On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump took the stage at his eponymous tower in New York City and announced his bid for the White House. His message was clear. “The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everyone else’s problems,” Trump said.
A day later, in South Carolina, 21-year-old Dylann Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, where members were holding Bible study. Using a .45-caliber Glock handgun and eight magazines of ammunition, Roof shot and killed nine people, including the pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was also a state senator. Before he arrived at the church, Roof posted a manifesto on his website, a racist tirade that expressed his motives. His message was also clear. “Integration has done nothing but bring Whites down to level of brute animals,” wrote Roof.
Indeed, when read together, Trump’s announcement and Roof’s manifesto offer a duet in racial grievance.