March 15, 2019


What the Christchurch Killer's Manifesto Tells Us (JORDAN WEISSMANN, MARCH 15, 2019, Slate)

Before embarking on his attack, the 28-year-old gunman who killed at least 49 people at a pair of New Zealand mosques Friday posted a detailed manifesto explaining his motivations. The document is packed with rhetoric and themes popular with the online white nationalist communities that gather on message boards such as 8chan, where he announced his spree minutes before it began. The document is largely focused on the notion of "white genocide"--the idea that around the world, people of European descent are having too few children and as a result are being replaced in their own countries by foreign "invaders," particularly Muslims. He claims to have taken his deepest inspiration from Anders Breivik, the anti-Islam fanatic who murdered 77 people during a 2011 terror strike in Norway. [...]

Some of this puzzlement stems from the shooter's description of himself as an "eco-fascist" and open fretting about global warming, which is not a concern mainstream readers typically associate with racist reactionaries. But eco-fascists are in fact an established, if somewhat obscure, brand of neo-Nazi. As Sarah Manavis wrote last year at the New Statesmen, "they believe that living in the original regions a race is meant to have originated in and shunning multiculturalism is the only way to save the planet they prioritise above all else." [...]

In the U.S., that ecosystem gave us the Tree of Life massacre and the deadly white supremacist rally in Charleston, both of which were motivated--at least in part--by the fear that whites are in the process of being demographically outnumbered and replaced. Hence the chants in Charlottesville, Virginia, of "Jews will not replace us! Blacks will not replace us! Immigrants will not replace us!" And yes, U.S. politicians and pundits feed that ecosystem, too. When Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham talk on Fox about Democrats trying to "replace" white voters with immigrants, they're mainstreaming its rhetoric. When Rep. Steve King says "we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies," he's mainstreaming its rhetoric.

Posted by at March 15, 2019 2:46 PM