that still have their friends list open to the public, what I found was they have lots and lots of Facebook friends. They don’t live near Roof and don’t seem to have anything in common with him. They don’t even have a lot of White friends, but they do have one or two each. They don’t seem to be the kind of people who would turn down a friend request from anyone. Many also seem to have exactly the kinds of Facebook profiles that someone who hates Black people would use to justify their hatred.
Farah Stockman has a good take on Roof’s Black friends in the Boston Globe:
I couldn’t help but notice that Roof had a penchant for befriending black people who post over-the-top photos: One of his “friends” was a self-described rapper with a mouth full of gold teeth and a stack of $100 bills. Another worked at “X-Rated Mafia Records.” A third was a young black woman who posted numerous pictures of male genitalia, accompanied by belittling comments.
Dylan Storm Roof’s Black Friends were the closest thing to a shred of evidence suggesting that the attack on the AME church in Charleston was anything but a hate crime perpetuated by a White person against Black people, and yet the attempt to play down the racist motive was widespread. “Extraordinarily, they called it a hate crime,” said Fox News Host Steve Doocy.
Facebook friends are not real friends. Maybe it’s a little “Weird”, but it’s not shocking that a racist lunatic with a burning obsession with Black people would manage to become Facebook friends with large number of African Americans.
Update: I made a couple of changes within the first hour of posting, mostly to clean up poor structure. Also I added the information from the Boston Globe article.