New Zealand mass shooting

Police attempt to clear people from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, after a mass shooting.

The world mourns this list. So do we.

The 77 killed in Oslo and Utøya, Norway, in 2011.

The six killed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012.

The three killed at a Jewish center in Kansas in 2014.

The nine killed at a black church in South Carolina in 2015.

The 50 killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016.

The six killed at an Islamic center in Quebec City, Quebec, in 2017.

The 11 killed at a Jewish temple in Pittsburgh in 2018.

And, on Friday, the 49 killed at Islamic mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The thread that binds those events is a visceral hate of others -- a hate of Muslims, of Jews, of gays and lesbians, of African-Americans, of people harboring divergent political views, or, in the written words of the accused killer in New Zealand, of “invaders” -- a veiled word that’s seeped into today’s Republican politics.

This hate is an atrocity not new to the world. Man has killed man since the beginning of time, often not for material conquest (the world wars) or political vengeance (9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing) but instead for nothing more than visceral, bloody hate of the other.

No group is free from blame. No ethnicity, no race, no nationality, no religion, no political persuasion. History bloodies all hands. But the stench of white nationalism is leaving a global trail of death in a crusade against diversity. That crusade tells adherents that multiculturalism is unholy, that racial purity is virtuous, that Eurocentric nations are being overrun, if not destroyed, by brown people and black people and gay people and others who historically have lived under rulers’ boots.

Norway’s killer murdered those he thought were destroying his nation through immigration. Orlando’s killer murdered those he thought were poisoning America’s soul. Pittsburgh’s killer murdered because he opposed Jewish efforts to aid immigrants to America. South Carolina’s killer murdered because “blacks were taking over the world.” The Australian man arrested for the New Zealand attacks allegedly killed because of “invaders” who were trying to replace “white people.” And just last month, U.S. authorities arrested a Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist who had stockpiled weapons and wanted to "establish a white homeland.”

Time will prove which nations, which nation’s leaders and which political parties are on the right side of the condemnation of this growth of visceral hate. Words matter. Actions matter more. The world is watching how we react.

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