Officials Say Charleston Shooter Confesses To 'Race War'

The shooter who gunned down nine parishioners at a historic Black church in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday night has confessed to the killings, according to news reports citing authorities who said he wanted to start a “race war.” Meanwhile, mainstream media is coming around to calling the incident an act of terrorism.

Dylann Roof, 21, opened fire at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church after sitting with the small bible study group for about an hour. While shooting the African-American congregants, authorities said, Roof apparently told them he was killing them because they were Black, saying, “You rape our women, and you’re taking over our country.”

In an interview with ABC News, Roof’s roommate said Roof “was big into segregation,” and was plotting his actions for six months. “I think he wanted something big like Trayvon Martin,” Joey Meek said. “He wanted to make something spark up the race war again.” Meek, however, never alerted authorities to his roommate’s plans.

Roof is due in court later today and has waived his right to counsel.

In response to a deluge of social media commentary arguing that the mainstream media often labels Muslim shooters as “terrorists,” Black shooters as “thugs” and white shooters as “mentally ill,” CNN this morning said it was taking an official position and calling Roof’s action an act of terrorism.

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart last night decided to open the show with “no jokes” and instead diving in to what he sees is part of the problem:

If this had been what we thought was Islamic terrorism … it’s “we’ve got to do whatever we can we’ll torture people! we’ve got to do whatever we can to keep Americans safe.” Nine people shot in a church, what about that “Hey, what are you gonna do, crazy is as crazy does.” That’s the part that I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around.

Stewart added that the racism is so blatant, yet ignored in some instances: “In South Carolina, the roads that Black people drive on are named for Confederate generals who fought to keep black people from being able to drive freely on that road. That’s insanity. That’s racial wallpaper. That’s you can’t allow that. The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina. And the roads are named for Confederate generals, and the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him.”

Social media was relentless in contrasting not only the coverage of this particular shooter, but also the way in which police handled the arrest:

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