Crazy Faith Ministries
The world today is dealing with the news of a horrific mass murder in New Zealand, the work of a White man from Australia who apparently does not like immigrants.
Brendan Harrison Tarrant, 28, carried out a rampage he said he had been planning for two years. He went to two mosques – the death toll as of this writing is 49 but it may well increase, as the injuries of some of the victims are said to be severe and life-threatening.
The president of this nation tweeted, of course, sending “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to the people of New Zealand, sounding more like a greeting card than a genuine expression of concern and compassion. Later on, Politico reported him saying that he “denounced the horrible massacre in New Zealand.”
But he never decried the mass shooting as a terrorist attack. While other nations did, this president did not. In fact, as he gave us the latest episode of his ongoing reality show called The Presidency, issuing his veto of the bill that would block funds for him to build his wall citing a national emergency, he called immigrants coming into the United States over the southern border “invaders.”
That term is the exact term Tarrant used in expressing his hatred for immigrants. He, too, called them “invaders,” according to TheWeek.com.
The fact that this shooter appears to be a white supremacist seems not to matter to this president. When asked if he was concerned about, or if he believed that, white supremacy was on the rise, the president revealed that he is not concerned.
“I think it is a small group of people who have very, very serious problems,” he said. This, in spite of statistics that reveal that white supremacists have killed more people in the United States “than any other organized group,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
What is exasperating is that not only the president but our media has done very well in hiding the identity of the New Zealand shooter. His picture has not been blasted over television nor has there been much mention of his name. The goal is to not give the murderer more attention than he deserves, the media says, but that concern is often not a priority when a suspected terror attack is carried out by a person of color, a Muslim or both.
The rhetoric of this president is dangerous and is only getting worse. The New Zealand shooter expressed some admiration for him, calling him a “symbol of white supremacy,” according to The Root. And white supremacists in this country have expressed respect for him. The president continues to incite these people by his words, going so far this week as to suggest that his supporters – which include law enforcement, the military and bikers – might make life miserable for those who oppose him in the upcoming elections, as reported by The Washington Post.
He is “radicalizing” or perhaps inciting those who were radicalized long ago by white supremacist ideology in this country to do something as heinous as is any mass shooting. He refuses to acknowledge the danger he is creating. He refuses to totally denounce white supremacy, and he refuses to call mass shootings by white supremacists what they are: episodes of domestic terrorism.
It seems that for him and for too many others, one can only be a “terrorist” if one has brown skin and is Muslim, and many of his supporters believe the same. This man Tarrant is not hated by this president or his supporters; there has not been a cry for people to look out for these terrorists who walk amongst us and have easy access to us all.
This selective terrorism has never been acknowledged as such and that is a problem. Our terrorists walk around free and arrogant, believing in the rightness of their conviction that White people are superior to everyone else and that they are somehow justified in killing those whom they do not like.
This president is leading us to a dangerous place and neither his base nor the Republican senators (for the most part) seem to care.
This is not going to end well. Domestic terrorists are operating with basically full support of the president of the United States. That fact is hard to accept and swallow, but with no moral leadership, white supremacists are leading us to a place from which we may never recover.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. She is available for speaking. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.