On Friday, March 15, 2019, 49 people in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand were gunned down by terrorists in what is being called a coordinated attack. A number of others were injured. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, called the attacks “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.” The chief suspect, Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old, self-identified racist, was not on any terrorist watch lists, and no agency had any information on him.
The suspect had written a rage-filled “manifesto” posted on Twitter in which he cited other right-wing extremists as his inspiration, among them Dylann Roof, who killed nine Black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., in 2015. Tarrant also had white supremacist slogans scrawled on weapons, according to video he took. An online article written by Colby Itkowitz and John Wagner entitled “Trump says white nationalism is not a rising threat after New Zealand attacks: ‘It’s a small group of people,’ the 74-page manifesto hailed Trump as a symbol “of renewed white identity and common purpose.”
It is quite ironic that the tint of terrorism and villainy in the United States has been painted with a black and brown brush. Immigrants are being demonized, and Muslims have also been targeted as terrorists, even though the majority of terrorist attacks in the United States have been carried out by white males. According to another online article in Hatewatch entitled “Study shows two-thirds of U.S. terrorism tied to right-wing extremists,” researchers and journalists for the news site Quartz used data compiled by the Global Terrorism Database that has tabulated terrorist events around the world since 1970. A Quartz analysis of the database shows that almost two-thirds of terror attacks in the (United States) last year were tied to racist, anti-Muslim, homophobic, anti-Semitic, fascist, anti-government, or xenophobic motivations.
In spite of the foregoing, Trump supporters and others are convinced that the most dangerous threats to America come from immigrants and Muslims. They have forgotten about the Sandy Hook school shootings, about Timothy McVeigh, and a number of other mass killings committed by home-grown white supremacists. And based on the most recent attacks in New Zealand, the disease of white-supremacist inspired terrorism has spread its ugly tentacles all the way to New Zealand, emboldened by President Donald Trump.
Bigotry is an interesting concept. It is based on emotions rather than logic, and like so many other irrational ideas ruled by it, people resist certain truths because they just don’t believe the logic behind them. In other words, the more a person’s decisions are based on emotions, the less reasonable they are. Donald Trump clearly understands this, which is why he has targeted bigots in his campaign to get what he wants. His followers will support him no matter what, even if the policies actually come back to bite them.
Ultimately, the attacks in New Zealand indicate that the mean-spirited and neo-fascist sentiments becoming apparent in the United States are not actually confined to our borders. Black and brown people all over the globe need to be on alert regarding this malevolent wave that is creeping across the globe. It is now important that people of good will come together to oppose the evil that the world faces from those who have the ambition of ridding the world of people who do not look and act like them. The white supremacists are strategically planning to ensure a homogenous planet populated and controlled by them. Conspiracy theory has become exteriorized and is no longer just a conspiracy.
One thing is certain – every action has a reaction, and just like there are those who are intent on working toward the darker side of life, there are those who opt for the light. We must look to form coalitions with the latter in order to create a better world where we all have a chance to survive and thrive, and we must realize that those allies come in all creeds and colors. Most of all, Black people everywhere need to unite against enemies of the worldwide Black community. A Luta Continua.