This morning American’s woke up to horrifying news that 49 people lost their lives last night, while doing the simple act of worship. But this latest massacre didn’t happen at a Christian church or Synagogue. Instead it happened at two different Mosques in the peaceful country of New Zealand.
A man in his late 20’s from Australia has been charged with murder in connection to the slaughter. And to make this story more chilling, the gunman took to social media during all this:
Just before the attack, an account believed to belong to the gunman posted a link to an 87-page white nationalist manifesto on Twitter and 8chan, an online messaging board that has been used by anonymous accounts to share extremist messages and cheer on mass shooters.
The same Twitter account shared photos of weaponry painted with the names of well-known mass shooters.
The unsigned manifesto is filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments, as well as explanations for an attack.
But what does this really have to do with America and the hateful rhetoric constantly pushed by the right? Well…..everything!
U.S. media seems to be ignoring the contents of this manifesto, but not the media down under. Perhaps the reason is because of what, or who, it contains:
The gunman also wrote of how he supported US President Donald Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” but not as a policymaker.
He goes on to reference Candace Owens: “The person who has influenced me above all is Candace Owens”. Owens is an outspoken US pro-Trump activist known for her criticism of Black Lives Matter and of Democratic Party.
What I find really interesting about this was a tweet I noticed last night while this shooting was unfolding.
I had to post a screenshot of it from my Tweetdeck because at some point after that, Trump deleted it. The link simply goes to Breitbart’s front page, a site that Candace Owens is a regular contributor to.
While a lot of talk today will be on the seedy site 8Chan, where people can share pretty much anything, attention must also be paid to sites like Breitbart, who continually give platform to hateful rhetoric. When dealing with a pandemic, you must isolate the infected from the rest of the world. A good start would be right here in the U.S., quarantining people like Donald Trump and hate platforms like Breitbart and Fox News.