The other day, a gunman slaughtered 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand. Hatred for “invaders” was proclaimed in a white-power manifesto accompanying livestream of the murders on Facebook. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued an official response, saying, “The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch.” And, of course, she provided New Zealanders with the same assistance that has so often been extended to American victims in similar mass-murders: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
Donald later got around to following up with a tweet providing “My warmest sympathy and best wishes” because apparently someone told him not to say again the hackneyed “thoughts and prayers.” But what was the tweet that Trump delivered just before that one? While the shooting was underway, Trump was tweeting out a link to the nationalist outlet Breitbart (deleted by the White House immediately after the shooting). In his chat with the Breitbart News Network, Trump said: "I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.” That seems to translate (same old GOP fear factor) to “Be afraid; be very afraid.” I don’t think I’ll buy that, thank you, Donald. You’re not truly Mr. Tough Guy, not by a long shot. You’re just another insecure bully.
Before that was a tweet about how he was looking forward to vetoing the repeal of his emergency declaration so he could stop “Crime, Drugs, and Trafficking” from flowing into the United States. In other words … keep out the invaders.
As part of the manifesto rant, the live-streaming shooter called Donald Trump a “symbol of white identity and common purpose."
Donald will have a hard time dismissing this media coverage as “fake news”—just as he has with other racially-inspired assaults during his campaign and two years in office. I drew basic features of the following from https://theintercept.com/2018/10/27/here-is-a-list-of-far-right-attackers-trump-inspired-cesar-sayoc-wasnt-the-first-and-wont-be-the-last/ (writer Mehdi Hasan)
On Aug. 19, 2015, Scott Leader, 38, and his brother, Steve Leader, 30, attacked a homeless man in Boston who they wrongly believed to be an undocumented immigrant. “Donald Trump was right,” they told police, after beating the man with a metal pipe and then urinating on him. “All these illegals need to be deported.” Trump’s response? He eventually called it a “terrible” incident, but only after an earlier statement to reporters in which the then-candidate referred to his supporters as “very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.”
On Oct. 14, 2016, the FBI arrested three men — Patrick Eugene Stein, Curtis Allen, and Gavin Wright — for plotting a series of bomb attacks against the Somali-American community of Garden City, Kansas. Calling themselves “the Crusaders,” they had planned to launch, on the day after the November 2016 presidential election, what The Guardian said “could have been the deadliest domestic terror attack since the Oklahoma bombing in 1995.”
Two of these three men were open supporters of Trump and were obsessed with anti-Muslim, anti-refugee conspiracy theories. For Stein, according to a profile in New York magazine, Trump was “the Man.” Allen wrote on Facebook: “I personally back Donald Trump.” The trio even asked a federal judge to boost the number of pro-Trump jurors at their trial (at which they were found guilty of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and of conspiring against rights).
On the evening of Jan. 29, 2017, Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire on worshippers at the Islamic Cultural Center in Quebec City, Canada, killing six of them and wounding 19. Bisonnette, 27, was obsessed with Trump: He searched for the president on Twitter, Facebook, Google, and YouTube more than 800 times between January 1, 2017, and the day of the shooting. In his police interrogation video, Bissonnette can be heard telling officers that he decided to attack the mosque after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted a message of welcome to refugees in the wake of the U.S. president’s travel ban — which was issued two days before the mosque attack. Trump’s response? He has never publicly mentioned the shooting, the killer, or the six dead Muslims.
In March 2018, three alleged members of a far-right militia — Michael Hari, Michael McWhorter, and Joe Morris — were charged in connection with the August 5, 2017, bombing of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. McWhorter is alleged to have told an FBI agent that the attack was an attempt “to scare” Muslims “out of the country.”
Back in 2017, Hari, who owns a security company, submitted a $10 billion proposal to build Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “We would look at the wall as not just a physical barrier to immigration but also as a symbol of the American determination to defend our culture, our language, our heritage, from any outsiders,” Hari said. Sound familiar?
On Aug. 12, 2017, a car crashed into a crowd of people protesting a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. The alleged driver of the car, James Alex Fields Jr., has been charged with, among other crimes, hit-and-run and first-degree murder. Fields, according to a former middle school classmate, enjoyed drawing swastikas and talked about “loving Hitler.” The registered Republican, according to a former high school teacher, also adored Trump. In an interview with the Associated Press, the former teacher said Fields was a big Trump supporter because of what he believed to be Trump’s views on race. “Trump’s proposal to build a border wall with Mexico was particularly appealing to Fields.”
This Charlottesville disaster featured a large neo-Nazi presence, complete with swastikas, anti-Jewish chants and the severe beating of a young black man with clubs. Donald later said that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the affair.
“To pretend that the president has nothing to do with these violent criminals or their violent crimes is absurd . . . The president may not be pulling the trigger or planting the bomb, but he is enabling much of the hatred behind those acts. He is giving aid and comfort to angry white men by offering them clear targets.”—Mehdi Asan
Trump-related factors in this sort of discussion are highlighted by his Muslim travel ban, his negative stereotyping of Hispanics, his border wall, his reference to “s—hole” countries, support of Fox News bigots, reluctance to criticize the KKK, ad infinitum. All manner of events belie his claim that white nationalism is not on the rise world-wide, despite overwhelming evidence that it is—with he himself as a prominent standard-bearer.