It is not lost upon me that the mainstream American media is often reticent to describe any mass killing that involves a white male killer a “terror attack” in the immediate aftermath of an attack. Pick a carnage from the past ten years, from Sandy Hook in 2012, to Dylann Roof shooting up Emmanuel AME in 2015, to Brenton Tarrant’s live stream mass murder in two Muslim Mosques in New Zealand yesterday, and right on cue, the “T” word is not rolled out as quickly as it is whenever a brown-skinned or Muslim killer commits mass murder across the globe.
It also is not lost upon me that when white men commit mass murder, that the media and a litany of “legal experts” quickly move to humanize the murderer, suggesting that said killer(s) are “lone wolves” or “mentally ill,” as opposed to calling out the evil, depraved heart descriptions that are typically assigned to mass murderers who are brown-skinned or Muslim.
It also is not lost upon me that from the mainstream media, to political leaders worldwide, to our friends and acquaintances on social media, that many whites tend to suggest that peace-loving Muslims across the globe must do more to stop radical jihadists among their faith. This is similar to the same whites calling upon black folks to take responsibility to stop “black on black” crime. But these same white commentators often clam up when white crime raises its ugly head; where are the calls, now, for peace loving white folks across the globe to do more to stop radical white Christians or European Christian Culturalists turned atheists who believe that their acts of mass murder are the latest front in a global Christian Crusade against Islam?
Silent…as a tomb…But the reality is that the responsibility to stop murderous white supremacist rests squarely upon white folks across the globe because like any aberrant behavior, the roots of white supremacy start in the home.
Having lived almost 47 years, I know full well that most people cringe at the idea of cleaning up their own messes. It is easier for folks to point out the problems with “those people,” all the while completely ignoring the problems with “themselves.” No social demographic is immune from this hypocrisy.
But I have observed that many whites range from being willfully ignorant to the terrors that European whites have inflicted across the globe since the Middle Ages, to being wickedly self-righteous where, again, they can condemn Islam as an “evil” or “war-mongering” religion, while totally forgetting that white Christians are responsible for some of the most horrific crimes against humanity, including:
*Colonial exploitation of Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas In his 74 page manifesto, Australian born white supremacist terrorist Brenton Tarrant claimed to have chosen New Zealand because it was “target rich” and filled with (Muslim) “invaders.” Tarrant insouciantly overlooks that his British, Scot and Irish ancestors invaded and conquered the ancestral lands of the Maori people in New Zealand?
*The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: White European Christians stole, sold, and bartered millions of African men, women, and children during nearly three centuries of a slave trade that brought laborers to the Western Hemisphere to create the still vibrant economies that white supremacist terrorist Brenton Tarrant claims should remain segregated for white trade and commerce! There are many whites who may despise what Tarrant did, but they, too, still benefit from the racist economic legacy of the slave trade.
*Manifest Destiny: One of the worst crimes against humanity was the systematic murder of the First People and rieveing of Native American lands by so-called white European Christians. From the earliest broken treaties, to the French and Indian Wars, to the Trail of Tears, to the massacre at Wounded Knee, the murders of millions of Native Americans by bullets, Bibles and disease remain a legacy that most American whites prefer to soon forget.
Lynching/ Jim Crow: Not long after the Civil War, so-called white Christians, mostly Southern Baptists, created laws that segregated according to race–laws that white supremacist terrorist Brenton Tarrant wrote “need to return in America,” and be replicated across the globe. Thousands of Black men, women and children were raped, beaten, mutilated, shot, hanged and burned alive from the 1880s until the 1960s. Brutalized, again, by white “Christians.”
The Holocaust: Adolf Hitler and his High Command each, at some point in their lives, were Christians–be it Protestant Lutherans or Roman Catholics. The philosophical underpinning of their hatred toward Jews stemmed, in part, from the demented anti-Semitic trope that Jews were “Christ Killers” because the Sanhedrin and Herod et al denied the divinity of Jesus, and later offered no opposition to his execution by the Romans. These centuries old slights manifested themselves in the form of murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. Murders committed, mind you, by Nazi SS personnel who, again, were majority “Christians.”
Historical reminders having been established, when white Christian politicians, or my white family members and friends exclaim in the wake of another white terror attack that “this is not us,” I beg to differ because yes, it is y’all, yes, it has been y’all, and yes, it impacts all of us!
Brenton Tarrant is a terrorist and extremist, but his manifesto reveals a very mainstream bent regarding immigration and the threat of Islam among many whites across the globe. Tarrant wrote that he chose New Zealand to show that, “no where (sic) in the world was safe, the invaders (Muslims) were in all of our lands, even in the remotest areas of the world and that there was no where (sic) left to go that was safe and free from mass immigration.”
How different is Tarrant’s rhetoric from the current American president, the same one who proudly exclaimed in 2017 that “I, Donald J. Trump, am calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the Hell is going on.” The same American president, mind you, who called Muslim majority African nations “shit-hole countries.” The same American president who, when white supremacists rallied and caused death and mayhem in Charlottesville, Virginia, blamed the peaceful counter-protesters equally. It was of no surprise to me when reading Tarrant’s manifesto that he inscribed his fervent support for Trump as a social leader, calling the American president “…a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Right on cue, only hours after the deadly New Zealand attacks, Trump stated his belief that “white supremacy is not a problem.”
Again, President Trump is not alone–many of my white friends, both Republican and Democrat alike, are similarly willfully blind to the fact that white supremacy, both historical and at present, comes in both benign and malignant forms. And while the common truth is that evil can be found in all races and religions, until white people take ownership of and address the historical and present day horrors of both benign and malignant white supremacy in their homes, churches and schools, the carnage and death tolls will only continue to climb.