Finding the root of evil

Dylann Roof killed nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., in June 2015.

It was more than just a killing — it was a ritualistic massacre of people participating in a Bible study at the historic church. The justification for their slaughter in Roof’s mind? The color of their skin.

As this is written on Wednesday, Roof’s trial has moved into the penalty phase. The purpose is to determine if Roof will face the death penalty for his conviction in this federal murder trial.

The prosecution introduced a “jailhouse journal” Roof has written since being incarcerated. In it, Roof made a stunning and callous admission:

“I do not regret what I did. I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.”

Roof refers to his victims as people of a “lower race “ and says he feels sorry for white children that have to grow up in this “sick” country.

Yet, in other parts of the journal he expresses love for his mother and is apologetic for any “repercussions” his actions will cause his family.

The anomalies in this young man’s mind need to be studied if we are ever to understand and prevent crimes like he committed. How was such hatred of black people born? Who taught him a philosophy of lower races? What nurtured the racism that became such an obsession?

Dylann Roof’s life is over whether he receives the death penalty or not. The only saving grace would be if a study of his story gave us the keys to stamp out such blind hatred.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.