Friday, March 15, 2019

Now New Zealand: Murderer's Manifesto Proclaims Trump as "Symbol of Renewed White Identity and Common Purpose"

Things I've read this dark morning that are illuminating, and which I want to pass on to you:

In the rambling manifesto, he claimed that he donated to white supremacist groups and said he idolized American mass shooters.

A man identifying himself as a suspect in the Christchurch mosque attacks published a "manifesto" outlining his motivations in which he espoused far-right and anti-immigrant ideology. 
The man says he is called Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old born in Australia. The 74-page document, called The Great Replacement, consists of a rant about white genocide and lists various aims, including the creation of “an atmosphere of fear” against Muslims. 

The white-supremacist manifesto is entited "The Great Replacement," and justifies the murder of dozens of people by saying Muslims should be terrorized, since they and other immigrants are trying to "replace" white people.

It should not be forgotten that the tiki-torch-carrying white goons in Charlottesville shouted that they would not be replaced.

The claim that darker-skinned people are trying to "replace" white people has deep roots in the history of many cultures, including the U.S., where it was circulated by anti-immigrant nativists in the first part of the 20th century. The ideas of Americans decrying immigration and "replacement" of white people by darker-skinned ones then caught the attention of Hitler and were used in his holocaust of the Jewish people. 

The self-proclaimed racist who attacked a New Zealand mosque conducting Friday prayers during an assault that killed 49 people opened fire with rifles covered in white-supremacist graffiti and listened to a song glorifying a Bosnian Serb war criminal.

Despite the location of the shooting, the United States is at the center of the manifesto. The shooter spends a great deal of his 74 pages talking about "threats to the electoral college" and his desire to "end the melting pot” by "balkanizing" the United States “along political, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines.” In his rant, he repeats phrases and themes from both Trump and American white nationalists, focusing on the Second Amendment as a primary divide in American culture. The shooter also throws out other familiar right-wing phrases, from his concern that  "taxation is theft" to his discussion of "demographic change" in Texas that will lead whites to start a civil war. 
There is also a section on how to deal with immigration that seems to come from the Trump playbook: "Few parents, regardless of circumstance, will [be] willing to risk the lives of their children, no matter the economic incentives. Therefore, once we show them the risk of bringing their offspring to our soil, they will avoid our lands." One whole section of the manifesto is titled "Diversity is weakness." 
The theme of dividing the U.S. along racial lines reoccurs repeatedly in the manifesto. The shooter states that he deliberately chose to use firearms rather than bombs specifically to create more anger over gun violence in hopes of spurring the fight over the Second Amendment and driving a wedge through America. 

Andy Ostroy is reacting to the choice of the man in the U.S. White House to tweet a link to the xenophobic, anti-Islamic Breitbart site after the New Zealand shootings occurred — not to tweet concern for those murdered: 

Americans want to believe that the surge in white-supremacist violence and recruitment—the march in Charlottesville, Virginia, where neo-Nazis chanted "Jews will not replace us"; the hate crimes whose perpetrators invoke the president’s name as a battle cry—has no roots in U.S. soil, that it is racist zealotry with a foreign pedigree and marginal allure. ...
The seed of Nazism's ultimate objective—the preservation of a pure white race, uncontaminated by foreign blood—was in fact sown with striking success in the United States. What is judged extremist today was once the consensus of a powerful cadre of the American elite, well-connected men who eagerly seized on a false doctrine of "race suicide" during the immigration scare of the early 20th century. They included wealthy patricians, intellectuals, lawmakers, even several presidents. Perhaps the most important among them was a blue blood with a very impressive mustache, Madison Grant. He was the author of a 1916 book called The Passing of the Great Race, which spread the doctrine of race purity all over the globe. 
Grant's purportedly scientific argument that the exalted "Nordi"' race that had founded America was in peril, and all of modern society's accomplishments along with it, helped catalyze nativist legislators in Congress to pass comprehensive restrictionist immigration policies in the early 1920s. His book went on to become Adolf Hitler's "bible" as the führer wrote to tell him. Grant’s doctrine has since been rejuvenated and rebranded by his ideological descendants as "white genocide" (the term genocide hadn't yet been coined in Grant’s day).

Renaud Camus may be an intellectual foundation of this rhetoric of "replacement," but it has a huge megaphone with the big mouth of the man in the White House, who mouths the rhetoric -- in one way or another -- constantly.

This is why more than a third of American voters adore him and will stick with him through thick or thin.

We Americans need to stop trying to shift responsibility for what we're doing to the world at this point in history to the shoulders of others.

It's been well documented that Trump has occasionally encouraged his supporters to engage in acts of political violence, but those instances tend to involve his response to protesters at rallies. 
The comments to Breitbart appear to be something qualitatively different. It's less about Trump offering to pay the legal bills of someone who punches a protester at a rally, and more about Trump's perspective on national division on a grand scale – with the president lining up in his mind who’ll be aligned with him at "a certain point" and who will stand against him and his armed allies. 
It's as disturbing a sentiment as anything Donald Trump has said since taking office.

Huffington Post, 15 March 2019

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