Dylann Roof's massacre has, predictably, resulted in the usual cries of "false flag." The accusation loses all impact when it becomes pro-forma and inevitable. Predictability breeds contempt.
This conspiracy theorist
cried "Photoshop!" upon sight of the widely-reproduced photo of Roof wearing clothing that bears images of the flags of old South Africa and Rhodesia. No, it isn't
Photoshop. Think about it: References to Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa are rather abstruse in the modern context. Journalists covering this story have felt compelled to offer explanations as to how Rhodesia was once run, because most Americans under the age of 30 simply do not know the history. (I'm a little surprised by the fact that Dylann did
I doubt that any forger would have used such an obscure reference. A forger would have been more likely to slap a confederate flag or a swastika onto Roof's clothing. You want to paint someone as a bad guy? Wrap him in a swastika. Instantly comprehensible. Works every time.
And then we have this
supposedly damning bit of information:
Dr Norvel Goff, a senior African Methodist Episcopal pastor, gave this description of the shooting after meeting families and the mayor:
"He [the gunman] walked in, from my understanding, not so much as a participant but a brief observer, who then stood up and started shooting."
is supposed to be evidence of conspiracy? Seriously?
Am I the only one who recalls the days when paranoid folk still felt compelled to come up with actual evidence?
Here comes the Reddit brigade
I promise you people this is a false flag. The president commenting on how easily this guy got a gun, and the story that he "was there to shoot black people", and the fact that his facebook page was created just this year, and that many of his 80 friends on fb are black. It just so happens that the only pictures this guy has available anywhere on the internet show him with racist images in the picture. Finally, this image aledgedly shows him walking into the church at 8:16pm. Now the story they are telling us is that he sat in the church during the meeting for at least an hour before shooting people. This would mean that the shootings happened after 9:16 pm which is not what we are being told. Anyhow, I will let you decide, but I am convinced this is bullshit. 9 people die in a shooting at a black church in SC in one night, and Obama is on tv peddling gun control. 9 people are killed in Chicago and it's called Tuesday night.
What awe-inspiring scholarship! Peter Dale Scott would bow his head in deep respect.
Okay, let's talk seriously: According to ABC News
, Roof walked into the church at 8:16 and began shooting shortly after 9 pm. Normal people would conclude that he probably spent that time steeling his resolve. Only the wackiest sort of conspira-goon would argue that the "quiet hour" somehow indicates that the Illuminati were behind this scheme.
Look, folks: When conspiracism becomes a morbid game -- a game in which players are encouraged to toss out wild suppositions without any regard for proof or logic -- great injury is done to the credibility of anyone who questions mainstream opinion on any
topic. Even in areas were the questions are legitimate, the questioner looks foolish. Personally, I disagree with many of the things that the mainstream media has told us about Russia and Syria, and I also happen to be an old-school critic of the Warren Commission. Lemme tell ya: The nutcases quoted above don't make my work any easier.
The conspiracy theory subculture has become a toxic wasteland. In fact, I would go so far as to say that modern conspiracy buffs have become tools of the Establishment (if I may resurrect that useful '60s term). Their function is to make dissent look like lunacy.
Is Graham crackers?
My favorite Theory of Roof comes from the ever-delightful Lindsey Graham
“There are real people who are organized out there to kill people in religion and based on race, this guy’s just whacked out,” he said. “But it’s 2015. There are people out there looking for Christians to kill them.”
Dig it: In Lindsey-vision, Roof wasn't out to kill black people. He was out to kill Christians
-- because everyone knows that there are soooooo many people roaming our streets looking to plug any and all lovers of Jesus.
Does loony Lindsey really believe
this nonsense? Or is he cynically playing to the sicko persecution fantasies of the fundamentalist crowd?