How white supremacist mass murders have become an organised transnational security threat.
When a child ran into a shopping mall warning about an active shooter on August 3, the shoppers, who happened to be right next to the site of the fatal mass shooting in El Paso, did not pay any attention, because, “for one it's…just [a] little kid and for two we're at the mall and not at Walmart" Glendon Oakley told CNN.
The child’s warning has an unmistakable, yet metaphoric similarity to a bigger, yet unheeded, episode of caution which the recent Texas shooting’s genealogy can be traced back to. This bigger warning was resounding and clear, shouting its presence with the lives of 51 people in the Christchurch shootings.
Regarding his motives in carrying out the attack, the New Zealand shooter wrote in the sixth page of his 87-page manifesto: “Finally, to create conflict between the two ideologies within the United States on the ownership of firearms in order to further the social, cultural, political and racial divide within the United States. This conflict over the 2nd amendment and the attempted removal of firearms rights will ultimately result in a civil war that will eventually balkanize the US along political, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines.”
The New Zealand shooter’s manifesto mentions only one state within the United States: Texas. He wrote: “Soon the replacement of the whites within Texas will hit its apogee and with the non-white political and social control of Texas; and with this control, the electoral college will be heavily stacked in favor of a democratic victory so that every electoral cycle will be a certainty.” (P. 69)
Evidently, the New Zealand shooter’s manifesto and the subsequent mass shooting was practically a call of duty to the white nationalists in the US to act out what a French far-right ideologue first called the Great Replacement.
In answering the call, the first line of the Texas shooter’s own manifesto, which was posted online 20 minutes before the first 911 call from the incident, starts off with this line: “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Elsewhere, he expressed his shared fear that Hispanics can potentially change Texas into a blue state.
Similar to the child’s warning in the El Paso mall, nobody paid any particular attention to the call to arms from New Zealand. First, it was an ‘angelic white boy’ turned shooter who acted discreetly by not fitting into the profile of a ‘regular’ terrorist. Second, it happened in New Zealand. Although the Texas shooter’s manifesto is only four pages long, it has striking thematic and ideological similarities to its predecessor. Thus, rather than shrugging off these events as isolated irrational acts of madness, which, by the way, they are not, generic security studies of the ideology behind these attacks could better enable law enforcement to prevent the next mass shooting.
Echoing the New Zealand shooter’s manifesto, the Texas shooter also labels his targets invaders and the shared anxiety of becoming the minority, a motive which the New Zealand shooter too unabashedly acknowledges, dictates his actions. Both the shooters believe that their attacks will instil fear in economic immigrants, eventually leading to the latter’s exodus.
One should not bracket the news that the mother of a two-month-old died shielding her baby in El Paso as collateral damage, because the New Zealand shooter’s manifesto reiterates his purposeful hatred of kids. He propagates the killing of non-white children because they will grow up to be enemies of his people. In an eerily similar fashion, the El Paso shooter too wrote: “Even though new migrants do the dirty work, their kids typically don't.” (p. 2). His fear is that this will, in turn, take away “American jobs”.
The disturbing similarities between Christchurch and El Paso shooters makes it absolutely clear that there does exist a decisive, if not deterministic, pattern in the forms of violence being carried out by white supremacists, which is too pronounced to be overlooked. This is precisely why this phenomenon of far-right ideology demands intensive research at University departments specialising in the social sciences as well as objective analyses in op-eds immediately. The fear that talking about the far-right will earn them more attention is only at least as ridiculous as saying that even spelling the name ISIS (Daesh) is a disguised marketing stunt for the latter’s publicity.
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