A conservative group released a statement defending Dylann Roof's 'legitimate grievances'

Earl Holt IIIScreenshotCouncil of Conservative Citizens president Earl Holt III

Less than a week after a lone gunman opened fire on worshippers at an historic black church in South Carolina, there has been extensive debate about the suspected shooter’s motives.

The basest of Dylann Roof’s convictions, by his own admission, are rooted in a deep hatred of black people, and now a national organisation has stepped up to defend him.

Mother Jones writer Allie Gross noted Sunday night that the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) defended the “legitimate grievances” that fuelled Roof’s rage.

As Roof, 21, shot and killed worshippers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, he also unleashed a verbal assault against black people who he believed were ushering in the downfall of American society.

Roof also made a reference to black-on-White crime, allegedly stating “you rape our women,” as he shot the church members who welcomed him into their sanctuary Wednesday night.

That statement is rooted in a belief held within some circles that, in cases of violent crime, Whites are disproportionately and specifically targeted by black people.

CCC president Earl Holt III issued a statement Sunday night condemning Roof’s rampage — but in the same sentence, stating “they do not detract … from the legitimacy of some of the positions he has expressed.”

Among the positions Roof shared on behalf of White supremacists he so closely identified with:

  • black people “rape our women”
  • black people are “taking over the country”
  • black people are “the real racists”
  • [black people] have to go

It’s important to note that the CCC is not specifically a White supremacist organisation, though it was founded by a confederation of segregationist groups, Mother Jones reports.

On Sunday, the Guardian reported that Holt has “given $US65,000 to Republican campaign funds in recent years,” including donations to a PAC representing Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), and donations to Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — all of whom are seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

The Guardian reports Cruz’s presidential campaign reps have since promised to return the money.

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