My Thoughts on Dylann Roof’s Sentencing

In June 2015, my alter ego caught wind of the Charleston Massacre through a Facebook message. One of my friends said how there were police cars surrounding the old Emanuel A.M.E. Church that evening. I immediately knew something horrible happened, most likely a shooting – a fatal shooting.

Part of me hoped that it wasn’t another case of black folks acting gun crazy. I was relieved to later found it that the suspect was a white guy. But my heart plunged to discover that the victims were all black. I would’ve felt just as bad if the victims were of any other color. But hearing how it was a mass shooting of black churchgoers by one white guy opened up historic wounds.

I won’t go into much detail over the details. I’m confident you all know what went down that tragic night. So, I’ll fast forward to the present day when the court ruled that the man responsible is to be sentenced to death.

And so, here’s where I start contemplating the whole issue of Dylann Roof’s crime, his penalty and all things inside and out.

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a day where that one line from all of Dr. King’s numerous speeches is recited, broadcast, misinterpreted and misused ad nauseum where we’re told that he wished for a more or less colorblind society. But anyone who has read or heard more than just that ‘color of skin, content of character’ line learned that he was about way more. King was a revolutionary. A freedom fighter. He knew racism was a major problem in America at that time, and I’m sure he would feel no different if he were alive today.

Dr. King would observe the tragedy in Charleston and attest it as the extremism that racism brings. Uncontrolled white racial hatred is a lethal weapon whether it’s in the hands of people in white sheets, Confederate flag wavers suits with briefcases. It’s everywhere. It’s a matrix of oppression which kept unchecked will destroy lives year after year.

The Charleston Massacre took and ruined lives, but the violent racist mindset behind it has seriously messed up the man responsible. No, I’m not asking for sympathy, forgiveness or even mercy for Dylann Roof. After all, why should we go easy on him when he has taken nine lives without remorse? But I still have mixed feelings toward him getting the death penalty.

On one hand, he more than deserves it. An eye for an eye. But then again, how can a society teach that death is wrong when it kills people as punishment? Sending Roof to die seems too easy, if not costly.

I prefer that he suffers for the rest of his life somehow. I want him to wish he was dead. I desire him to be broken to the point where he’s the one pleading for forgiveness from the families he hurt.

Life or death, Roof is screwed either way. And at this point, hearing about his death sentence is poetic justice. He killed black folks, and the system that protects white folks will kill him, if it still plans on going through with it. Is it a step in the right direction towards healing? Maybe. Maybe not. But the shooting certainly didn’t quell the beast of white racial hatred. Be prepared for more victims to be devoured.


9 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Dylann Roof’s Sentencing

  1. The problem with white privilege is it enables the oppressor to overlook all the social advantages they possess. The last 600 years of history saw nothing but colonization, exploitation, and implementing social oppression. These people think they are mostly good people and will always. Good to themselves at least. You can’t negotiate with a legion of narcissistic sociopaths… And most are. I’m sorry.

  2. The past affects the future. For those that don’t see the history of colonization to what entitlements Dylan Roof felt he had to inherit and preserve, then think again. I know the self-righteous would not like to comprehend cause and effect so I won’t even bother explaining.

    1. When it comes to the privilege mindset, causation never counts as to why the underprivileged are at the bottom. They believe in nonsense from laziness to genetics and never account themselves in helping to keep others down. The funny thing is that they believe the oppressed should work harder, but when one does succeed, they suspect he or she got a hand out.

  3. And yes Brothawolf for the sake of humility you have to be the better person. Like President Obama stated in his farewell speech. The middle age white guy (entitled person of white privilege) needs to be cared to as well, He had his whole world flipped upside down. There needs to be a red carpet for ‘estranged’ White Americans and if their children turn out like Dylan Roof its for “the Others” (People of Color) to blame.

  4. I remembered reading a year old THE ROOT article about MLKjr on how would her feel about ?( fill in the issue). The writer of the article went on to say ” Let’s stop imaging what he would have thought”.

    Back then ,I got what she was saying,but its normal to imagine things in which I also do from time. We may never know what MLK would have done but one thing we all can theorize is that he would not agree with Donald Trump or what the GOP is doing.

    More than likely MLK would not support his bigotry in no kind of way.For him to insult John Lewis,his district on MLK weekend tell you a whole lot about his mindset.( BTW Don’t let Trump fool you about his district. got some rough spots in it,but there is a lot of beauty in it as well. Huffington post may show u the diverse parts of Johns district, but it would be nice if they can also show those upper middle classhomes in the Black area. For a district to be ” falling apart ” property values..whether in the White,Black or other non Black communities are going )up. So much for his crumbling community assessment.. lol! I also live in Johns district.I’m doing just fine in my hood, but I’ve been to my grandparents upper class community where its too TOO quiet. I had to quit my first job in another ” safe ” White community because of too many robberies and a murder. Not all White neighborhoods are safe and not all Black communities are unsafe. Most of the Black ones I know will look out for another safe or unsafe.

    Some say that Dr.King was a Republican. Yes he was,but he was also a guy of common sense . He didn’t do things by party lines,he did it by his heart because he cared about people. Coretta supported gay rights,what does that tell the least with Coretta about their thoughts?

    The GOP shouldn’t talk about how MLK would feel about the freedomfighters of today. Rest been said,they can’t talk about how he would feel when they are the ones that had him killed.

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