The Christchurch Terrorist Shooting: Of Memes, The Media, and Manifestos
At least 49 People are dead following a shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand today. The shooter, who I will not name, is a fascist terrorist, to be frank. From the writings of his manifesto, he is a very sick sort of genius, the kind who knows the best way to drive a wedge between people. In the very outset of his statement, he makes it clear that he intends "to cause Balkinization of the United States" in order "to further the social, cultural, racial and political divide."
These are the writings of a white supremacist who seeks to use anger; anger of the people so easily stirred, anger of a media class to desperate to look for anyone to blame for the victim-hood of minorities, as a weapon. He seeks to use that weapon to split America and other countries along racial lines and to, in his own words, ensure "the death of the melting pot dream".
Particularly of note are his thoughts behind the decision he made to choose firearms as the method of attack.
"I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United states and thereby the political situation of the world.
The US is torn into many factions by its second amendment, along state, social, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines.
With enough pressure the left wing within the United states will seek to abolish the second amendment, and the right wing within the US will see this as an attack on their very freedom and liberty.
This attempted abolishment of rights by the left will result in a dramatic polarization of the people in the United States and eventually a fracturing of the US along cultural and racial lines. "
Also within the mans writings are references to meme culture, presumably used as the method for driving this very dissent he earlier spoke of. As a primary source of radicalization, he targets Candace Owens, a black conservative woman whose views are largely milquetoast. This, presumably because he knows that the news will take this narrative and run with it, using it as an opportunity to smear Ms. Owens. He also cites popular video games Spyro 3 and Fortnite as influences for his Ethno-nationalism and desire to kill and "floss on the corpses of his enemies." Likewise, it is claimed that he allegedly shouted "Subscribe to Pewdiepie" before he opened fire.
The terrorist in question is a sick individual touting a racial collectivist ideology, who, despite his claims that all of this has nothing to do with fame, seems to be attempting to make this incident as intentionally divisive as possible. This is not the time to give him what he wants.
In my humble opinion, media companies at this time need to refrain from editorializing on this man's alleged motivations and take everything he says with a metric ton of salt. Is it fair to say that Anders Brevik, Dylan Roof and other terrorists likely motivated the man? Quite probably, given their actions and his own seem to line up.
Is it fair to say that Pewdiepie did?
I can only ask you to think on this for a second. Does a Swedish man who makes YouTube videos about memes really inspire fascists to shoot people? Or, perhaps the man who has stated that his goal is to sow division on ethnic lines is trying to use you as a useful idiot, to attack a man that tens of millions of kids/young people love, in order to show how untrustworthy you are and to further sow some of that very same division?
Pewdiepie isn't responsible for this, and neither is Candace Owens. Cowardice is. Cowardice, and the inability of a man to see anything but race, and a war between the races as the purpose of society, for which the terrorist believes that Whites will achieve a "final victory." Bringing as much attention and notoriety to this one event is his goal; to hold a spotlight on those he blames and to sow outrage and dissent to provoke retaliation along a racial divide he is trying to engineer.
I frankly find his views disgustingly authoritarian, racist, and not fitting within the hallmarks of any free society. I would call others to stand together with the victims of today's attack, not by the color of their skin, but by the virtue of our shared humanity. I would call the people of New Zealand together to heal and support their Muslim community, and to show that the culture of New Zealand is a loving and an accepting one, one not so simply shorn apart by the acts of one divisive, fascist psychopath.
49 innocent people died today. Let us remember them, and give whatever help we can manage to their families. Let us show that those whose only goal is to Balkanize and divide us will not break our spirit. Let us condemn the man and his twisted views, as we would any other man who committed such acts of terror, and let us continue on, learning and growing towards a better and brighter future, with fewer relics of the authoritarian, racially collectivist past holding us back.