The World Weeps
Throughout history, we see this time and time again. For the human species, a particular premium is placed on one’s religious ideology. As the world’s three major monotheistic religions began to converge in a single region, those in power were left with a difficult task: how do they prove their their religious ideology is somehow better than the next? What unfolded has been nearly two millennia of war and conflict, centered upon proving one religious ideology as being superior to others. It led to the Crusades. It led to Holy Wars throughout Christendom. It led to slavery seeing a whole continent of people with their local deities as being “uncivilized.” It led to colonization and the need to be “saviors” to these savage people. And it led to two world wars, the second of which included a clear cut racial superiority motive to enslave and exterminate a religious minority.
What happened in New Zealand was not new. Since 9/11 our Muslim brothers and sisters have been an easy scapegoat for failed American foreign policy. Here in the United States, we see that animosity time and time again, especially since the current Islamophobic administration seized power. But what is new is the power of social media and just how prevalent White nationalist sentiment has become. Donald Trump’s election is the culmination of the southern strategy; the official apex of the religious and racist right. He is David Duke’s wet dream: an uneducated, hateful bigot willing to do his bidding. His election and subsequent approval of White nationalists have created a public space that wasn’t there before. Fox News hosts from Jeanine Pirro to Tucker Carlson can be open in their Islamophobia. Republican congressmen can condemn Ilhan Omar without fear of being seen as anti-Muslim. And fringe personalities like Candace Owens can have widespread influence from their home computers.
Make no mistake about it. The New Zealand massacre does not happen without the ascension of Donald Trump. As America rebuilds the damage he has done, we may never again be able to disempower the dregs of society that have come forth in support of White nationalism. Knowing that one of their own can attain the highest office in the land while being “one of them” is something that this new generation of White nationalists take great pride in. Trump’s hate and rancor knows no borders; we saw that today in New Zealand. We are witnessing a worldwide movement, the likes of which we haven’t seen in 80 years. But history repeats itself and thanks to Donald Trump we now have given that movement a voice and a platform to be heard. The first great war of the 21st century will not be fought against nation states but against ourselves, against our very own people who are willing to kill in order to prove their racial superiority.
This is your New Zealand open thread.
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