Note: Although the alleged shooter has been identified, he will not be named or pictured in this article. The New York Times published an article regarding this issue. You can read it here.
On Friday, March 15, a gunman entered the Al Noor mosque — and later the Linwood Islamic Center — in Christchurch, New Zealand and opened fire on innocent worshipers inside the two locations. The shooter killed at least 50 individuals, and injured at least 49 others.
The goal of the shooter’s attack — according to his 73-page manifesto — was, among other things, “to directly reduce immigration rates to European lands by intimidating and physically removing the invaders themselves.”
This terrifying sentiment reads eerily similar to a multitude of tweets and statements by President Donald Trump. In fact, the intent of this statement is almost a direct copy of one of Trump’s campaign promises leading up to the 2016 election.
In December 2015, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Trump’s goal was to dramatically reduce the rate of Muslim immigration from around the world to the United States, much like the shooter.
Days later, Trump tweeted, “The United Kingdom is trying hard to disguise their massive Muslim problem.”
Considering his blatant Islamophobic remarks, it’s no surprise that Trump has refused to label the New Zealand shooter as a terrorist since the attack, even though the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern identified the shooter as a terrorist the same day.
This man’s racist history is indicative of a more substantial issue: Donald J. Trump has emboldened white supremacists around the world.
One painfully clear example is Trump’s response to the attack in Charlottesville, Va. that resulted in the death of a counter-protestor at the hands of a white supremacist.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” said Trump in response to the death in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017. “I think there’s blame on both sides,” he later clarified.
With this statement, Trump implied that the blame of this attack should be shared among white supremacists and opposers alike. He refused to identify the real cause of the attack: hatred, bigotry and violence in the form of white supremacy.
Most reasonable politicians shared the view of Sen. Cory Gardner, (R – Colo.), who — on the day of Trump’s disgusting victim-blaming speech — tweeted, “We must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
Trump is a symbol of victory and progress for white supremacists globally.
The New Zealand shooter identified Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” in his previously mentioned manifesto.
And for this reason, Trump has blood on his hands.
This egregious act of terror is an indirect — or possibly direct — result of Trump’s continuous acts of racism, bigotry, manipulation, hatred and incitement of violence against those whom he feels are not worthy of compassion.
This Trumpian belief holds especially true for those whom the shooter described as “not ethnically and culturally European.”
“The U.S. has becoming a dumping ground for everyone else’s problems,” Trump said when announcing his presidency in 2015.
But Trump’s white supremacist views are the real problem being dumped on us.