Honestly, it ticks me off that I even have to address this on the same day that the horrific mass shooting in New Zealand took place, killing 49 Muslims as they attended Friday Prayers. It is pure evil to shoot up a mosque and kill innocent people. Period. We should all be able to take a breath for at least a day and realize that not everything should be immediately politicized.
Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in, so we get idiocy like this.
Can we publicize the fact that he cited your father and your friend, Candace Owens, as inspiration? https://t.co/hctQhOvIX8
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) March 15, 2019
What did his manifesto actually say about Candace Owens? I’m going to deal in excerpts and descriptions because I’m not linking to the whole thing.
Q: Is there a particular person that radicalized you the most?
A: Yes, the person that has influenced me above all was Candace Owens. Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness. Though I will have to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for me are too much, even for my tastes.
For anyone who’s not a complete moron, you’ll recognize this as sarcasm. The shooter was a white supremacist. He’s making fun of the idea that he could be inspired by a black woman like Owens, knowing the media will run with the bait. This is called trolling for those who are unaware for some reason.
So the New Zealand shooter openly writes that he wants a white ethno-state and that he hates conservatives. He then claims that a black conservative, Candace Owens, is his inspiration… And the media buys this?!
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) March 15, 2019
The Atlantic actually had a good piece on this today entitled The Christchurch Shooter’s Manifesto Was Meant to Troll.
Significant portions of the manifesto appear to be an elaborate troll, written to prey on the mainstream media’s worst tendencies. As the journalist Robert Evans noted, “This manifesto is a trap … laid for journalists searching for the meaning behind this horrific crime. There is truth in there, and valuable clues to the shooter’s radicalization, but it is buried beneath a great deal of, for lack of a better word, ‘****posting.’”
****posting is a slang term used to describe the act of posting trollish and usually ironic content designed to derail a conversation or elicit a strong reaction from people who aren’t in on the joke. Certain aspects of the shooter’s manifesto fall into this category. He includes Navy Seal Copypasta, a meme that originated on 4chan. He claims that Spyro: Year of the Dragon, a video game, taught him ethno-nationalism and that Fortnite taught him to “floss on the corpses,” referring to a viral dance move from the game. These absurd references are meant to troll readers.
In fact, at the end of the section on who and what inspired him, he simply says “No” so as to leave no doubt his intention was trolling via sarcasm. He’s actually mocking those that always rush to blame mass shootings on things like video games and Twitter personalities.
As to Donald Trump specifically, he calls him a “symbol of renewed white identity” but then in response to whether he supports him says, “As a polic(y) maker and leader? Dear God no.” Does that sound like Trump’s immigration policies inspired this guy or that he’s just a racist who liked the fact that America’s President was white? All of these contradictions are meant to troll his audience, disseminate his views, and cause people to start attacking each other. Instead of recognizing that, our media are being led along by his leash as they pump out false, divisive headlines blaming their political foes.
And what of his actual political views? In one part he calls himself left wing depending on the definition. In another he says he’s right wing depending on the definition. He says he hates conservatives and capitalism while praising communist China. He says he was first an anarchist who then become an Eco-fascist. He says he supports socialism as long as the right (i.e. white) people make up the society. He also says that part of his inspiration was knowing that this would spark a debate about the 2nd amendment in the United States. So far, he’s accomplished that mission as anti-gun groups and media members across the country use this shooting to push their partisan narrative.
There is no coherent ideology here. As is often true with many white supremacists, he’s got a hodgepodge of views ranging from being far left wing on economic issues to being right wing on immigration issues. We’ve seen this before with people like Richard Spencer endorsing Marx’s ideas on markets while calling for European style Democratic Socialism. The Christchurch shooter does much the same thing. What sets them apart is that they couch everything in racism as a building block for their ideal societies. That is the “neo-nazi” part of their ideology, not that they are conservative or support limited government, because they don’t. Conflating these positions to attack Republicans at large is disgustingly dishonest and ignores their real views, which they readily share.
I’ll address one more thing with an example from MSNBC earlier today. In it, NBC Analyst (and former Obama Official) Ned Price makes this statement.
Citing Trump’s response to Charlottesville as evidence, among other instances, Price further proclaimed: “This is a president who has given plenty of rhetorical ammunition, I think, to terrorists like this. Terrorists and extremists who are looking for fuel for their motivation.”
This is asinine. Anyone that believe that this shooter needed “motivation” from Donald Trump is a colossal idiot. Either that or they are just so grossly partisan that they will use shooting victims to take political potshots. Almost nothing about the reasoning behind this shooting, in the shooter’s own words, directly relates to anything Trump has said. He was clearly motivated to do this crime on his own. He did not need, nor did he receive any “rhetorical ammunition” that made this happen.
Our discourse is a truly awful place. The fact that a shooting in New Zealand, by an Australian, in the name of saving white Europeans is being blamed on uninvolved Americans for political gain is sick. Some of these people need to stop and take a long look in the mirror at what they are doing. This is divisive, damaging, and dangerous. Our media should also take stock at the harm they are causing in a rush to shill for their chosen narrative. They are playing right into this shooter’s hands.
Every tragedy does not have to be used to paint your political opposition as evil and responsible. It’s time to stop this madness.
If you find yourself using the tragedy in New Zealand to take backhanded swipes at conservatives in America – many of my colleagues already have – then you really have no shame and you are part of the problem.
It should be easy for us to stand united and condemn terrorism.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) March 15, 2019
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