Last Sunday, a horrific mass shooting unfolded in Antioch, TN while the national media was consumed with covering the NFL protests and Hurricane Maria’s aftermath.
Emanuel Kidega Samson, a 25-year-old Sudanese refugee from Murfreesboro, entered the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in nearby Antioch, TN and gunned down 7 people. He shot Melanie Crow Smith in the back as she was walking to her car, turned her over and reportedly shot her execution-style “like she was a damn dog in his backyard.” She died instantly in the parking lot. Even though the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ is a multiracial congregation, all of the victims in Antioch were White.
By definition, a church shooting is highly suspicious, and even more suspicious when the suspect is black and all his victims were White. The national media, however, didn’t find what had happened in Antioch, TN as interesting as the Dylann Roof shooting in Charleston, SC. The relative silence was strange since the Antioch shooting immediately triggered a federal civil rights investigation. The local media also reported that federal investigators had reason to believe the civil rights of Emanuel Samson’s victims had been violated. In other words, it was highly likely that this shooting was motivated by race or religion even though Emanuel Samson’s motive was being kept under wraps by the police.
We now know the motive was retaliation for Charleston:
“NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
A note found in the car of a man charged with spraying deadly gunfire at a Tennessee church made reference to revenge for a white supremacist’s massacre at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, two years earlier, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.
The note could offer a glimpse into Emanuel Kidega Samson’s mindset at the time of Sunday’s shooting and a possible motive for the rampage, which killed a woman and wounded six other people. The Associated Press has not viewed the note, but it was summarized in an investigative report circulating among law enforcement. Two officials read to AP from the note.
The report said that “in sum and in no way verbatim,” the note referenced revenge or retaliation for Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine black worshippers at a South Carolina church in 2015 and has since been sentenced to death. It wasn’t clear what precisely Samson is alleged to have written about the Roof shooting, or whether his note contained other important details that might also speak to a motivation or state of mind.
The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to publicly discuss an ongoing investigation. Metro Nashville Police declined to comment, saying it had not released the information …”
This was a reverse Dylann Roof.
It was something that I suspected given the fact that Emanuel Samson was a Christian and Charles Johnson had uncovered evidence of his black supremacist sympathies:
“Even though Burnette Chapel Church of Christ is a multiracial congregation, the victims are all White people. The fact that the Department of Justice and FBI have opened a federal civil rights investigation suggests the victims in Antioch were targeted on the basis of race or religion. In light of the fact that Samson appears to be a Christian who once attended the church, this suggests the motive in Antioch was racial. We’re going to know a lot more about this very soon.
Charles Johnson has reviewed Samson’s Facebook account. There is strong evidence that he was interested in groups like the New Black Panthers. He was sharing videos like this. There is nothing on his social media accounts that suggests he was a Muslim …”
A few days ago, I told Michael Edison Hayden of Newsweek:
“Brad Griffin, an alt-right, self-described “southern nationalist” political organizer who goes by the alias “Hunter Wallace,” and has in the past called for the creation of a “Jew-free, White ethnostate” rejects this premise.
“It’s because the media wants to push narratives,” he says, arguing that the story has been deliberately buried by the press. “Editors in newsrooms don’t want to make black people look bad. Black people can only be portrayed as victims by the media.”
Griffin is among the many prominent voices in white nationalist circles calling the Antioch shooting a “reverse Dylann Roof” incident,” referring to Roof’s politically-motivated murder of nine black church goers in June of 2015. Johnson of GotNews also name-checked Roof in a conversation with me, saying that it was clear to him that Samson “was very pro-black” by his social media history, and adding that “if it were a white shooter with black victims it would be a very different story.
“People on Twitter often dictate what gets covered by the mainstream media,” Johnson quipped. …”
I flagged the story and drew a lot of attention to it on Twitter.
It was clear to me that something important had transpired in Antioch, TN. I couldn’t prove it without the letter, but now we have the equivalent of Roof’s manifesto. It’s even worse than that because what happened in Antioch wasn’t just similar to Charleston, but was inspired by the events there.
As it happens, I have spent the last month scouting locations for our next event, and had already zeroed in on Kentucky or Tennessee. By last weekend, the League of the South was already planning to hold an event in Middle Tennessee before the Antioch shooting happened. In 2013, we held a rally in Murfreesboro, TN and Shelbyville, TN to protest of all things the dumping of refugees in the area.
Who had the foresight to anticipate such a tragedy?
In Tennessee, the Confederate monument issue is muted because of the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, so we were mulling over other issues like, say, anger at Trump and Congress (Sudan was removed from the travel ban literally the day of the Antioch shooting) or spotlighting the refugee resettlement issue which we had previously drawn attention to in 2013.
And then … as if the Lord was aware of our intentions and has a higher purpose, Emanuel Kidega Samson, a 25-year-old Sudanese refugee, goes and does a reverse Dylann Roof in Antioch. I’m not going to say it is a sign, but I am not going to rule out the possibility either. Wow.