A reformed white supremacist reached out to Dylann Roof in a bid to offer him an alternative perspective on his racist viewpoints, but the convicted killer showed little remorse for his crimes and mocked him as a “traitor.”
“You couldn’t handle the mental stress that comes along with white nationalism, so you took the easy way out. But what is so disgusting about you is that rather than just leave white nationalism behind, you decided to devote your life to undermining your own race,” Roof wrote in his return letter to Christian Picciolini, per the Post and Courier.
Picciolini on Sunday is slated to be featured in a “60 minutes” report detailing his transformation from neo-Nazi — with hatred so intense that he committed violence against Jewish and black people — to a man who has counseled 200 some racists to change their own ways.
Picciolini said he wrote to Roof in hopes of offering him similar counseling. Roof however rejected him in a letter he penned while locked up in the Charleston County jail — just three months after a jury found him guilty of gunning down nine African-Americans at a Charleston church, according to the newspaper.
“I hope you know you are 100 times worse than the Jews you’ve surrouned yourself with,” Roof wrote in the April letter.
Picciolini, who now helps train law enforcement on the inner workings of the White Supremacist movement, said Roof’s note shows he has little remorse for his actions.
“That tells me he is completely indoctrinated by these alternative set of facts … pushed by a movement that puts all the blame on Jewish people,” he says in his “60 minutes” segment. “He’s been fed all of that (and) that’s become his reality.”
Picciolini also noted he wasn’t so different from Roof in his past. He spent eight years with the White Supremacist movement but eventually realized he could not find a reason for his hatred.
“The truth is, I’d never met or had a meaningful dialogue… with anybody that I thought I hated,” he said. “And when they took the step to try and reach me, the demonization of them that I had in my head started to crack.”