Historian connects the dots between South Carolina's 'Confederate Memorial Day' and mass murderer Dylann Roof
Dylann Roof

South Carolina is celebrating "Confederate Memorial Day," a holiday in which government offices throughout the state are close in honor of the memory of Confederate soldiers who lost their lives during the American Civil War.

In an essay posted on his Civil War Memory Substack page, historian Kevin M. Levin excoriates the state for honoring soldiers who died for the cause of maintaining slavery in America -- and he links it to convicted mass murderer Dylann Roof, who in 2015 murdered nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston,

In his essay, Levin argues that Roof would have approved of the state honoring fallen Confederate soldiers, as evidenced by his manifesto that expressed a belief in the Southern "Lost Cause" mythology about the conflict.

In fact, writes Levin, a survey of locations that Roof visited in the leadup to his massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shows he was very attuned to the kind of narratives being pushed about the Confederacy with such memorial holidays.

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"The places that Roof visited reinforced an understanding of the war and Reconstruction as a necessary and even gallant attempt to defend white supremacy and the peaceful race relations that the institution of slavery supposedly guaranteed," argues Levin. "Roof didn’t conjure this interpretation out of thin air. This interpretation of the past has long been baked into the cultural and political landscape of South Carolina."

Levin credits South Carolina for removing the Confederate battle flag from state house grounds in 2015, but he thinks that the state has not moved fast enough to dismantle the false, romanticized depictions of the Confederacy that have hung over the South for decades.

Read the full essay at this link.