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It really is OK to say that the massacre of nine African Americans in their church was a racially motivated hate crime. How do we know? Because Dylann Roof, the confessed murderer, said so. There's no need to speculate about what, besides race, might have motivated him to join a Bible study group for an hour, at the historical Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night, and then shoot almost everyone dead, gladly leaving a survivor to tell the world what he'd done and why. Race is the answer, according to the guy who did it. Asked and answered, the end.


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Unless you are Jeb Bush, and you are easily confused by super simple questions to which there is only one very obvious answer:

This was after Bush addressed the Faith and Freedom Coalition summit Friday morning, where he declared that Roof's motivation remained a real mystery:

"I don't know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who committed these atrocious crimes," Bush said in his remarks. "But I do know what was in the heart of the victims."

How Bush knows what was in the "heart" (the one shared heart, we guess?) of the victims, but not the heart of their murderer, is a real mystery to us. He told Huffington Post reporter Laura Bassett that he "doesn't know what the background of it is," so obviously he cannot conclude that it's a racially motivated hate crime. You gotta judge that for yourself, based on the flimsy circumstantial evidence that people who know him have said he is a fan of segregation, and his car has Confederate flag plates, and he wore the white supremacist flag of Rhodesia on his jacket -- and oh yeah, he told law enforcement officials he wanted to kill black people to start a race war.

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Bush might not know the details, or whether this crime, which he admits is hateful, has anything to do with race, but he does know how we as a nation can heal from this tragedy:

"In times like these, in times of great of national mourning, people of faith, all of us must come together and at least reflect on this and fortify our strength and love of Christ, love of God to be able to continue to go forth."

Really? People of all faiths should come together to love Christ, huh? Hey, what was that stuff Jeb's been saying lately about religious freedom? Oh yeah. Same thing they all say: You have the freedom to worship any god you want, as long as it's Jesus. That's the only way to mourn here in the land of the free. And while he doesn't know whether it's safe to call a racist crime a racist crime -- even though the killer himself has said that's what it is -- Jeb's quite certain he can speak for the dead.

Christ, what an asshole.

[Laura Bassett / TPM / HuffPo]

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