I’ve held off on talking about this because even I needed time to let my emotions settle before I could speak to this with clarity. When I heard about the Christchurch shooting I felt sick. Last I heard it was 49 dead. This guy streamed video footage of the attack. and It was like watching a nightmare. These ppl were at their most vulnerable, in their place of worship. they were at his mercy and he showed none. The depth of hell your soul has to be to be able to commit those actions, is almost beyond comprehension.
Each one of those individuals represent much more than just 1 person dead. they represent a (now broken) family, extended family, a job and all the colleagues who worked with them, a circle of friends and a regular patron to all the local shopkeepers. Each life lost will have a ripple effect through all of Christchurch and by extension of ever person it affects, it will ripple out and affect all of new zealand. And every other country around the commonwealth is looking at this knowing it could have just as easily been any one of us, at any one of our own communities. I don’t even know how a community heals from such hell. It’s so bad I don’t even know if it can. But I hope it does. These actions are so insane and so malevolent it’s like looking at the devil himself.
Watch coverage in New Zealand:
To make matters worse, it’s so discouraging to see some media reacting to this in a way that I believe this shooter absolutely intended for them to react and baited them into it. As if he got to write the headlines himself. And so this is what’s prompting me to post about this at all. Look. It’s easy to point fingers at others to blame all the various roles you may believe others played in this tragedy. It’s easy to point fingers because we desperately want to make sense out of something that will never make sense. It’s hard to accept something that’s unacceptable. But we don’t have a choice.
The actions of this man are no one’s fault but his own. No one in their right mind would ever, ever, EVER want something like this to ever happen. Literally, the ppl on social media who are spreading the video and spouting racist rhetoric and pushing for civil unrest, these people are literally mentally ill. Not to say they do not bear any responsibility for their actions, I’m saying these are not normal people. They are just as ideologically possessed by extremism as is this insane shooter. I shouldn’t even need to start this post by stating my position on the shooting. But I do need to. because everytime someone calls for calm and peace in moments like this, people jump to assume it’s like you’re apologizing for what happened. I’m saying this guy WANTS us to be fighting with one another. So let’s not give him what he wants. This whole event, beyond the tragedy it was, was clearly a recruiting attempt. And if he can’t win people over to ethno-nationalism by agreeing with ideology then he’ll force you into their camp when everyone else around you pushes you into it.
Watch Tim Pool react to Christchurch:
Watch Lauren Chen react to Christchurch:
There’s a reason this guy stuffed his car with a mass of legal weapons. There’s a reason why he wrote on those guns all those references to other mass shooters and historical battles against muslims. And why his weapon of choice was the already controversial AR-15. Because he wants everyone who’s pro gun control to absolutely lose their shit out of everyone who’s anti-gun control. regardless who’s right or wrong on the gun control issue, if this guy didn’t use guns he would’ve used bombs, if not bombs he would’ve used knives, if not knives he would’ve used chemicals. These murders happened because this nut job chose to murder these people. There is no blanket solution to this problem that would, 1, ever prevent people like this from committing these crimes and, 2, would ever work for everyone.
There’s a reason why this guy chose to give Pewdiepie and Candice Owens and Trump shout outs. He’s trying to sever the political spectrum. He wants to eliminate all fence sitters and moderates and have EVERYONE shouting at each other. He literally wants to spark a civil war. Just like the shooter in Georgia, in Pittsburgh, in Quebec, etc. Pewdiepie is not political. He never has been. But he’s anti-political in a culture war. So he’s always vilified as “problematic” as is so many others who refuse to join the mobs. He also has MILLIONS of people who follow him and so for the media to go after pewdiepie as if he played ANY role in this, you also vilify everyone who follows him. You polarize millions of people.
And we all move ever closer to the edge of the cliff. Candice Owens is nothing more than a political contrarian. She doesn’t even make good arguments. But she represents a political divide in the american black community. Fence sitters. And even though Trump inappropriately nodded to white supremacists during the election, that doesn’t at all mean he wants anything like this to happen. I’m all for holding Trump accountable but to suggest he had anything to do with this horrific action, that’s irresponsible. and it only serves to tribalize people to push this narrative that conservatives are evil. Trump clearly does not speak for all conservatives. For fuck sakes he’s just a reality TV hack. So many conservatives came out against him during the election. And there is a huge difference between american conservatives and canadian conservatives and british conservatives, etc etc.
Watch Sargon of Akkad react to Christchurch:
Watch The Quartering react to Christchurch:
Styxhexenhammer666 discuss Evacuations of New Zealand Music Festival:
Watch Ben Shapiro react to Jordan Peterson’s New Zealand book banning:
Watch Gad Saad react to Cambridge University banning Jordan Peterson:
this shooter was not a conservative. despite what the media is telling us. he is an ethno-nationalist. A REAL white supremacist. he condemns conservatism in his manifesto. so to shift the conversation to conservatives is not only inaccurate but it’s literally using this event for your own political activism. The new zealand prime minister did the right thing to call this individual an extremist with an extremist ideology. Rather than attempt to generalize, she focussed on this individual as solely responsible for these actions. It identifies that there is no political home for actions or beliefs like these. And the true issue at hand is exactly extremist ideology. which can occur in any form. So it must be condemned.
I just don’t like the way we use “far-right” or “far-left” terminology because they’re so vague. No one on any spectrum of the “right” would ever approve of anything like this. this guy is a neo nazi. Call it for what it is. But unfortunately because Nazi is the new hip term to qualify ANYONE with a disagreeable opinion, it’s a term that virtually means nothing anymore. so we are reduced to more generalized terms like “far-right”. which isn’t a fraction as effective at communicating exactly what we are talking about. Especially considering the way the media reports everyone on social media with a conservative position as “far-right”.
Tommy Robinson has never been convicted of a hate crime. But now we have the conflation between these two individuals. It’s a language designed to divide and polarize. When one is a political activist and the other is a terrorist. There couldn’t be a bigger difference between the two yet they are both categorized together as “far-right”. and this guy absolutely was a terrorist. he absolutely did aim to terrorize not just this community but the world. and he has succeeded in doing so. it’s just sad to see the media run with this to give his actions round the clock coverage. Like he’s some kind of celebrity.
In terms of further pushes to “deplatform” and ban people on social media, we need to be really careful here. Sure we can just unperson everyone who disagrees with us and we will feel better but this is not like putting an individual in the corner with a dunce cap for 5 minutes and welcoming them back when they’ve learned why they were put there. There absolutely is a culture war waging and as long as it remains online then we will likely be able to avoid an all out civil war. But people need to have a seat at the table to speak freely. We’ve seen the fallout from banning attempts against people like faith goldy and alex jones and it hasn’t done ANYTHING but legitimize their claims and grown their base. And forced them underground and to cater to more hysterical rhetoric because it’s paranoid individuals who give them the most support. Why would they care about being non-partisan or dialing back their inflammatory statements when everyone else seeks to condemn them? so their communications become more polarizing and more contentious to the paranoid community they speak to.
during the last city election Faith Goldy ran for mayor. She was banned from all speaking events, from all media including TVO who dedicated an episode of the agenda to engage with fringe mayoral candidates. Even Bell media refused to air her campaign ad which did not break any laws and despite the fact she was a legitamate registered candidate. There wasn’t anything even controversial in the ad, let alone anything which was in conflict with any standards. So she attempted to sue Bell media and a partisan judge refused to hear the case. After it was thrown out Bell media went after her for $50 000 to cover their lawyer fees. At least this is the story according to Faith, the media won’t even talk about it to be able to verify her account of events. And that’s really the problem here. While big media like Bell virtue signal and liberal hosts like John Moore of newstalk1010 get off on grand standing about how moral they are to condemn her and her views, Faith is getting to run with whatever narrative she wants. They’re not even realizing that she’s become so notorious BECAUSE OF THEM that despite the fact they literally refuse to utter her name while talking about her, EVERYONE KNOWS WHO THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. And you don’t see a problem there?
Watch #boycottbell video:
Others may feel good about themselves to call her an idiot but she’s actually not. She knew she would never become mayor. That was never really an option, nor do I believe that’s something she ever really wanted. Her shtick now is to sow the seeds of distrust within the mainstream institutions. That’s how she gains more followers. and what better way to force the media’s hand to reveal their bias by running for mayor and watching the partisans literally violate rules because their partisan ideology is more important than journalistic integrity. And they were more than happy to oblige. And when she lost, their gloating didn’t fool anyone. She came in 3rd place, beating out ALL the other fringe candidates with something like 25 000 votes. Without ANY promotion. Without the main streams precious “platform”. If she HAD received invites to debates and events and if Bell media HAD run her ads, she potentially could’ve ended up around the vote count that Olivia Chow received when she finished the last election in 3rd place. Meaning that despite all the attempts to unperson Faith Goldy, despite all the “justified” banning and deplatforming, Faith Goldy today is comparatively as influential as Olivia Chow. Who is a legend in her community.
We no longer live in a time when someone does something wrong in the media, they get fired, and they’re reduced to nothing as a result. We can no longer end people’s careers over their mistakes. Because of the internet and social media, they will ALWAYS find a seat at the table. If they don’t want to, they will never go away. And no amount of money can prevent someone streaming from their basement to simply talk to a webcam. They will always be able to communicate to the entire world. And we need to actually deal with that. not get our rocks off on how good it feels to punish them. If there is NO road to redemption, these attempts to unperson will ONLY radicalize them and everyone else around them. While trust in the institutions decline ever more. So who’s really winning that battle? Newstalk1010 used to be THE VOICE OF THE GTA. Now it’s just another channel on just another app on the app store. just another folder in the portfolio of Bell media, which owns majority of news outlets now. While the rest of the world says “what’s a bell media?” you tell me, who’s winning that war?
It was Faith Goldy who promoted this idea that Kristyn Wong-Tam was in some conflict of interest for owning 28 condos within her ward and that she was using her role as councillor to benefit from and that she’s also secretly a real estate agent or something like that. Well apparently it’s all made up. But that rumour made the rounds everywhere in Toronto. Including at Newstalk 1010 HQ where the rumours were shared with even the show hosts and received as credible. until Wong-Tam had to come out strongly denouncing the claims in (I think) Now magazine. Guess why? Because arrogant partisans refuse to have Goldy on to challenge her claims or to bother fact checking anything she does so the conversation goes on without them.
And though Wong-Tam won her riding, what if it had done enough damage to cost her the election? John Moore can mock and sneer at Faith Goldy while refusing to use her name, as if he’s leading the conversation? We all know who you’re talking about John Moore. And one day you’ll wake up to the sad reality that now she has more influence than you, Mr. morning talk show host of 20+ years in the industry. It’s the majority of people who don’t know YOUR name. So go ahead, continue your deplatforming. Will you accept any responsibility when the fallout of this partisanship comes to a boiling point? No, it’s never your fault, is it? Your actions never have consequences, like hers. Aren’t we all just so virtuous? Wake the fuck up.
So if you haven’t assumed what my position is by now on censorship, yeah, it doesn’t work. It actually has the opposite effect. Twitter bans Megan Murphy for misgendering. Now the entire world is talking about Megan Murphy. Even if we don’t like what people have to say, even if what they say is racist, bigoted, misogynist, hateful, if someone says something reprehensible, so what? What do you want? Would you feel better to call them an idiot? Go ahead. You’re allowed. The whole point of the marketplace of ideas allows bad ideas to be criticised. Tell all your friends about it. Make fun of the stupid comments together over pizza or something.
Social media is more than just a bunch of corporations. It’s the home where public discourse takes place. It’s where the world goes to network. It’s the publication where we receive our news. It’s the global conversation where we all take part. And our online avatars make it easy to diminish the importance of our role in it. But to ban someone truly is to remove them from society. To exile someone from the rest of the world with no road to redemption or path to move forward you are forcing someone to take their potentially dangerous ideas offline and out onto the street. Where the way to ratio someone with dislikes comes in the form of physical assault. And the only thing preventing this insane culture war from breaking out to a full blown civil war IS the fact we can contend with each other civilly online. Where when we engage in road rage there, the most we can do is report one another. Outside in the real world the worst we can do to each other is Christchurch. So we need to be very fucking careful how we proceed from here.
My advice to you is this:
1. Focus on you and your life. Do what’s right for YOU. Do what you need to improve YOUR life. Clean your home. Go cook an awesome dinner. Find someone close to you in your life and give them a big hug. because we never know just how long our time is on this planet. Despite their differences from you, give that person a big hug and thank them for being a part of your life. And tell the people you love that you love them.
2. Be there for your family. After your big hug play a game together. Go on a road trip. Have dinner together. Go see a movie. Anything to celebrate your relationship and to improve your ties with them. Strengthen your family and/or your closest friends.
3. Do right by your community. Get offline and go volunteer somewhere. Local church or donation centre. Maybe city hall has some public event about to happen and they need someone to help make it happen. Maybe become a part of a local park conservatory group. Or just go pick up the trash from the side of the road outside your neighbourhood or across the street at a local school or park. Invest in the place you call home. Benefit from the meaning and purpose that comes from bearing responsibilities. Be grateful for the place you call home and for the pillow where you rest your head.
The only answer to hate is love. Mob justice and tribalism is not love. and as much as we’d love to, you cannot transfer suffering. You can only create more of it. You cannot make sense out of what happened in Christchurch. Don’t let the shooter get what he wanted. Love your neighbour, despite their differences. All their differences. Only then will we tilt the world away from hell. Go find someone you love and give them a big hug.
Terrorists regard themselves as a vanguard. They’re trying to mobilize others to their cause. I mean, every specialist on terrorism knows that. – Noam Chomsky