All this does not mean that Italian fascism was tolerant. Gramsci was put in prison until his death; the opposition leaders Giacomo Matteotti and the brothers Rosselli were assassinated; the free press was abolished, the labor unions were dismantled, and political dissenters were confined on remote islands. Legislative power became a mere fiction and the executive power (which controlled the judiciary as well as the mass media) directly issued new laws, among them laws calling for preservation of the race (the formal Italian gesture of support for what became the Holocaust).
The Roof massacre was a shocking throwback to this country’s deplorable racial past. But the vast majority of whites have moved beyond that past. Most whites and most blacks wish only to be allowed to get along, outside enforced race consciousness. Pockets of virulent racial contempt still exist (as much among blacks as among whites), but they are irrelevant to the millions of individual behavioral choices that drive social and economic outcomes. It is understandable not just to interrogate the Roof atrocity but even to overreact to it; every mass killing over the last several years has provoked a similar overreaction to what are equally rare events. But to exploit the very real victimization of the Emanuel flock for an ideology of victimhood will only make progress in closing racial economic inequality more difficult.