Monday, August 5, 2019

"We Must Call the El Paso Shooting What It Is: Trump-Inspired Terrorism" — Commentary on White Supremacist Roots of Recent Mass Shootings

At campaign rallies before last year's midterm elections, President Trump repeatedly warned that America was under attack by immigrants heading for the border. "You look at what is marching up, that is an invasion!" he declared at one rally. "That is an invasion!" 
Nine months later, a 21-year-old white man is accused of opening fire in a Walmart in El Paso, killing 20 people and injuring dozens more after writing a manifesto railing against immigration and announcing that "this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas."

"People hate the word invasion, but that’s what it is," Donald Trump told the White House press pool, as he vetoed the legislation from Congress aimed at blocking the president from his authoritarian maneuvers to divert at least $2.5 billion for a border wall — to keep these human beings out. He'd already called the immigrant influx "an invasion" on more than a half-dozen occasions — tweeting just days earlier: "I am stopping an invasion as the Wall gets built. #MAGA." …
When he got to the border city, the man-child posted a so-called manifesto on the hate-laden website called 8chan that stated: "This is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas."

It is staggering to imagine how much more violence this president may motivate if he continues down this deeply disturbing path.

With President Donald Trump set to address the nation Monday following mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend, lawmakers, commentators, and experts said it is past time to dispense with euphemisms and call racist attacks like the massacre in El Paso what they are: "Trump-inspired terrorism."

"Trump’s former attorney general once said El Paso was "ground zero" and the "front lines" for border conflicts. The president also famously launched his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants 'rapists' and drug dealers, and has continued to label Latino migration an "invasion." 
In reality, El Paso, which has around 680,000 people and an 80% Latino population, has consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the US, directly contradicting Trump's false narratives linking immigration and crime.

Jeffrey Goldberg, "He's Getting Worse":

This most recent phase of the Trump presidency is the most dangerous so far. He has, of course, encouraged violence, or suggested its efficacy, on many occasions in the past. In March, in an interview with Breitbart News, he made it plain that he was sympathetic to those of his supporters who might feel compelled to become violent on his behalf. ... 
But in this latest phase, his rhetoric has become particularly sweeping. Brown people in general have become his targets. And there is no reason to hope that he will reform. His followers reward his radicalism, and his handlers are among the most cynical figures in American political history.

Many of the white male perpetrators or suspects in these attacks have explicitly described immigrants and refugees as "invaders" or an "invasion" online, and have cited previous white nationalist killers as the inspiration for their attacks.

The great replacement can generally be understood as two core beliefs. The first is that "western" identity is under siege by massive waves of immigration from non-European/non-white countries, resulting in a replacement of white European individuals via demographics. The second is that replacement has been orchestrated by a shadowy group as part of their grand plan to rule the world – which they will do by creating a completely racially homogenous society. This group is often overtly identified as being Jews, but sometimes the antisemitism is more implicit.

White supremacy, in other words, is a violent, interconnected transnational ideology. Its adherents are gathering in anonymous, online forums to spread their ideas, plotting attacks and cheering on acts of terrorism. 
The result is an evolving brand of social media-fueled bloodshed. Online communities like 4chan and 8chan have become hotbeds of white nationalist activity. Anonymous users flood the site’s "politics" board with racist, sexist and homophobic content designed to spread across the web.

Weiyi Cai, Jason Kao and Joe Ward, "White Extremist Ideology Drives Many Deadly Shootings":

White extremist ideology has been linked to at least four of the 10 deadliest active-shooter episodes in the United States in recent years, showing the potential for intense violence among adherents who congregate online to cheer on racist attacks.

At the center of contemporary white nationalist ideology is the belief that whiteness is under attack, and that a wide range of enemies – from feminists to leftwing politicians to Muslims, Jews, immigrants, refugees and black people – are all conspiring to undermine and destroy the white race, through means as varied as interracial marriage, immigration, “cultural Marxism” and criticism of straight white men.

And just back from hobnobbing with super-rich U.S. GOP Catholics who want the pope muzzled when he seeks to rehabilitate Catholic social teaching, the archbishop of Philadelphia immediately tells us where his soul leans: if the prince is Trump, Chaput clearly puts his trust in the prince (cf. Psalm 146:3-5):

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