CP Editorial on New Zealand Slayings
An editorial by Michael Brown: “New Zealand mosque massacre: How should we respond?” His initial reaction: “It is evil. Fiendishly evil. No condemnation of this heinous, cowardly act can be too strong.” But, he soon cautions, “we must not overreact…. This was the crime of a sick, demented, evil individual.” Mr. Brown insists the shooter is simply bad apple, and warns against attempts to identify general threats.
We need to put this crime in context. New Zealand is a small, peaceful nation. America, by contrast, is a large, violent nation. The 50 murders in New Zealand’s mosque is far more than its average annual number of murders. By contrast, the number of Americans killed in the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001, was a fraction of America's annual number of murders. In other words, taken in context, the mosque attack in New Zealand was far worse than the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.
Mr. Brown did not urge restraint about identifying threats after 9/11. When President George W. Bush declared a Global War on Terror in response to the attack, Mr. Brown was all for it. When President Bush identified the source of the problem as “radical Islam,” Mr. Brown did not warn against such a generalization, he heartily approved it. Not only did he approve of war against Afghanistan for harboring the man responsible for the attack, Mr. Brown also approved Bush’s war against Iraq based on the flimsiest of excuses.
Mr. Brown favored the War on Terror against “radical Islam.” But while he acknowledges that in New Zealand “the shooter [not “the terrorist”] was a right-wing extremist, a white supremacist,” he warns against taking actions – even investigatory actions – against right-wing extremists and white supremacists. Even though the shooter/terrorist explicitly praised President Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” Michael Brown is very concerned that we don't associate acts of “white identity and common purpose” with President Trump.
It is not clear how many readers of CP (The Christian Post) are right-wing extremists and white supremacists. But the number is far from negligible, and neither Michael Brown nor CP wishes to offend them. Right-wing extremism is too close to home.