Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who murdered nine people at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was found guilty last month and now awaits his sentencing. Reporting on a hearing yesterday, this was the New York Times' headline: "Dylann Roof, Addressing Court, Offers No Apology or Explanation for Massacre."
Within the article, there is this:
Any prospects for mercy by the jury had perhaps already been drained by the prosecution's disclosure, in its opening statement, of a white supremacist manifesto written by Mr. Roof in the Charleston County jail sometime in the six weeks after his arrest.I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed. ...I have shed a tear of self-pity for myself.
"I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did," he wrote in his distinctive scrawl. "I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed."
Mr. Roof, who was then 21, continued: "I do feel sorry for the innocent white children forced to live in this sick country and I do feel sorry for the innocent white people that are killed daily at the hands of the lower race. I have shed a tear of self-pity for myself. I feel pity that I had to do what I did in the first place. I feel pity that I had to give up my life because of a situation that should never have existed."
While the Times' headline is technically correct in that Roof offered no explanation while addressing the court, the excerpt entered from his manifesto is, in fact, an explanation—whether the Times wants to construe it thus or not.
Shedding no tears for his victims while shedding a tear of self-pity is as perfect and terrible an explanation of violent white supremacy as I've ever heard.
[Commenting Note: Though the referenced hearing concerned itself in part with Roof's mental competency, discussion of his mental health is not on-topic for this thread. Or any other thread in this space.]