March 15, 2019


Trump just called immigration an 'invasion.' So did the New Zealand shooter. (The Week, 3/15/19)

On Friday morning in Christchurch, New Zealand, attacks by at least one shooter at two mosques left 49 people dead. The alleged gunman, who has been arrested, was found to have a manifesto where he declared "we are experiencing an invasion on a level never seen before in history," per The Kansas City Star. The purported shooter specifically decried the "millions of people pouring across our borders."

Hours later, a shockingly similar phrase came from the president. Trump, after vetoing a bill that would've blocked his national emergency declaration to access border wall funding, briefly condemned the shooting before pivoting back to border talk. There are "crimes of all kinds coming through our southern border," Trump said, adding that "people hate the word 'invasion,' but that's what it is."

The New Zealand Shooter's Idea of War Between Islam and "the West" Wouldn't Be Out of Place in the Trump Administration (BEN MATHIS-LILLEY, MARCH 15, 2019, Slate)

In 2014, then-Breitbart publisher Steve Bannon, who'd go on to serve as Trump's campaign chairman and as a White House adviser, appeared at a Catholic Church-connected conference to discuss what he described as the "very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict" between "the Judeo-Christian West" and "jihadist Islamic fascism." Bannon said the threat of ISIS and other global jihadist movements had to be taken in context with "the long history of the Judeo-Christian West['s] struggle against Islam," and that "every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is, and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it, will be a day where you will rue that we didn't act." On at least three occasions, Bannon has praised a 1973 novel called The Camp of the Saints in which whites in Europe and the U.S. are violently oppressed by invading armies of nonwhite refugees. The (white) author of the novel once said he believed "the proliferation of other races dooms our race, my race, to extinction."

While Bannon's 2014 comments arguably implied a distinction between radical and "normal" Islam, the Trump campaign that he joined in August 2016 drew no such lines, repeatedly portraying Muslims in the U.S. as a fifth column. In December 2015, Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" after the San Bernardino, California, mass shooting, a call that he reiterated when 49 people were shot and killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. (The shooter in Orlando was Muslim but had in fact been born on Long Island.) In a speech he gave about the Pulse massacre, Trump criticized Florida and San Bernardino's "Muslim communities," asserting (with, it hardly needs to be said, no supporting evidence) that those communities had known in advance that the perpetrators "were bad" but "didn't turn them in." Shortly before Bannon became campaign chairman, Trump suggested that Khizr Khan, the Muslim father of an American soldier who died in Iraq, supported terrorism.

After Trump took office, his speechwriter Stephen Miller collaborated with Bannon to create the first version of the so-called "travel ban," an executive order which shut down travel to the United States from seven majority-Muslim countries on national security grounds. That order was struck down in courts; a revised version of the ban, which is less restrictive and targets non-Muslim countries as well, is still in effect. In 2017, Trump gave a speech in Warsaw in which he asked rhetorically whether "the West" had "the will to survive"--to "protect our borders" and "preserve our civilization" against threats from "the south" that include radical Islam. Miller was reportedly also the driving force behind a Trump push to restrict legal immigration by cutting the number of visas allotted to "shithole" countries in Africa and increasing the number given to "places like Norway."

Throughout Trump's campaign and presidency, he and his son Don Jr. have frequently engaged online with enthusiasts of the so-called "alt-right" who espouse the belief that whites are justified in maintaining political dominance by virtue of cultural and/or genetic superiority. This belief is sometimes accompanied by claims that laws and norms which allow for increasing nonwhite populations constitute a slow-motion "white genocide," a phrase that appears in both the New Zealand shooter's writing and in the handle of a Twitter user Trump once retweeted. It's a concept embraced by one of the president's most outspoken allies in Congress, Iowa Rep. Steve King, who has said that "we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies" and that "if we don't defend Western civilization, then we will become subjugated by the people who are the enemies of faith." 

Posted by at March 15, 2019 5:54 PM