“They are us”: New Zealand’s PM reacts to mosque shootings

March 15, 2019 • 7:45 am

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, reacts strongly and eloquently to the terrorist murder of 49 Muslims worshiping at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“It is clear that this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence. Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand. They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was.”

140 thoughts on ““They are us”: New Zealand’s PM reacts to mosque shootings

  1. Appalling, the guy live streamed the attack on Facebook, with Battle Hymn of the Republic playing in the background, he had at least 5 Assault Rifles in his car, why the Intelligence Services didn’t pick up on his rantings on Facebook, we’ll probably never know.

    1. Battle Hymn is a racist hymn now? You could call John Brown a lot of things, but white supremacist wouldn’t come to mind.

      1. You cannot rationally explain the actions of irrational people.
        If you try, it is going to vex you terribly.

        1. Sorry, Max, but that makes no sense. You very much can explain the behavior of things that are not motivated by reason. Most of the universe is explained that way.

          1. Reading more about the attack, I stand corrected.
            My first impression of the attacker was of a crazy person. Crazy people often do things that make no sense to the sane.

            But it looks like there were at least three attackers, which changes the dynamic tremendously.
            Also, the one person who has been named has traveled recently to Pakistan, Bulgaria, and made multiple trips to Turkey.
            It is also reported that music played on his livestream included “From Bihac to Petrovac village”, a Chetnik song.

            So, at a minimum, this attack and the motivations behind it seem to be fairly complicated.

            I have not watched the video. I am not really ready for that yet.

            1. Three men and one woman were reported as being arrested in connection with the events.

              HOWEVER, reading between the lines of what the Chief Plod said, extremely guardedly, last night, I surmise that there was only the one shooter. I’m guessing the other two men arrested were simply caught in the dragnet with e.g. guns they didn’t ought to have had, or something like that. Just their bad luck to get caught up in events. That’s my guess.


              1. I suppose we should be grateful that the investigation is being conducted by what seem to be competent and discreet officers.
                So we will wait and see about the accomplices.

                If the “manifesto” is authentic, he wrote that he is an “eco-fascist”, and seems to have acted in a way calculated to cause polarization and outrage.

      2. I’m sure the guy got his online jollies in extreme rightwing militia/survivalist/gun nut circles, most of which, I think, are USAnian. Hence his choice of background music when he went nuts.


    2. The first song heard in his car as he was driving off to commit his crimes is typical Serbian music and the lyrics are anti Hrvatske Ustasha and ‘Turks’ which is what Serbian nationalists call Bosnian Muslims.

  2. If I might throw out a bit of information from the book, Zucked. Facebook along with Google and Twitter has undercut the free press from two directions. It has eroded the economics of journalism and then overwhelmed it with disinformation. On facebook, information and disinformation look the same; the only difference is that disinformation generates more revenue, so it gets better treatment.

    1. If I may add, Facebook live provides ” as it’s happening” ; therefore, removing the “report” from the news delivery. There is no room for media stations tampering with the story of or providing false information ( as they’re notorious for doing!)

      1. Only the huge inherent bias of selecting what someone chooses to point their camera at…


      2. “media stations tampering with the story of or providing false information ( as they’re notorious for doing!)”

        ? AFAIK statistics say they are pretty good at presenting the facts and opinions, though weak on labeling opinions that contradict fact as such, as well as promoting rapid events (often negative) over long term change (often positive).

        On the other hand there seem to be people nowadays notorious for having no problem with providing the false information that media is providing much false information.

  3. Good for PM Ardern.

    Nice to hear an articulate, sincere, straightforward statement from a head of government.

    1. The guy from NYPD, Miller, I think is the name was on CBS talking about this and says they have been in contact with NZ all night to learn more and pass info they have. The fact that they have a live terrorist will provide more info and faster than if not. So they are already looking for any connections here and providing more security to specific areas.

      How fast things move on these incidents is surprising.

    2. When she first said, “Our thoughts…
      I was reflexively expecting, “…and prayers…”.
      What a blessed relief.

        1. Correct. According to Wikipedia she was raised Mormon but left at the age of 25, because it conflicted with her personal views, in particular gay rights.


          1. Of course, being raised Mormon is supposed to guarantee you don’t have any personal views. She must have cleverly worked her way out of that conundrum. Good for her.

            1. Well, she was politically active in Labour Party circles (i.e. centre-left) for at least 5 years before that. I would imagine Mormonism tends to be right-wing.


      1. Canadian PM’s typically don’t say “prayers” or “God bless” except for PM Harper and we all cringed & thought it was weird.

      1. I could totally see a preacher declaring that a city whose name sounds like “Islam Bad” would be the perfect place to build a church. 🙂

    1. That was, of course, the Christchurch that G*d chose to zap with an extremely violent, extremely close, extremely shallow earthquake, which destroyed (among other things) the Cathedral.



      1. Well, (self-proclaimed Bishop) Brian Tamaki with his direct line to God said the earthquake was due to legalizing same-sex marriage. Not sure why it was just ChCh that had to suffer.

  4. From what we can glean early in the investigation the shooter appears to be a typical white nationalist driven to take extreme measures by his fear that immigrants are the cause of all his problems. The NYT provides a nice summary of what we know so far.


    This incident will again renew debate about the role of immigration in the seemingly growing instability of various societies throughout the world. One aspect of the debate will focus on how much immigration can so-called western nations absorb from third world nations. This is the crux of the problem. Those who believe in virtually unlimited immigration lack an historical understanding of the cultural clashes that take place when people of certain cultures and traditions immigrate in large numbers to countries that culturally differ. People of the dominant culture will resent this because all peoples consider their culture as a main component of their identities. This cultural hostility will be exacerbated if the dominant culture views the immigrants as economic challenges.

    The reality, rather than the fantasy, is that cultural diversity, carried to extremes, is not a good thing. Ultimately, the newcomers need to demonstrate that they have absorbed the cultural and political values of the dominant society. Throughout American history, immigrants have managed to be assimilated despite suffering great hostility from those who didn’t like their religion or where they came from. The same thing must happen with the current wave of immigration to western nations. I think this will happen as long as the immigration is in manageable numbers. David Frum in the Atlantic discusses this issue.


    Frum concludes:

    “Many Americans feel that the country is falling short of its promises of equal opportunity and equal respect. Levels of immigration that are too high only enhance the difficulty of living up to those promises. Reducing immigration, and selecting immigrants more carefully, will enable the country to more quickly and successfully absorb the people who come here, and to ensure equality of opportunity to both the newly arrived and the long-settled—to restore to Americans the feeling of belonging to one united nation, responsible for the care and flourishing of all its people.”

    I am not sure that immigration should be reduced as Frum urges. But, clearly immigration should be at a level that the nation can successfully absorb. This calculation must be driven by an appreciation of the role of culture in the lives of people. In other words, policy must be based on reality, not fantasy.

      1. He’s not blaming the victims, though. He’s just saying ‘we need to avoid situations known to cause conflict’, and if anybody’s getting the blame it’s us – the wider society – or specifically those setting immigration policy.

    1. This strikes me as being victim blaming. You seem to be claiming that it was the Muslims’ own fault for immigrating in such large numbers.

      If somebody decides to murder people because he thinks there are too many of them, he is to blame, not anybody else.

      Also, I suspect the Maori people would find bitter irony in your post.

      1. Blaming the victim? Hardly. I find it astonishing that you and GBJames think that I am in any way condoning the terrorist act. Indeed, these two comments demonstrate how easily, intentionally or not, comments can be distorted. But, it is so easy to do on the Internet.

        I will try to rephrase my comment so that you can understand it. A nation’s immigration policy must be carefully thought out, otherwise there is the danger of cultural conflict. There are many historical examples that demonstrate that when peoples of different cultures interact hostility or even violence can result. You may not like this, but as Walter Cronkite used to say “that’s the way it is.” I am pro-immigration; I always have been. But, policy should not be based on wishful thinking.

        1. I didn’t say you are condoning the terrorist act.

          It seems to me that the danger of cultural conflict is being driven by ultra right wing haters in this instance. It doesn’t matter how much you regulate immigration policy, these people will find somebody to focus their hate on.

          1. Islam itself is ultra right-wing. Every detestable thing progressives think of the right wing as representing is true of Islam: authoritarian, anti-egalitarian, anti-feminist, traditionalist, patriarchal, religious, warlike, ethnocentric, and nationalistic.

              1. I’m not sure it is completely irrelevant.
                What drives people to become right wing extremists? I’m reminded of Breivik here.
                [And no, I’m not blaming the victims here, the act was deeply criminal, unconscionable, cowardly, horrific, etc. etc. indefensible.]

              2. Right wing extremists are motivate by fear and hatred of people who they view as different from themselves. And, as it happens, there are always people who are different. If there are no immigrants around, they will simply turn elsewhere. Sexual orientation works. Religious dissent works. Political orientation works.

                The fact that Islamists are one form of right wing extremist, doesn’t invalidate this fact.

        2. Neither of us said you condoned the act. But you did attribute the cause of such acts to the inability to “absorb” immigrants.

          I’ve heard similar “explanations” for the holocaust… “If only the Jews had been more assimilated…”.

          1. Of course, the Jews were assimilated in Germany. However, it must be kept in mind that there are many different reasons for scapegoating. Thus, the reasons for the genocide of the Jews in Nazi Germany was not the same for anti-immigrant sentiment today in many western nations. In the latter, perceived cultural differences is a major factor why some in the dominant society view Muslims with distrust. No matter what is done, some in the dominant society will always feel this way. Nirvana is not around the corner. The goal should be to significantly reduce that number. So, yes, a thoughtful immigration policy will be one that most likely will successfully “absorb” people that enter a country with significantly different cultural traditions.

            You should read the Frum article for an expansion of my argument.

            1. The point is that it is a familiar “explanation” that blames the victims for being different. Not really appropriate at a time like this.

              1. I don’t think Historian intended to blame the victims, but I think that’s what he did. His argument, that “when peoples of different cultures interact, hostility or even violence can result” does exactly this. It attributes the violence of extremists to the friction of interacting with people who are different.

                If only they had assimilated more, this wouldn’t have happened to them.

                If only she hadn’t immodestly, she wouldn’t have been raped.. Or perhaps, to be more closely aligned to the argument: When people of different sexes interact, harassment or even violence can result.

                Explain to me how this is not blaming the victims?

              2. I shouldn’t stick myself into another’s argument but will anyway. The anti immigration ideas are really nothing more than an extension of the racism. This has been Trumps entire campaign from the beginning. He is a two tone pony, kill health care and stop immigration unless the people are white or from Finland. Let’s see just how stupid, meaning how much the followers want to have this no immigration. Tell them Mexico will pay for a wall. Surely they are not that stupid. Oh yes, if the great one says so, all the Mexicans will line up and pay for a wall. A wall to keep them in. So far he has failed on both counts so he will spend the remainder of his time sitting in the white house attempting to steel tax payer’s money to build wall. His foreign policy has also been very successful – he should have gone for a wall across the DMZ in Korea. So what if Nuks climb the wall. You could not invent a more incompetent president if you built one out of sticks and glue.

              3. Historian is blaming immigration policy rather than immigrants. But he is blaming it for bringing in immigrants who change the ethnicity of the country, i.e. they are not like us. So I join in rejecting this argument. The problem is the racists, not immigration policies. Since when should we choose immigration policy so as not to offend the racists?

              4. Darwins, the problem is that a huge chunk of the American public, largely Trump supporters, are racist as you define it, that is, wanting to keep out immigrants whom they define as the “other.” These people will not engage in mass shooting or march in parades, but they view Muslim immigrants no differently than if Klingons would want to emigrate to the U.S. Just what would you do with the racists?

                We hear a lot about how bad these racists are, and, indeed, they are people I generally despise. But, simply saying that are “bad” is nothing more than virtue signaling. We need policies to mitigate inter-cultural conflict. Unfortunately, actual solutions are difficult if not impossible to find. The best we can do is quarantine the disease in a state of remission, knowing that it can flare up at any time. An understanding of history makes this abundantly clear. White nationalism as it is currently called has existed long before Trump, indeed well back into colonial times.But, whining gets us nowhere.

              5. Perhaps the answer (though it wouldn’t work on the zealots in the groups) is to challenge the premise that leads them to hate immigrants, which is that the US lets in so many immigrants, that the culture of the US is changing for the worse….or perhaps more specifically address that there is no politician who calls for “open boarders” and that the US rejects x many would be immigrants and refugee asylum seekers as unsuitable or not meeting refugee criteria. Their entire premise is based on fear and that fear is based on false information.

              6. AFAIK, there is no significant inter-cultural conflict in NZ. Look at the way the citizens of Christchurch have rallied for their Muslim neighbors. In fact, I believe this bastard chose to do his despicable deed in NZ exactly because it is a trusting tolerant society which lacks safeguards against acts like this. Another sad loss in this tragedy is NZ’s loss of innocence. They don’t just have to worry about a few local xenophobic racists, they have to worry about any one visiting their lovely country.

      2. I am not sure that it blames those particular Muslims for the attack.
        And sometimes analysis is about finding reasons, rather than assigning blame. I think we know exactly who is to blame for this attack. He wrote a confession.
        But if the attack is symptomatic of something, it might be a large influx of Muslim immigrants into European countries. And we should be able to strongly condemn the violence while still having serious concerns about mass immigration. It does seem that the NZ mosques were chosen because they were soft targets and close, rather than because of issues actually occurring in NZ.
        And yes, the Maori are a good example, as is any culture that experiences large numbers of people from a culture hostile to theirs moving in. Even if every single immigrant is a super nice person and a good neighbor. They are still going to change things to fit their culture and beliefs.
        Humans move, and always have. Usually there are winners and losers.
        I have been writing for a long time about how I expect that the European immigration situation is going to end the Europe our grandparents built from the rubble of WW2. Not directly by the immigrants, but by the harsh movements and new policies that will spring up in response.
        Since we are not the kind of people our ancestors were, we have a much higher threshold before we respond to these sort of situations. Violent fringe dwellers do not have that same filter. I think it is evident that very few people support the terrorists who claim to be acting in those people’s interest.

        It might be best to look at this in the larger context of the conflict between Islam and Christianity that has been going on pretty much constantly for 1300 years. That many of us are not actually Christians is irrelevant.

    2. Regarding the US, favorable attitudes towards immigration are at an all-time high, so the resentment is limited to a small demographic. And that demographic has limited contact with immigrants, so it’s not a hostility based on first-hand experience.

      But yes, if I lived in a smaller country with a much higher proportion of immigrants from cultures that have anti-enlightenment values, I would be concerned.

    3. The most basic flaw here is that even if all immigrants agree to fast-track cultural assimilation in their new home, adapting to the clothes and food and language, that still will not be good enough for the xenophobes. Your long post overlooked that little detail.
      I don’t agree that we should expect immigrants to just give up their personal rights to live in a new country so that the majority can live in a bubble.

      1. If the “bubble” includes separation of church and state, equality of men & women, the right to life for homosexuals, then, yes, they should be expected to give up their “personal rights”.

        1. No one in democracies has personal rights that means they can break down a nation’s secular government, or kill or even harass others. Your comment seems empty to me, am I misunderstanding it?

    4. I agree with what Frum says here but he is talking generally about immigration policies, which of course, should be thought about and I think are thought about, and he is addressing the American landscape at this time in history which is very different from New Zealand.

      1. And I note that Mr Frum carefully (and I think deliberately) avoids mentioning Islam.
        If he had been addressing the ‘Western European landscape’, could he have gotten away with that?

        1. I think Frum doesn’t mention Islam because his comments are universal. Islam today, communists yesterday.

          1. +1

            I can think of a dozen ethnic/social groups in NZ that a gun-toting loony could find a very good pretext to target, right now.

            It’s probably significant that Muslims are one of the few of those (maybe the only one) of interest to American-dominated rightwing online nutgroups, to which this moron apparently subscribed.


    5. Sometimes men want to act like cretins when they see young women in tank tops and shorts – that does not mean it’s on women to dress like nuns. Some may want to beat their wives if dinner is not on the table when they get home – that does not mean it’s on the wives to eggshell-walk around the whims of an abusive bully.

      After a certain point, the onus is totally and fully on one group. You can’t say that we have to shape our immigration policies around deranged nut jobs stockpiling firearms somewhere. There are many factors that should go into a responsible immigration debate, but that is not one of them. Shaping policies around the acts of domestic terrorists only encourages that behavior as a means of getting their way. You don’t negotiate with terrorists.

    6. The thing is, the level of immigration is not a big issue in most of NZ, especially not Muslim immigration. There’s a bit of a problem in Auckland, but that’s about Asian immigration (mainly Chinese – a third of the popn is now Asian) and mostly relates to the lack of housing and the feeling that Asian immigration is driving up housing costs beyond what NZers can afford. (Housing is a big problem, but the issue is more that not enough houses have been built for decades, not the more recent influx of immigrants.)

      The murderer was Australian and known to the Aussie police in relation to his white supremacy. Unfortunately, he wasn’t on any watch lists, so was able to get into NZ as there are few restrictions on travel between our countries for citizens. He apparently specifically chose ChCh, NZ because it’s peaceful, though I personally don’t get the logic of that.

    7. Of course, the terrorist himself was a *guest* (i.e. himself an immigrant) in New Zealand. An Australian national. And of course the Europeans were themselves *immigrants* to New Zealand. The only native culture is that of the Maori people. The POS terrorist is not crazy; not a raving lunatic; not in the grip of “mental health problems”. He is a self-proclaimed fascist, very worried about displacement of “the white race” by “invaders” with “higher birth rates”. He idolises all the other white supremacist terrorist males that went before him. He thinks he’ll spark an “uprising” and some sort of “revolution”. This will not happen here, as the vast majority of New Zealanders are appalled and disgusted by these views, and I think this might finally be the beginning of the end of tolerance for the intolerant far right here. I hope that the people who have cheered this guy on will be rooted out and neutralised, because they are a disease. Nothing but a disease.

  5. More people were killed in NZ in a few minutes than all of the year 2017. Just my thought but I don’t think this has anything to do with immigration or what the policy may be. This is about hate, white supremacy and the unfortunate affects of the platforms on the internet we all seem to love and worship. It is also fueled by the likes of Donald Trump with misguided fears and lies. His actions at our southern boarder are illegal, disgusting and frankly very few people seem to give a damn. We are all just one or two clicks away from more ignorance and fear.

    The guy who did this is nothing but a ignorant nobody from the internet and a complete coward. If he was interested in making a big splash why not come to the states and get his full 15 minutes. Because it is much more likely he is dead here and in NZ he is a big surprise and it is much safer for the likes of him.

    1. Interesting to trace the cause to DT. To some extent that must be true. It is reported the perp got inspiration from US right wingers who feed and thrive in DT’s wake.

      1. This shit was around long before Trump and will be around long after. Those websites started long before him and would be around regardless of his election. We can’t tie everything to Donald Trump, much as we may hate him.

        1. DT elevates the visibility of extremists and promotes recruitment. He has some of the responsibility in my opinion.

          1. For which groups does he promote recruitment? The internet started that long ago, and social media accelerated it. These people may love Trump, but Trump doesn’t record promotion messages for them.

            Certainly, since Trump’s election, the media has given tons more attention and exposure to these groups…

            I wish that, just once, we could stop talking about Trump, especially right after a tragedy all the way on the other side of the world. But I guess not.

            1. It’s just that he so easily he comes to mind when right wing extremism happens. Perhaps we should blame Zuckerberg and leave poor old Donald in peace for a while.

              1. There is apparently nothing too small with which to make a Trump connection and get in a dig at him. Recently, in an apparent fit of TDS, NY Times reporter Katie Rogers somewhat obsessed over Trump’s favoring of felt-tip pens. It must gall her that there remains a market for them.

        2. Randall’s comment is correct. It’s about white supremacy, not immigration. Frum clearly has little or no understanding of NZ.

          The murderer praised DT is his manifesto. I can’t remember the words, but it was something about him providing leadership and inspiration to the White Supremacist movement.

    2. One must be willfully blind to conclude this has nothing to do with immigration. It’s not the only factor to consider, but there’s simply no question that immigration policy, which has recently been at record highs IN NZ, was a major factor at play.

      Anybody who blames this in any way on DT is disgusting in my opinion, and engaging in exactly the type of scapegoating and hatred they’re attempting to condemn. There is absolutely nothing Trump has said or done that could be related to an atrocity such as this.

        1. I agree with you that DT and Brexit are symptoms. I stand by my point that I find anybody who blames Trump for this in any way disgusting and guilty of contributing to our increasingly broken, poisonous national dialogue.

          1. Of course we can criticize and in some cases even put blame on Trump since he is acting to support racists et cetera in many ways ranging from promoting such ideas to equalizing white supremacists with their victims. On that account, I blame Trump personally for trying to murder an estimated 1 million females around the world by preventing sex and abortion education with earlier US foreign support; other nations had to step in and hopefully prevented the suffering and deaths.

            If criticizing and – if warranted – blaming inept politicians make someone claim I am disgusting and somehow to blame for the state of US dialogue, I can take – rather reject – that.

        1. As far as I know (I do not intend to read the murderer’s manifesto), he made 1 ambiguous mention of Trump (something like “I like him for supporting white people, but don’t like him as a leader). On the other side, he claimed to be influenced by Breivik, who – unlike Trump – has done a similar mass murder before.

          But so far, nobody mentions Breivik, and several participants blamed Trump. To me, this is because the audience here loves to hate Trump. Yes, willfully blind.

          1. We can blame Trump by your own quote, but I don’t think that is how it started. Randall said “the likes of Donald Trump” and rickflick noted that was interesting: Trump is US president, after all. (While Breivik is a terrorist, so everything else alike much more of an inspiration.)

      1. Since you know so much about how this guy thinks it is surprising they have not hired you on this. Read through some of the guy’s manifesto and other things on line. That is what the security and police are doing. Also, he is the one making reference to Donald Trump, so I guess that makes him disgusting. Gee, he only killed 49 people, give him a break. The experts I am hearing on this guy already say the ideology lines up and the systems available on facebook make this stuff work. It empowers them. Ever heard of Daily Stormer on line. They consider Trump an alley.

        1. That’s just the type of shit I’m talking about. Oh, the murderous lunatic mentions DT? Are you always in the habit of ascribing great truths to what murderous lunatics say? I guess you blame The Beatles for Charles Manson, and talking dogs for David Berkowitz.

          This guilt by association shit has got to stop. Tell me one thing that Trump has done or said that can reasonably lead to this type of atrocity.

          1. There is not enough time to list everything for your but then he is your guy, you defend him. I am not giving you shit, I have given you facts and evidence. Calling it shit only shows you are closed to discussion.

            Trump has said after Charlotte, there are good people on both sides. Trump said Mexico is not sending us their good people, sending bad people, murders, convicts. Trump is separating small children and babies from their parents at the boarder and throwing them in prisons in violation of our own laws and regulations. Trump attempted to outlaw Muslims from many countries from coming to the U.S. Trump, very recently said the police, the military in this country were for him and they may take action in the future if things do not go for Trump. The best advise I have for you is to go back to your tribe or whatever you call it and see if your hero makes it to the next election. Oh yes, and check out his Department of Commerce old lying Wilber and find out why so many congressmen and women called him out for lying about the question he wanted added to the census this year. Are you a citizen of the United States? Just a good old fashion racist question right, what’s the problem.

            1. And all this caused the shooting in NZ?

              Some people really can’t stop themselves, even on a day that should be for mourning, from making it about the politics of their own country on the other side of the world. Nothing you said proves anything about Trump somehow being in any way responsible for this tragedy. You’ve just spouted a bunch of policies you don’t like (and I don’t either) and did it in your usual bullying, aggressive, insulting way that you always do when people disagree with you. But I guess now I’m a Trump supporter as well, because I’m somehow “defending” him.

              By the way, Obama separated far more families and sent back far more immigrants than any President in history. I wonder if you were talking about that in the same manner (if at all) during his Presidency…

              1. Your passion for Trump is really not effective. Suggest you comment to someone who cares. The guy calls my comments shit and you say I am bullying and insulting. Do you ever listen to your leader Trump? Also, you act as if I am saying Trump pulled the trigger. He may be a gun loving pathetic individual but I did not say he pulled the trigger. He just allows others who are so inclined to do so. By the way, that other good news about guns I was learning about is this. Connecticut court battles have changed the law now allowing individuals to sue manufacturers of firearms. Therefore, the victims of Sandy Hook may now be able to go after Remington. Good news.

            2. I’ll note that your list (which is supposed to show things Trump has said or done that creates such a climate of hate they would lead to mass murder, yet does nothing of the sort) is full of hyperbole and downright wrong interpretations of the facts.

              Let’s take your #1: Trump was clearly referring to good people existing on both sides of the statue issue, NOT White Supremacists (whom he repeatedly and clearly condemned). And he was absolutely right; it’s a fact that there were good people there taking a principled stand against what they saw as a whitewashing of history.

              You think you’re the one speaking out against division and hate but by repeating the malicious lie that Trump called Neo Nazis good people, ironically, you’re spreading propaganda that contributes to our climate of division and hate.

            3. BTW, can someone here who is blasting Trump for this recent shooting point me to your condemnations of Bernie and Democrats creating a climate of hate after that left wing activist whack job shot up a baseball field full of Congressional Republicans?

              Not that I’m accusing anyone of intellectual dishonesty or anything…

              1. Can you point to a single thing Bernie Sanders has ever said to foment violence, or to excuse violence, or to give aid and comfort to those who perpetrate it?

              2. Ken, you’re missing the point. My point is it’s intellectually dishonest to slam Trump for for this shooting if you didn’t likewise slam the Dems for the Congressional Republican shooting.

              3. You’re the one missing the point here, rustybrown. You asked above if there’s anything Trump has done to contribute to a climate of fear and intolerance.

                You can parse and make excuses for Trump’s language all you want. But what do you think the Muslim-haters and neo-Nazis and others on the Alt-Right make of Trump’s statement that “Muslims hate us” in the clip I posted below — or, even worse, of this clip; or of his baldfaced lie that he saw thousands of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on 9/11; or of his non-stop demagoguery feeding red meat to the true believers at his political rallies?

                Actually, we don’t need to wonder; the David Dukes and Richard Spencers and others of that ilk have been vocal in their support of Trump. And they’ve taken added succor when, on the rare occasion that Trump has been forced to disavow their endorsement, he’s done it so slowly and grudgingly.

                There can be no doubt that Trump has contributed to a climate of fear and intolerance, however much non-bigoted Trump supporters may wish it were otherwise.

              4. Ken, Maybe you missed my response to your clip below in which I show you that setting aside style, the content of what Trump said there is pretty uncontroversial, at least to many of us, and much better policy than what Hillary was laying out. I see you continue to dishonestly mischaracterize what’s said in the clip. Trump doesn’t say “Muslims hate us” as you claim; he say’s “Islam hates us”, and when asked if he means Islam or radical Islam he clearly says RADICAL Islam. Why do you continue to lie about what he said? And I’ll ask again what I asked below, since you haven’t answered yet: what is it about what Trump’s saying in that clip that’s is so objectionable? You don’t think Radical Islam hates us?

                You seem to be very concerned that neo-Nazis support Trump. That’s a failure of understanding on your part. If you answer these questions honestly it should clear things up for you: Is it really a mystery to you why neo-Nazis would prefer the immigration restrictionist candidate over the open borders candidate? Do you think it’s possible to be an immigration restrictionist without being a neo-Nazi? Are you familiar with venn diagrams?

                “on the rare occasion that Trump has been forced to disavow (Duke’s, Spencer’s) endorsement, he’s done it so slowly and grudgingly.”

                That’s complete horseshit. Simply not true. He’s condemned them immediately many times.

                Still waiting to be pointed to your condemnations of Democrats after the Congressional Republican shooting. You must have been quite worked up about that seeing it was such a baldy partisan attack and Dems had been saying the most hateful, conspiratorial, and alarming things about Trump and Republicans beforehand.

              5. rickflick, I guess you win the prize for cognitive dissonance. Ignore all arguments and answer with nonsense. Congrats!

              6. “There can be no doubt that Trump has contributed to a climate of fear and intolerance, however much non-bigoted Trump supporters may wish it were otherwise.”

                Yet when asked to produce some evidence of this you post a clip of Trump saying something that’s true and uncontroversial. Very strange.

            4. I seem to remember Bernie backed off from his demand for Medicaid for all for about a week while activists simmered down.

      2. Donald Trump bears no responsibility for this shooting itself (despite the shooter’s having cited him in his “manifesto” as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose”). He does, however, bear responsibility for his part in creating a climate of intolerance and fear. It’s one thing to pick at the scab of racist and xenophobic tropes when you’re a private citizen shitposting on twitter or shooting your mouth off in the media. It’s quite another to do so from the platform of the presidency of the United States.

        The man has shown himself utterly incapable of rising to office he occupies.

        1. OK, what has Trump done that has created a climate of intolerance and fear? Come out strongly against illegal immigration?

          The climate of intolerance and fear is being stoked by the media.

          1. They are rapists, they bring diseases, they are drug smugglers, for starters.
            Banning all Muslims from countries that did not produce any terrorists in the USA and contending there are good people on both sides, the caravan is going to swamp us, etc etc.
            I’m sorry, but in my books that is indeed creating a climate of intolerance and fear.

            1. Again, just taking the first one:

              No Mexican illegals are rapists, bring diseases or smuggle drugs? Either you don’t follow the news or you’re living in a complete fantasy world of denials. Would you like some links that prove all of those things are true?

            1. Posting that clip is a great example of being concerned about style over substance, probably the greatest cognitive error Trump haters make.

              The clip shows Trump at his his most inarticulate, inartful and blunt. Yet what he’s saying is basically true. Picking through his word salad you get:

              “Radical Islam hates us and we have to get to the bottom of it. We have to make sure radical Islamists don’t come into this country, and it’s very difficult to figure out who’s radical and who isn’t.”

              In the extended clip (which most media outlets intentionally omitted) he immediately gives the examples of the recent massacres of San Bernardino and Paris to illustrate the type of radical Islamic hate he’s talking about.

              So, what is it about the SUBSTANCE of that clip that you object to? I asked you to give me an example of Trump creating a climate of intolerance and fear and you come up with that?

              Meanwhile, in reaction to the San Bernardino shooting, Hillary’s campaign chairman John Podesta sent out a tweet lamenting that the shooters weren’t white instead of Muslim (how’s THAT for some racial hatred?).

              And Hillary herself was saying:

              “Islam is not our adversary, Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing to do whatsoever with terrorism.

              I’ll take inarticulate truths over articulate political correctness any day.

            2. Another way of putting it is that if Christopher Hitchens eloquently expressed the exact same sentiments that Trump did in that clip, most people here would be singing his praises for truth telling.

      3. The usual bullshit from rustybrown.

        “immigration policy, which has recently been at record highs IN NZ, was a major factor at play.”

        New Zealand is full of immigrants and minorities. Dalmatians (from last century), Chinese and other asians, Pacific Islanders, Fiji Indians, white Australians and South Africans, and of course the indigenous Maori who aren’t immigrants but are a very prominent non-white minority.

        Muslims are a small proportion of the population and are only visible because some of them wear their (regrettable IMO) black sacks. Most recently it’s been wealthy Chinese investors who are driving up the price of houses and causing a housing crisis. So why didn’t Chummy cut loose on them? Or on our Maoris who are quite politically active in promoting their culture (and very un-PC to criticise it).

        But I’d guess nobody in the American-dominated alt-right Internet nutgroups gives a fig about NZ Chinese or Maori. They’re obsessed with the Muslim Menace. Where d’you suppose Chummy got his inspiration from?


        1. I noted that, and how it looks like victim blaming.

          Europa shows that the nativity idea of Bronze Age religions does not work, they are not replacing their own numbers as their children and grandchildren becomes integrated and secular.

          And this week I read about a statistical meta-analysis over a half century and many nations that seems to claim that democracy and migration long term adds 20 % to GDP after rocky starts. (Since most nations go democratic after inept leaders has squandered their riches, c.f. Venezuela’s problems.) I know even Sweden now wants to cut down on migration, but it is short term unnecessary – the 2016 peak that equaled our own replacement of costly adolescents abated spontaneously – and long term uncharacteristic – half our genome consists, like the average in Europa, of the Ukraine Yamnaya gene flow. Migration is *what people do*.

          Enlightenment for the win.

  6. Looks like a fucking loser who got radicalized on the internet, like the loser Western ISIS radicals. In a way, a sad victim of the social media era.

  7. Horrifying., Just horrifying.

    Moments like these should bring people together. I hope the entire country helps by showing their support and love to the victims and those who lost loved ones or were injured. In the US, we’ve become used to mass shootings, but New Zealand hasn’t been numbed to them like us. This can be used as a moment for national unity, understanding, and love. Use this tragedy and make it an opportunity; make it everything the shooter hates.

    1. You are quite right, we are not used to this sort of criminal act. However, pretty much no place on the planet is immune from troubled minds. What we are not used to is violence commited with extreme hate (ideology)
      We have had ‘threats’ from factions within NZ. Unfortunately IIRC in the last major ‘uprising’ (i could imagine a square kilometer in certain parts of the US would have more fire power than this particular group) the NZ police made a right balls up of it.
      Well anyhow, in this case, my heart weeps for modern NZ and i can’t believe my naivety (up to a point) that we could stay from this type of killing spree.

      1. Well, we had a killing spree in 1990, the Aramoana massacre. Killed 13.

        But that was just a solitary gun nut (who liked e.g. Soldier of Fortune magazine) who snapped and started killing anybody he could. No apparent political motivation though he may have been mentally deranged and had a persecution complex.

        He had five rifles, 3 of them semi-auto.

        Since then there have been strong restrictions on semi-auto guns in NZ. Questions will certainly be asked about how the nutter in Christchurch acquired his guns.


        1. I’ve heard they have raised some 2 million dollars so far for families of the victims.
          Aramoana was made into a tv movie, not a comfortable watch needless to say. He was one sick individual.
          I also see the PM has said there a more gun law changes to come.

          1. It seems the nutter actually had licences for all his guns.

            (I believe normally these licences are quite restrictive about where and when you can use them, but obviously he didn’t care about that.
            I knew a serious gun collector who had enough arms to start a revolution, but he kept them all securely locked away in a strongroom as required by law, and the bolts and ammo in a massive safe. All inspected and approved by the police.)

            Whether there is any revision to the law that would be helpful, I don’t know. If the nutter was apparently sane, committed no offences, and met all conditions for owning guns, what could anyone do?

            Doubtless more information will emerge in due course.


            1. He also altered the guns too which is probabaly illegal but it’s not like people about to commit mass murder are going to adhere to the law. I’m surprised he actually had a gun licence at all.

            2. “If the nutter was apparently sane, committed no offences, and met all conditions for owning guns, what could anyone do?”
              Please don’t quote me on this, but when my brother- in- law was renewing his gun licence he needed a sponsor from a ‘sane’ citizen to sign it off. He picked me as his sponsor (i’m sane, how about you) you can see where i’m going with this, family, etc., and i remember thinking, hmmm… ok, do i really know him that well. So far, so good.

    1. Trump tweeted his “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to the people of New Zealand without using the word “Muslim.” Strange words. The attacker mentioned Trump in his “manifesto”, praising him.

      1. I guess that ‘warmest thoughts and best wishes’ is better than ‘thoughts and prayers’, let us give credit where credit is due.

        1. “Warmest sympathy” seems an odd locution; the customary phrase would be “deepest sympathy.”

          And it’s strange that he left out his standard call for “prayers,” too. Maybe he thinks praying is appropriate only for Christian victims, not heathens.

          But then, the Donald wouldn’t know the Five Pillars of Islam from the six columns on the South Portico of the White House.

          1. And “best wishes.” I would use that term as in “best wishes on your promotion” or “best wishes for your future happiness”, not “best wishes on your massacre.”

        2. I give him zero credit for anything. The only “nice” or sensibly said things come out only later, after someone with sense tells him he should.

      1. The man has 15.5 million daily listeners, in a nation where the last presidential election was decided by 77,000 voters in three swing states. How disturbing and disheartening is that?

  8. Predictably, after yet another dark chapter in the bulging book of terrorist mass shootings, the #NewRacists are busy grifting and making hay with this latest massacre.

    I note that PZ Meyers seems to hint that the atheist movement is somehow to blame for creating the environment that led to this. But his logic doesn’t really fit.

    Also, he exempts himself from any blame, of course. It is just the atheists he doesn’t like.

  9. The Scandinavian countries are reacting heavily since the racist terrorist was citing both similar terrorists here (Breivik) and victims of religious terrorists (Åkerlund) as well as famous Swedish racist youtuber Pewdiepie.

    Åkerlund’s father was cited as horror struck, lamenting that the family is victimized yet again amidst their grief. Added to that descriptions claim the perpetrator wanted to give Åkerlund et al “revenge” but Sweden has no revenge culture.

  10. Refusing to condemn the KKK and refusing to acknowledge that far right extremism is a “thing”, and a dangerous thing, even in the wake of all the recent massacres by white supremacists, is one “thing” Trump has done. Sure, these fascists were there before, but Trump has validated them. The terrorist says he was inspired most by Breivik, who he refers to as a ‘Knight’ (as in the Knights Templar), and some far right woman who I’ve never heard of and whose name I can’t remember (Candace someone?) who posts hate videos online. I think she’s American. No surprises there.

    1. Oh yeah, and one of my Muslim work colleagues here in Auckland has lost TWO friends in the ChCh mosque attack. He is terrified and unable to sleep at night, and everyone else here, like me, is shocked and devastated.

  11. Another tragic piece of collateral damage is that a ‘school strike for climate’ was scheduled for that Friday. Pupils all over NZ making it known that they are concerned about climate change which will affect their generation.

    Normally this would have headed the news. I think it’s a vitally important topic.

    But of course this terrorist maniac swamped that, too.


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