AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post is an opinion piece based on the author’s thoughts about a breaking news story.
Just a relatively short time ago, mass shootings took place at two separate mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, at least one, if not both, of which was perpetrated by a white supremacist who praised U.S. President Donald Trump for being “a symbol of renewed white identity”. At least one of the shootings was livestreamed via Facebook Live, and I request that those reading this blog post do not, under any circumstances, post or republish any video depicting one or both of the shootings.
Make no mistake about it, what occurred in Christchurch today were terrorist attacks against people of a religious faith at places of worship. Any words that I could convey to state how horrific the actions of the individual or individuals who perpetrated the attacks in Christchurch would be an understatement on my part, because what happened in Christchurch today was an absolutely horrific act of hate and violence.
Here in America, we have our own problem with violence carried out by white supremacists and white nationalists. In 2017, a white supremacist deliberately drove an automobile into a crowd of individuals who were counter-protesting against individuals affiliated with the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer and injuring many others. After public criticism that his initial responses to the attack did not adequately condemn white nationalists, Trump claimed that there were “very fine people” among the white nationalists who marched on Charlottesville.
Unlike Trump’s refusal to condemn the white nationalists who marched on Charlottesville, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch mosque attacks, unequivocally condemned acts of terror, violence, and hatred perpetrated by white supremacists and white nationalists:
In one of the darkest moments in New Zealand’s history, Jacinda Ardern unequivocally condemned violence perpetrated by people of hate, which is something that a responsible leader should do in the aftermath of an act of violence perpetrated by a person or people of hate.