49 Dead in Christchurch, NZ Mosque Attack

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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271 Responses

  1. Avatar James K says:

    Up until today, the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand history was the Aramoana massacre in 1990, with 14 dead. So this 4x worse than the worst such crime in our history.

    There’s nothing else I can say right now, I have no words.Report

    • Talking to my friend who is from Christchurch, lives in Australia but happens to be in the states visiting this morning and he was just stunned, almost speechless stunned, just kept saying “this doesnt happen here”Report

    • Avatar North in reply to James K says:

      My God(ess?) what a catastrophe!Report

      • Avatar fillyjonk in reply to North says:

        I dunno. I’d reserve “catastrophe” for horrific accidents (like a plane crash due to bad weather) or natural disasters. This was a deliberate evil act by a human being.

        A reminder, I guess, that human evil is everywhere, and even if the US has had the greatest number of mass shootings (I’m guessing, without looking up numbers), there are people who think like that everywhere….Report

  2. Visited Christchuch back in 2005. Just a wonderful city and great people. Had the best lamb vindaloo of my life there. Can’t imagine this kind of horror being visited on that city. Just awful.Report

  3. Avatar pillsy says:

    Just horrible. Heard about it last night and have just been feeling sick about it since.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

      Elizabeth Bruenig, who I’m given to understand is an OT alum, wrote something about this atrocity that I found very much worth reading.

      But I kept thinking about evil itself, and an observation about it I’ve mulled before: Among all the different expressions of evil — from the carefully planned and executed and colossal to the impulsive and rash and small — what binds them together is their fundamental thoughtlessness. Above all else, evil is unreflective, shallow, empty. The damage that it causes is forever out of proportion to the consideration that spawned it. It never really perceives itself, though it always considers itself an exacting and scrupulous judge of others. Evil is the simple adherence to orders in the course of a genocide, and it is the rattling off of dumb jokes in the run-up to a mass murder. There is always so much less there than it seems.

      For reasons I partly understand and partly don’t, this particular outrage has hit me harder than some other recent mass shootings. And of course, in all of this the fact that I have a sizable set of recent mass shootings is nauseating all on its own.Report

  4. There’s a statistic floating around that New Zealand, as a nation, had 48 total murders last year, and 49 yesterday. That’s staggering.

    Meanwhile, the alt-right/alt-conservative/(mainstream conservative?) response so far has been about as ghastly as is possible to imagine, with a combination of enthusiasm, denial, and insistence that this kind of terrorism is to be expected when “outsiders” arrive in new places.Report

  5. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    The heated exchange between Mike and Pillsy yesterday takes on a new significance.

    Today, courtesy LGM, is a piece describing Rubin, in the context of describing the constellation of alt-right propagandists and their weak minded followers.

    As highlighted by Oliver Thorn, another excellent, thoughtful YouTube personality, the far-right’s appeal is that of a “community of strength.” By joining, you too can become strong. By awakening your white consciousness, you are heir to the Roman Empire and the Vikings, not a sad unhappy loser. And for a time, it probably will bring a greater feeling of self-esteem; such radicalization wouldn’t be a problem if it didn’t deliver results, at least initially. Jordan Peterson’s admonition to make your bed is probably, y’know, decent advice for all the man children out there.

    The problem for such adherents, as their beliefs grow more extreme, is that the path is ultimately unsatisfying because it is a gigantic lie. Adherents will never be truly fulfilled, because the gulf between what a far-right identity promises, and what it actually delivers, is too vast. You may feel a sense of camaraderie, marching with your tiki torch through Charlottesville, but your chanting – “You Will Not Replace Us” – gives the game away. The fear, insecurity and fragility coursing through every one of the Nazis who marched on that shameful day was apparent enough. The community of strength is a lie.

    Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      “The gossiper speaks in Syria and slays in Rome” as the Talmud says. We have all these agent provocateurs that like shocking the bourgeoise because it amuses them and earns them big bucks. But the provocations inspire people to commit real life crime against vulnerable populations. It is the same with Donald Trump’s ravings. He keeps saying this evil and untrue things and treats it all as a joke but many of his followers are deadly serious about their murderous rages. The result is that we have mass murders of innocent people by the dozens.Report

    • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      It may have been useful to sift through the mixed bag of ideologies involved and noticed that the ideologies are anti individualism and anti private property. I’m not sure how significant of a case can be made that the overarching ideology here comes from anywhere near the right. Even European Ethno-nationalism which has a national socialist bent is known as leftism. I strongly dislike that the left here can’t hold their early punches in such a dire circumstance, and try to make hay of every tragedy.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to JoeSal says:

        I strongly dislike that the left here can’t hold their early punches in such a dire circumstance, and try to make hay of every tragedy.

        “An alt-righter, apparently inspired by Trump, kills 49 Muslims in a racially motivated attack, but what’s really troubling is that the left will use it as opportunity to advance its agenda.”Report

        • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Stillwater says:

          “An alt-lefter inspired by Daffy Duck, kills 49 Muslims in a racially motivated attack, but what’s really troubling is that the right will use it as a opportunity to advance a agenda.”Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JoeSal says:

            “Pouncing” is the term that I see used.

            It shifts the focus from the act to the reaction to the act. The reactions are, of course, going to be interesting… but they won’t be useful or illuminating until emotions stop being high.

            Of course, this time next week we’ll have a new shiny object to argue about.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

          What is wrong with pursuing an agenda?

          It seems to me that the agenda we should be pursuing is “How can we prevent the next one of these from happening”.

          Which would involve looking at where this springs from, what motivates it, and how to identify the guy who at this very moment is planning the next one.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            What worked with ISIS?

            What failed miserably with ISIS?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

              In order to use ISIS as a comparable, we would study what the Syrian/ Iraqi/Iranian governments did that either worked or didn’t then decide if any of that is transferable.

              We could also use the De-Nazification campaign in postwar Germany to see how they handled it.

              But ultimately I think this will be a political battle. The military threat posed by stochastic terrorism is (by definition) never worth a military response.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            “It seems to me that the agenda we should be pursuing is “How can we prevent the next one of these from happening”.

            It depends on how far you are willing to go. Turn off the internet?Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to JoeSal says:

        >I strongly dislike that the left here can’t hold their early punches in such a dire circumstance, and try to make hay of every tragedy.

        Ah, yes — politicizing the tragedy. An accusation, defense, and deflection that is about as sincere and convincing as “Thoughts and prayers”.

        Everyone understands what it means, when you accuse someone of doing it. It means “I myself suspect that my political interests, ideology, party or particular favored understand of the world might in someone be tied to this event. I dislike that, and do not wish it to be true. Therefore I will, by fiat, demand that any such connection be “off limits” for discussion.

        I would, after all, hate to have to rethink my politics, and it’s not like anyone I know died, so it’s really not important”.

        As for “strongly disliking it”, I’m quite sure the CEO of Boeing quite strongly disliked all that “speculation” about why his aircraft falling out of the sky, and was sternly angry with the undoubtedly communistic socialist PC liberal leftists who dared to imply that perhaps Boeing might have had some culpability, rather than this being an act of God that no man could foresee. I mean, did you see what it did to his quarterly bonus?”

        I’ve got no patience left for “don’t politicize this tragedy”. It’s transparent bullshit, and we all know it.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Morat20 says:

          Stochastic terrorism has no other possible solution than politics.
          There isn’t an army to be confronted, there isn’t a criminal gang that can be prosecuted.

          There is just a free floating, open-source drumbeat of political speeches, writing, agitation all intended to produce a result like this.

          There are some, like Rupert Murdoch, who only intend to profit off the mayhem, and others who use it for their own grift or tangential goals, but these people who did this as very much part of a very large political entity that can only be met with political means.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            There is just a free floating, open-source drumbeat of political speeches, writing, agitation all intended to produce a result like this.

            [His] manifesto says he began planning an attack two years earlier and chose the Christchurch location three months earlier.[52] In the manifesto he describes himself as previously a “communist”, an “anarchist”, a “libertarian”, but then turned to “racist”, and “eco-fascist” concerned with global warming. (wiki).Report

        • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Morat20 says:

          6 more paragraphs of bullshit, great job.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to JoeSal says:

            Morat has all the wrong constructs, man. 🙂Report

            • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Stillwater says:

              If you caught our previous joustings you know why he has a thing for a specific ‘type’ of pro gun folk. I fall close enough to his individual construct that there is a default to attack. I just mirror whatever he projects back in condensed form.

              Creates a bit of bad faith feedback loop.

              There isn’t anything i think could resolve it other than complete submission to his position every time.

              Morat is the only one i have found here like that. Everyone else has at least a few grains of good faith in each interaction.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to JoeSal says:

        Right. The manifesto doesn’t rally focus on economics, because that’s not where his main beef is, but he describes himself as an “eco-fascist” and complains about mainstream conservatives being too capitalist and not nativist enough.

        Leave out the nativism, and he’s more left than right, which is actually fairly typical for the alt-right. As loath as the other kinds of socialists are to admit it, it’s called “national socialism” for a reason.Report

        • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          Except you can’t leave out the nativism; that’s his core motivation. Any of the stuff that codes left — the enviro stuff, the anti-capitalism — is driven by the white nationalism.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          They may call themselves “alt-right”, and their support may be entirely from the Right, and they may be in the process of capturing the mainstream party of the Right, but, trust me, they’re Left.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            but, trust me, they’re Left.

            “How can you be so sure?”

            “Simple. By the power invested in the almighty definition of “conservatism” people on the right do not, in fact can not, act that way.”Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      OR, you could, for instance, come to our dojo and work out with a very diverse group of people, all of whom would want to help you feel more capable and strong.

      It can often be pretty hard for us to reach that sort of person, their attitudes are so entrenched, and their self-condemnation so committed.

      Honestly, there are lots of men who could stand to have Captain Marvel’s epiphany when she told Yon Rogg, “I don’t need to prove anything to you”. I understand this as men being victimized by the toxic masculinity of other men.Report

  6. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    There was an interview with a NYT columnist on NPR this morning (I wish I could recall his name) where he was drawing the parallels between the ideologies of Muslim extremism and White Nationalism, calling it White ISIS.

    The parallels are disturbing.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Apt.

      His manifesto is an infohazard and his techniques that he used were done in such a way to also be maximally infectious (and using the media to transmit the infohazards as far and wide as possible).Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

        I just saw a quotation attributed to Daily Stormer in a longer piece on the role humor played in Nazi (literally, from 1930s Germany) propaganda: “The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not.”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

          It’s a useful tool. It allows infohazards to swim in a sea of jokes.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

          Here’s the paragraph which includes the above quotation. It’s pretty gross, maybe a mistake to post it here, but it’s informative in a “page from the playbook” way:

          Lulz

          The tone of the site [ie., the Daily Stormer] should be light. Most people are not comfortable with material that comes across as vitriolic, raging, nonironic hatred.The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not. There should also be a conscious awareness of mocking stereotypes of hateful racists. I usually think of this as self-deprecating humor

          I am a racist making fun of stereotype of racists, because I don’t take myself super-seriously.

          This is obviously a ploy and I actually do want to gas kikes. But that’s neither here nor there.

          Report

    • Avatar Zac Black in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      “drawing the parallels between the ideologies of Muslim extremism and White Nationalism, calling it White ISIS.”

      Come on, man, the joke is right there.

      It’s Vanilla ISIS.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      When it comes to actors like this I’ve long suspected that the alienation and usually some level of mental instability comes first and the ideology comes second. They want to lash out and so they pick a crazy narrative that justifies their doing it. It’s why all the incoherent manifestos and internet rantings end up sounding alike, regardless of whether the stated cause is white supremacy or the caliphate or against consumer/popular culture or whatever else.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to InMD says:

        Did you read any of it? The chilling part to me was that it wasn’t particularly incoherent or rambling. It had a rushed quality to it, like the first draft of a term paper that you procrastinated on and is due tomorrow or something. But it comes complete with hyperlinks to legit data sources. The core argument could easily have been penned by a Pat Buchanan or Richard Soencer.

        And that’s the really scary part to me. He’s not advancing some totally off-the-wall, tinfoil hat conspiracy theory. He’s citing arguments that wouldn’t be at all out of place on certain familiar venues, promulgated by self-styled courageous defenders of free speech, and accepted by millions in our society.

        We don’t have to guess about the chicken and egg thing; he lays it out there for you. The ideology came first, then the push over the edge from daydream to reality. There’s a reason why the basic outline of this story is so familiar. It’s happened before, fairly recently in fact, and it’ll happen again, tragically too soon I fear.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Road Scholar says:

          Yes I read it but my take away is different. These are arguments he has selected and latched onto in a juvenile manner (as evidenced by the writing style here and virtually all manifestos of this nature). The premises are ugly and have been out there for a long time.

          But if it wasn’t this particular set of ideas it would be another, or if his background was slightly different it would be radical Islam or whatever else flattered his ego and justified the madness. He even talks about jumping from extreme ideology to extreme ideoligy. Ascribing that level of causation concedes far more power to fringe ideas than they actually have, and gives them more credit than they deserve.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to InMD says:

            I think this just goes a bit too far.

            There’s definitely a lot of overlap and a certain type of guy [1] who does this sort of thing. But… I’m skeptical there are many inevitable ticking time bombs who are just going to go all the way on their own. Not none because every once in a while this comes out of nowhere and has no intelligible motive, but very few.

            But if you have enough marginal folks who are partly primed for violence by circumstances start picking up on a specific set of fringe ideas and acting on them, those ideas will gain power. The enemies of the extremists will start literally being murdered, for one, and even if the absolute numbers aren’t very large this can do a lot to terrify and intimidate people.

            Some people may start backing away from the targets out of their own fears, or because the violence gives them an excuse.

            And the next guy who thinks about shooting a bunch of people knows where to look to find support, has a set of targets to pick out, and as the murders keep happening and the rage and terror they inspire flares, the fringe ideas gain power.

            Terrorism is a tactic, and one that fringe ideologues keep resorting to, in part because sometimes it works.

            [1] It’s virtually always a guy.Report

  7. Avatar George Turner says:

    The guy reminds me of the Unabomber and a couple of others known for their fevered manifestos.

    He hates capitalism, free markets, corporations, individualism, and the Second Amendment (he says he chose an AR-15 so the American left would ban them, kicking off a civil war). He also said “The nation with the closest political and social values to my own is the People’s Republic of China.” And he’s doing it to save the environment, which he goes on about at length, obsessed with world overpopulation and how many kids different racial groups have.

    He checks off a lot of boxes on the crazy spectrum.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to George Turner says:

      I hear he said taxation is theft too when he was a libertarian.Report

      • Avatar JoeSal in reply to North says:

        He went through a gauntlet of self reported positions, Communist, anarchist (left version), libertarian, eco-facist.

        I got a chill up my spine thinking this may be the first I know of to average out as a radical centrist. His constructs are picked far from center, but average out to center.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to George Turner says:

      I didn’t read it as hating the Second Amendment. He said he wanted to provoke an attempt to repeal the Second Amendment in order to provoke a right-populist uprising, not because he wants guns banned for the sake of banning guns.Report

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    The predictable people are being predictable.

    What strikes me here is that this guy was part of the extremely online and his manifesto is apparently filled with injokes, references, and memes for the Extremely Online. The reaction to his manifesto on 8chan was a bunch of injokes, memes, and for the lulz. Then this guy went and murdered 49 people.

    I wonder if his fellow 8chaners thought he was serious or not. What are they thinking today? Does it matter?

    This isn’t going to stop for the lulz trolling because the extremely nihilistic will always be with us.Report

  9. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    It’s pointless to try to peg this guy as either extreme right or extreme left. He’s neither, in the same way that an extreme anarchist is neither left nor right. I read him as an extreme communitarian, basically an extreme anti-libertarian. So in the same way — in mirror image — that a libertarian will often code as “right” to someone on the left and vice-versa, this guy codes as “right-wing” extremist to anyone left of center due to half the stuff he says, and “left-wing” extremist to anyone right of center for the other half.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Road Scholar says:

      “He murdered Muslims to create a more inclusive society.”Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Road Scholar says:

      He was a white supremacist, which has no political orientation other than the advancement of white ethnic fear and rage.

      But having said that, it is completely fair and accurate to say that white supremacy is rejected by the left wing of our political map, and embraced by the right.Report

      • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        He was also claiming Workers Rights and Environmentalism. This guy was really a mixed bag, not even the ‘rage against society’ type that I have seen repeatedly. There may be something in his history that will eventually bubble to the surface, but for now he looks really like a one off.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to JoeSal says:

          No.
          He was most definitely NOT a mixed bag.
          The language about workers was about as meaningful as his preferred brand of beer.

          His overriding motivation was racial hatred and white supremacy. This was not a one off isolated incident, but part of a long pattern.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Yeah, following the 9/11 attacks, everybody was always saying “but *WHY*?” and then running with their own bugbears and refusing to read Osama’s Open Letter explaining why.

            It didn’t matter why he said he did it.

            It was part of a long pattern.

            That said, we were a different country back then and Osama’s letter strikes me as almost childish in its naïveté. The current mass murderer’s manifesto is disinformation rather than information. Worse, it’s an infohazard.

            But we’re going to be getting more and more information in the next week or so about his life and experiences and we’re going to find a lot of things to confirm our priors and a lot of things that will contradict them. I think that dismissing the stuff that contradicts our priors will result in policies that will turn out to have been mistaken.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

              I’d forgotten that bit where bin Ladin complained about the Lewinski scandal.

              But I did remember the letter went on forever and really had the feeling of just sticking in every bad thing he could think of that was in some way American.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                Yeah, the stuff shouldn’t be taken at face value.

                But any explanation of the behavior that results in righteous endorphins is probably motivated thinking. (It doesn’t have to be. It won’t always be. But it’s the way to bet.)Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to JoeSal says:

          He was also claiming Workers Rights and Environmentalism. This guy was really a mixed bag

          “I mean, he owned personal property, so we know he was a capitalist, but he paid his taxes, too, so he’s also a socialist. Sometimes he’d only eat a salad for lunch, so we know he dabbled in veganism, but he also ate animals which means he was anti-PETA. His character and motives are inscrutable.”Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Stillwater says:

            I know everybody wants to avoid being hasty and making a snap judgement, but these people shot up two mosques and murdered 50 people.

            I really don’t think the motive is as mysterious as all that.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to pillsy says:

              One of the four “people” has been released as an armed civilian who was trying to help the police stop him. It’s currently claimed only one is confirmed as a radical so there’s a good chance that we’re looking at one nut and three bystanders.

              Keep in mind that despite common sense, the guy who shot up Pulse wasn’t committing an anti-gay act. The normal rules don’t apply here.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dark Matter says:

                The last seems like… an overstatement given the evidence we have? Seems Matteen was very homophobic, and ISIS, among its many other crimes, has gone out of its way to murder a lot of gay people.

                (There was stuff suggesting that Matteen was closeted which did not pan out.)Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter says:

                @pillsy

                RE: Pulse
                The “evidence we have” says he didn’t know (or care) it was a gay club. He picked it at random after his real plan fell apart.

                He didn’t strip his computer or his phone so we know exactly what happened. He was going to shoot up Disney. He went there and found armed guards, realized that wasn’t workable, so entered “night clubs near me” into google and got Pulse.

                He’d never been there before. He asked some guard “where are the women?”. His internet history/searches suggest homosexuality was simply not on his radar. Not in favor, not against, not repressed, not at all.

                Pulse was purely a political statement. Amazingly, it having any relationship with homosexuality is people reading into it what they want to see (which admittedly is easy here).Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Yeah, I really think that reads to much into it. Was the attack only or primarily about targeting LGBT people?

                No.

                Was Matteen violently homophobic (as part of being just a generally violent bigoted piece of shit)? Available data points to yes.

                Pulse was a target of opportunity, but he took that specific opportunity.Report

        • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to JoeSal says:

          He’s an outlier among outliers. Sort of like Bezos and Gates are outliers even among “the wealthy”.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        “He was a white supremacist, which has no political orientation other than the advancement of white ethnic fear and rage.”

        Close but not quite. I sought out and read (so you don’t have to) the first 20 pages or so of his 74 page manifesto. He’s clearly a white separatist but not really a supremacist. The fear and rage part is on point however.

        Really, standard alt-right stuff now that I actually read it as opposed to reading about it. The eco stuff and worker’s rights stuff is barely a footnote.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        “He was a white supremacist, which has no political orientation other than the advancement of white ethnic fear and rage.

        But having said that, it is completely fair and accurate to say that white supremacy is rejected by the left wing of our political map, and embraced by the right.”

        So he had no political orientation but we should talk about problems with the Right anyway… Ugh.Report

    • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Road Scholar says:

      @ Road
      There are differences between left and right anarchists. There are even differences between a right anarchist and a ultra anarchist, but maybe a dozen people in the world would know the difference.Report

  10. Tracy Downey Tracy Downey says:

    Oh how awful! I’m just waking up to this. 🙏🏻❤️😞 praying for their families. Far too much anger and radicalization occurring in politics to be a coincidence.
    *Christ’s Church* and a 49 innocent lives murdered inside a mosque. There’s too much irony in that to not overlook.Report

  11. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    I have long been of the opinion that the populist right, the Trumpists, and the Leave crowd are all fueled by working-class people who think their governments did not do enough to help them during the Great Recession. I think they are correct. The government did not do enough to help them.

    This is not a “conservative” argument. This does not map to traditional laissez-faire policies of the Republican Party. This frustration and anger has been redirected into racial/religious competition, which is a really easy thing to do, it must be said, particularly when the number of people in the US identifying as white and Christian dropped below 50 percent in 2016 or so.

    So, we could argue about whether the shooter was “conservative” or not. I’m not sure it matters. The misplaced racial animus very much matters, and we should rightly look hard at people trying to stoke it. They do bear some responsibility.

    But this highlights a much bigger trend, in that old-school conservatism is kind of on the outs. It doesn’t have a lot of electoral punch these days.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      This, and it’s easy if you see the government bending over backwards to help Muslim refugees, but not you & yours, without realizing that those Muslims have literally NOTHING, while you still have something.

      There’s that meme floating around FB with a pic of a sign asking why the government will help out X, but won’t help out with their insulin, that costs $750/mo. And then someone crosses everything out on the sign except the words “Why does … my insulin cost $750/mo?”Report

  12. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Rumor has it that NZ’s Parliament will respond to this by changing gun laws, or at minimum having a serious debate about a serious legislative push towards that goal.

    Contrast with the USA.Report

    • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Burt Likko says:

      It’s like the dominoes tip themselves.Report

    • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Interesting that the folks who usually chime with ‘if only someone there had been carrying’ seem pretty quiet. I’m not seeing any of the usual ‘good guy with gun’ types advocating that Muslims arm themselves…Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Some of the Muslims were carrying. One of them chased off the attacker[s] with a long gun, firing at least twice at them, telling the cops that the shooter[s] were fleeing in a silver Subaru.

      There is no reason Muslims shouldn’t be carrying AK-47’s to the mosque, other than it makes the folks in the synagogue nervous when they stroll by. But that’s why the folks in the synagogue should carry Uzis.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

        And so the folks who fear both Jews and Muslims should carry fully auto AK 47s.
        And the folks who fear THEM should carry RPGs…

        Forget it.
        I can’t parody this.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I’m curious why the NZ PM isn’t reaching out to the American Right for good tips on best policy going forward. Maybe it’s due to American exceptionalism, we’re just too exceptional for other countries to comprehend.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          But also, Chip, remember: “The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not.”Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          RPG’s and other rocket launchers aren’t allowed in New Zealand, even though they are quite useless in a robbery.

          The reason the Muslim had to shoot at the suspect with a long gun is that New Zealand tightly restricts pistols and doesn’t regard self-defense as a valid reason to possess one. This creates the rather awkward situation in which mosque worshipers would need to carry rifles or shot guns because they can’t discretely carry any pistols, and that’s pretty inconvenient from a self-defense standpoint.

          So it’s not guaranteed to be a gun free zone, but highly like that there won’t be a gun there, assuming the mosque doesn’t discretely keep some rifles or shotguns around.

          Some black churches in the US are hesitant to have their congregations armed, thinking that’s not quite in line with Jesus’s teachings, while others discretely insist on having some CCW holders present because the flock should be protected, especially in the aftermath of the South Carolina church shooting.

          Sometimes churches or church leaders are wise to do so. MLK Jr kept an arsenal and used armed patrols for defense, and in the South they had to worry that the police might come to kill them. It’s pretty hard to think gun control is the answer if there’s a big chance that any massacre will come from local law enforcement, and disarming blacks was the whole focus of gun control laws in the South and in Northern urban centers.

          And instead of a mosque or a synagogue or a black church, the soft target could be something like a gay night club in Florida.

          As an aside, New Zealand has half a million rural folks and over a million long guns, but nobody is really sure how many.Report

    • Avatar Jesse in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Amazing what happens when 1/3 to 1/2 of the population doesn’t believe guns are holy objects, and that having them in an unalienable right, given to them by God.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Chelsea Clinton went to a prayer vigil and made some of the students uncomfortable. One of them called her out for her Islamophobia and hypocrisy.

    Report

    • Avatar warren hart in reply to Jaybird says:

      Correction: Chelsea Clinton, a woman 7 month pregnant, was invited to a prayer vigil by other Muslims where she was confronted by a an obnoxious self promoter and hate monger.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to warren hart says:

        I’ve seen a lot of defenses of Chelsea Clinton involving her pregnancy. It strikes me as an odd defense.

        As for the rest, “obnoxious” seems sort of dead on, but that’s a question of taste.
        “self promoter and hate monger” strikes me as vaguely appropriate if it’s talking about two people… the person who posted it being the self promoter and the person in the video being the hate monger… but those words are so emotionally laden that they’re not useful. I don’t see someone who doesn’t agree with them already having their mind changed by them.

        I know that these same two people are pretty certain that they’re morally correct, doing the right thing, and speaking truth to power. As such, your entire criticism strikes me as… well. A partisan position and an obvious one.

        (I do kinda wish that the hate monger finished with “I’m so glad that Ivanka is in the White House and not you!”)Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

          Sometimes partisan problems have partisan solutions.

          As for hate-mongering, as you say, it’s unlikely to change any minds, but reacting to pretty boilerplate criticism of anti-semitism by calling it “Islamophobia” sure sounds like mongering hate against somebody, but I’m not quite sure who.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

            I’m pretty sure that this wasn’t a response to boilerplate criticism of anti-Semitism but criticism of Clinton’s opportunistic attacks on Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslim congresswomen in Congress.

            (I don’t know if Ilhan Omar is pregnant or not, but, if she was, then Chelsea Clinton also criticized the first pregnant Muslim congresswoman in Congress, assuming Rashida Tlaib is not pregnant.)Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

              I’d say describing Ms Clinton’s remarks as an “opportunistic attack on Ilhan Omar” is remarkably close to the ur-foolishness that kicked off this kerfuffle.

              Would I expect this to convince the kerfufflers? No.

              Do I think there’s likely to be an argument that would convince them? Also no.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                Morality dictates that whomever makes better appeals to morality wins the argument.

                Pretty sure that the college student has the upper hand here and Chelsea Clinton is just another privileged lady from the same demographic as the shooter.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

                Morality dictates that whomever makes better appeals to morality wins the argument.

                Yup, my arguments definitely aren’t going to do much good against people who think circular arguments are true.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                my arguments definitely aren’t going to do much good

                Now you’re starting to get it.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

                Sometimes you aren’t gonna be able to persuade people.

                Sometimes the group of people you aren’t going to persuade is small enough that you can safely ignore them.

                This is one of those times.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                Sometimes the group of people you aren’t going to persuade is small enough that you can safely ignore them.

                This group seems to be getting bigger.

                But the people in question both have a number of tweets following this one talking about how much pushback (and support) they’ve gotten since.

                We’ll see, I guess.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      And it looks like the tweet has since been taken down.

      Replaced by this one:

      Report

  14. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    *Editor’s Note: It has been, and will continue to be, the policy of Ordinary Times to not publish or promote the picture or name of mass shooting suspects or show the video/manifesto the suspected wanted seen to glorify their crimes.

    Well done.Report

  15. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Few observations…

    I think it’s fair to say that nearly all mass shootings fall under one of two descriptions.

    1) Temporary or long-term mental instability. Whatever justifications they might present via video, letter, statements, etc are ancillary to their mental instability.

    2) An act of terrorism. The shooter or shooters present a more developed political justification for the actions and may have some sort of group affiliation linked to that.

    Obviously, there is some overlap between the two descriptors but I think in the Western world, if the shooter was ‘one of our own’ and more neatly falls into the second category, this is when we have the hardest time with things, because it’s so hard for many of us to conceive of someone in the West being radicalized to that point. “Sure, it happens in the Third World every day, but those people have terrible lives!” we tell ourselves. “They are easily manipulated by someone offering a political explanation for their suffering!” So how do we explain what happened in New Zealand (and has also happened in the United States)?

    Around the world, terrorism can come from both the Left and the Right. I’m sure someone will compare the frequency of Left vs. Right terrorism, but I don’t see much utility in that, other than reactive finger pointing. Looking at solutions, it seems like we can come at this from a couple of different angles. One is to go after guns, which the NZ PM has already signaled she plans to do. Again, this seems reactive to me and offers nothing towards root cause solutions, but people need to feel like they are doing something.

    A second solution to the threat of radicalization is to combat these ideologies themselves. Every political ideology has some kernel of truth at its core. History is filled with terrorist groups that had real grievances. And beyond terrorists, there are much larger state-level ideologies that are also problematic but were also built on real problems. German fascism had its start in the way Germany was treated at the end of WWI. Communism was a reaction to systemic injustices associated with capitalism. Because those core complaints were quite literally weaponized by bad actors, we tend to forget that they began as legitimate criticisms.

    David Frum has suggested that the reason the West was successful in combating communism was not because they complained about it and said mean things about state actors in communist countries. He suggests that the West was successful because they acknowledged some of the complaints of communism and actually addressed them. They created social safety nets. They attempted to smooth out the volatility in markets. They allowed unions to flourish. These actions took wind out of communist complaints more than any military or diplomatic actions we took during the Cold War.

    So, when we look at anti-immigration radicalization, is there a legitimate core complaint? Even though I am pretty much as pro-immigration as one can be, that doesn’t mean that the West has been good at it in the last few decades. The European approach to Muslim immigration has been abysmal. I think we have done much better in the United States, but we are also not perfect. We create the conditions in which Muslims are vulnerable to radicalization and then are shocked when our own people react negatively to that radicalization, as though it happened independent of the conditions we created. Beyond that, the relationship between the West and the Middle East has been bad arguably since the Crusades. Just in my lifetime we have engaged in one ill-advised war after another, with no end in sight to the missteps western countries are prone to making. Muslims have legitimate complaints, which leads to their radicalization, which leads to attacks, which then leads to people in the west being radicalized and now they are attacking Muslims themselves. But the root cause is bad foreign policy in the west. Again, we can do better.

    All of this talk about alt-right propaganda and internet radicalization is missing the actual conversation that needs to be had. For every radicalized mass shooter, there may be hundreds more that will never kill anyone but will spread their message to the one person that might. How do we address the actual core complaints of these groups while not actually empowering them or letting ourselves be bullied by terrorism? For me, that is the conversation that should be had, not finger-pointing at the Right or Left for their complicity in the entire situation.Report

    • While I think sometimes pro-immigration folks are far too dismissive of anti-immigration concerns*, I think putting that out there as the thing to think about now is pretty analogous to using the Charlie Hebdo bombings as an opportunity to talk about Charlie Hebdo’s excesses in criticizing Islam. It is, to be honest, the point at which we should be least interested in patiently listening to what they have to say**.

      * – As a political matter more than a policy matter. Particularly in the US. It’s not so much that I think the border hawks’ arguments have merit, but that excessive indifference to their arguments ends up helping them politically.

      ** – That said, attention here is better directed towards anti-Muslim sentiment than anti-immigration sentiment. There’s overlap, and the terrorists touched on both, but one seems clearly more prominent to me than the other here.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Will Truman says:

        @will

        “It is, to be honest, the point at which we should be least interested in patiently listening to what they have to say.”

        I’m inclined to say you are wrong, but in this forum I understand why you believe that. The same interview where Frum was talking about how he believes we actually defeated communism, he also talked about his problems with the IDW crowd*. What he said is that they spend more time arguing about arguments than actually discussing policy. Now, I can absolutely see why Frum would see that as problematic because he has, for a long time, been in a position to actually influence policy.

        What I think he misses about the IDW movement is that there IS utility in arguing about arguments…to a point. When we talk about how best to approach debates, problems with de-platforming, forced word choices, etc…that IS an important discussion that needs to be had, especially in the face of regressive politics. But all of that arguing about arguments means we never really seems to discuss solutions and even worse, the arguments about arguments are far more divisive IMO.

        Not to stir up this topic, but my core disagreements with Sam over his anti-police posts have far less to do with the actual problem of police shootings themselves and far more to do with how he presents the information. And even though I have been clear on multiple occasions that I support holding those police accountable, he doesn’t like my arguments against his arguments. So we really don’t go anywhere. Meanwhile, whenever some of us have a sidebar about actual policy solutions, I find those conversations actually become productive and often we find bipartisan agreement. Sometimes I also believe there is pushback against policy discussions because it’s not nearly as interesting for people to move towards solutions. Arguing is way more fun.

        Maybe I am wrong that failed immigration policy is the root cause of the radicalization of the NZ shooter, but maybe I’m not. Suggesting it’s the wrong discussion to have or that it’s some type of deflection from the real discussion is indeed arguing about arguing. Twitter, chatboards and comment also don’t really move the needle on policy, so maybe like the IDW movement, arguing about arguments is all we have, but I really wish we had more.

        * To be clear, his wife is a prominent figure in that group and I very much identify with them these days.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      I know I was kinda flaming you yesterday but I just want to say this is a great comment.

      Do I agree with it? Not really, but it’s still good.

      It seems to be a natural extension of the “blowback” theory that was (and to a certain extent remains) popular among (mostly) Leftward critics of the Iraq War and the “War on Terror”. But despite the fact that I myself was (and remain) a Leftward critic of the Iraq War and the WoT, I always had real problems the with blowback.

      The main issue I see is that the US (not uniquely, of course, but relevantly) has a long history of misguided and often frankly immoral foreign policy outside the Middle East, and it has not in any way reliably provoked terrorist retaliation on the part of the people receiving the brunt of the brutality.

      AFAIK, the only terrorism inspired by the Vietnam War in the US was perpetrated by fringe Leftists with no cultural or personal ties to Vietnam whatsoever (and there wasn’t even a ton of that). But we were in Vietnam forever, used some incredibly bloody yet unproductive tactics against the North Vietnamese, illegally expanded the war into other countries, and even ended up providing some support for the Khmer Rouge.

      So I think something else may be going on here.

      Now that doesn’t mean addressing core complaints that actually have legitimacy is wrong or we shouldn’t do it. But I don’t know if it’s going to solve the problems of terrorist violence.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to pillsy says:

        As someone who thinks blowback does play into the many forces generating Islamist terrorism I would note that the root isn’t the invasion of Iraq (though that’s a continuation of illegitimate interference). The blowback comes from supporting regimes in places like pre-revolution Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt that don’t allow for political pluralism. Without real political outlets movements radicalize against their own repressive governments and us by proxy for giving those governments money and weapons.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to InMD says:

          Yeah that was what I was trying to get at (though it probably wasn’t clear as all that): that’s really not a unique to the Middle East. We’ve propped up sons of bitches across the world who’ve done the same thing. This really makes me question the underlying “blowback” mechanism, and from there I don’t think we can address the issue this way.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to pillsy says:

            Well to be clear I don’t think it’s a ‘but for’ kind of analysis but it’s an ingredient in the stew. The Middle-East has never had a Westphalian moment like Europe eventually did. You also have the complications of a bunch of natural resource based economies, high birth rates, religion that hasn’t been watered down by enlightenment, weak borders, tribal feuds between ethnic groups locked into states mostly set up by European empires…. The list goes on.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Good comment and I think it gets the dynamics about right. The really difficult part of that conversation IMO involves acknowledging that it may not be something that can ever be 100% eradicated. Even countries willing to curb civil liberties much further than we are still have people who lash out in violent ways. A reactive approach can also backfire by creating martyrs or seeming to give legitimacy to ideas that otherwise are marginalized. That said, not addressing it at all risks the flourishing of murderous and violent ideologies.

      My view is that the small-l liberal tradition of sober restraint, gently but resolutely pushing against intolerance and violence as a solution is the best approach to balance but I’m not sure there’s a right answer.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to InMD says:

        “Even countries willing to curb civil liberties much further than we are still have people who lash out in violent ways. A reactive approach can also backfire by creating martyrs or seeming to give legitimacy to ideas that otherwise are marginalized.”

        Tim Pool was talking about this recently. He has really been pushing hard against twitter banning and de-platforming on other sites. His argument for why this is problematic is because when someone with questionable views is banned or their speech restricted to the point where they walk away, they are just going to end up finding a home in some dark corner of the web where truly bad people might radicalize them.

        I have said before that when I first came to OT a decade ago I had drank the Republican kool-aid. One of the most prominent topics we discussed a lot back then was SSM. My opposition was in no way based in hate but I’m sure I would cringe at many of my arguments today. Thankfully, some of my fellow commenters who were actually gay were very patient with me and never tried to push me off the site or have me censored in some way. That patience led to me seeing I was wrong and becoming a SSM supporter. I don’t think I’m inclined towards radicalization but who knows what might have happened if I had been shoved into some internet hole?

        I’m a firm believer that Louis Brandeis was right and sunlight is the best disinfectant. The biggest problem with regressive politics is that they seek to push contrary views into the dark.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          I’ve said before that (again, small-l) liberalism in the modern US doesn’t win by crushing its enemies, seeing them driven away, and hearing the lamentations of their women. It wins the way SSM won. Slowly chipping away at an unfair status quo. Signs of radicalism here and there have their place but the bulk of the work is convincing a critical mass of open minded skeptics or ambivalent people that their fears are misplaced. No everyone isn’t going to sign on to the progressive religion but once people are no longer willing to mobilize in opposition the policy prescription is fait accompli.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to InMD says:

            @InMD

            Agree on all of that. The problem I think we face is this: When the GOP started drifting in a really bad direction, roughly around the time Obama was elected, many of us that were so-called ‘moderates’ were asked by the mainstream Left to fight back. I honestly believe we did, but we failed.

            So where did we go? A lot of us, myself included, declared as Independents and have spent roughly 11 years in the wilderness and have ended up in various ideological places. What is happening at the moment though is that there is a growing number of moderate liberals who are seeing the same regressive tendencies growing on the Left that moderate conservatives saw 10 years ago, except now there is no mainstream GOP to ask them to fight back the way we were asked in 2008. So those moderates are finding allies among the exiled moderate conservatives. Because of that partnership, they are accused of being bootlickers and secretly alt-right. Some of them are actually questioning making allies of moderate conservatives (or even true Centrists) for that very reason.

            The only thing that gives me hope on this is that I think the liberals sounding the alarm bells are smarter than the moderate conservatives were and they also have technology (social media) to use. Is it enough? I don’t know.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      If you want to obtain a fair and patient hearing for an argument against immigration, maybe its best to put forward an argument that doesn’t have at its core a resentment of immigrants’ ethnicity itself.

      Is there such an argument? I’m sure there is!

      But I can’t hear it, since it is being drowned out by the “None is too many” factions, starting with the President and his staff, Rupert Murdoch and all his tentacles (including Fox News), the rightwing blogs and thought leaders like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.

      No one of any prominence has managed to carve out a space between that position and the generic Obama/ Democratic Party position of regulated immigration.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        I don’t even hear people making what could really be called the Obama/Bush II case on immigration. It’s now a battle of each side’s fevered appeals to moral outrage without real policy content.

        On one side it’s a matter of deciding how much abuse is merited for criminal parasites overrunning and exploiting our wealth and generosity. On the other it’s a matter of turning every border jumper and illegal alien into Jesus Christ himself and castigating anyone who would ask anything at all of immigrants or the government as virulent racists.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to InMD says:

          You know, if someone doesn’t want to be castigated as a virulent racist maybe they should rethink throwing all the support of their political movement behind the likes of Donald Trump.

          This isn’t a both sides issue. The whole reason W and Obama-era immigration reform efforts failed was “border hawk” rejectionism. Then they chose Trump.

          They don’t want policy content, and I’m pretty sick of the endless OT line that the Left should be negotiating with ourselves because the Right lacks the agency and decency to participate usefully in national politics.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

            It’s weird whose side you end up on, without even trying.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

              Do you have a point?

              If you do have a point, do you think you could make it in clear English instead of us doing another round of tedious Socratic nonsense?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                I was pointing out that complaining about guilt by association is weird.

                If someone is right, they are right. Even if bad people agree with them.
                If someone is wrong, they are wrong. Even if morally upright people who stand in the face of people who don’t even recognize how morally upright they are happen to agree with them.

                And, tomorrow, you’re not going to be obviously on the side of the morally upright. You’re going to be arguing against the people who are obviously morally upright.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

                What the heck does guilt by association have to do with anything?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to pillsy says:

                @pillsy
                He’s pointing out that the xenophobic Right aren’t terrorists nor do they engage in crimes and they arrest people who do. You and I don’t think they have legit concerns but they do. Their views on terrorism mostly match your own.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

                Huh? I didn’t mention the association of the xenophobic right with terrorism.

                I mentioned the xenophobic right’s elevation of a virulent racist to a leadership position, and the way they endorse deliberately cruel, racist state violence to get what they want.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to pillsy says:

            But I’m talking about me personally and what I think not what Trump supporters think or want. I am not a Trump supporter. Why does everyone who doesn’t toe the line have to automatically be a Trump supporter? I’m a sound immigration policy supporter.*

            This is where I think a lot of the things Mike has been saying here lately have merit. A few heresies aside, primarily around the firearm issue, I’m basically a run of the mill liberal. And yet any dissent on these simplistic good versus evil orthodoxies, no matter how nuanced or in good faith has my own ostensible side ready to treat me as the enemy.

            *And yes, as such I put the vast majority of the blame for our crumbling immigration system on the refusal of the Republican party and its rump of nativist morons to make reasonable compromises when they’ve been on the table for no reason except that they’re nativist morons.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to InMD says:

              Because what the fuck are we supposed to do?

              We tried negotiating. It not only didn’t work, the failure of the negotiation and the cravenness of Republican electeds saw Trump swept into office, and once they had their hands on the levers of power they immediately set to proving [1] that the agencies that we rely on to enforce border security are ready to slip into repulsively cruel, racist, authoritarian programs of human rights abuse at the drop of a hat.

              And since then, the Trump White House has, again in the name of border security, decided that it can appropriate money to build a fucking wall to address a totally imaginary emergency, as well as a ban on Muslim immigration.[2]

              In the US, as it stands, the entire immigration enforcement apparatus is a dire threat to human rights and civil liberties, and a not entirely trivial threat to our Constitutional order. This makes the question of, “Should we have open borders or a more nuanced approach towards immigration that leads to better policy outcomes?” pretty pointless, because the latter are impossible to implement.

              And that’s simply not going to change as long as the Trumpists have a death grip on the GOP, because they simply won’t let it.

              But instead of having anybody ever acknowledge that people on my side of the issue have maybe thought this through a bit beyond, “Oh immigrants are all automatically angels,” we are endlessly scolded for believing that our government and political order simply cannot be trusted to do the job of enforcing even sound immigration policies, and it can’t not because pro-immigration liberals are unwilling to compromise, but because when we were willing to compromise, it absolutely did not help.

              We tried it your way. Didn’t work.

              [1] And there was a fair amount of evidence before Trump, too. The general argument that the CBP and ICE did a fair amount of horrible shit under Obama is both true, and a strong argument for distrust of an immigration crackdown.

              [2] Arguably previous Administrations laid the groundwork for this, like Obama with DACA, and the SCOTUS accepted a farcical argument that the Muslim ban wasn’t a Muslim ban. But that, again, makes my overall point stronger.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to pillsy says:

                This sounds to me like a concession of defeat. So a demogogue reality TV show star who doesn’t even understand the issue narrowly wins an election under a series of circumstances very unlikely to repeat themselves, and it’s game over? The only choice now is to die on the hill of open borders as some kind of moral imperative, regardless of how unpopular and untenable it is as a policy? And that’s not even getting into the fact that the practical outcome would be a total sop to big business with a less than stellar record on safety and workers rights, or the stress open borders would put on state and local administrative infrastructure. It’s a tear jerker argument oblivious and wilfully dismissive of how open borders would actually play out.

                What about being on the side that’s right on the policy? You know, the adults in the room, good stewards of administrative state, pushing to stay a competitive, immigrant-friendly country but in a responsible and humand way? The Dems have Congress and who knows what will be possible in 2 years with the right candidate for president.
                If the moderate view on this is not only unwelcome but deemed racist by the progressive wing then the xenophobic impulse is going to keep winning.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

                This sounds to me like a concession of defeat.

                In a way it is. Our country absolutely shat the bed over this very issue, and it was a dire mess before.

                But look, if I’m proven wrong, and the Dems will get a trifecta and the Trumpist hold on the GOP will be sufficiently broken that a better solution can be worked out.

                But I doubt it. We’re going to continue to have a choice between no enforcement and creeping fascism, and I’m going to choose that every time.

                You mentioned above about the need for liberals to address fears to win. Have you considered addressing those fears on the Left when it comes to immigration and enforcement?

                Or even acknowledging them?Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to pillsy says:

                I guess I struggle to understand what the fear exactly is. I don’t speak intersectionality and most of the criticism I see seems geared towards the assertion that the enforcement situation at the southern border is racist. I think there is a good amount of truth to this, especially when you see travesties like Joe Arpaio (though that’s local law enforcement, not ICE).

                However, at the same time, when the vast majority of entrants in a particular area are hispanic and we’re still a majority white country, I’m not entirely convinced that people of that persuasion could ever see enforcement as not racist, given the demographics of who is involved on each side.

                If the fear is the humanitarian crisis, something that also disgusts me, I see the answer as taking control back of the apparatus and getting better rules and resources down there. Vague rules + stretched resources – accountability equals an ugly banality of evil kind of situation with bureaucratic cruelty. Its also a situation ripe for abuse by those who would take advantage of it.

                So in short I guess I’d say the way to address the fear is to go out and win. Maybe that’s not compelling enough for some but it is for me.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

                Well, I mean a couple things that I might note. First, it’s not just local enforcement that is racist; now federal enforcement is too, regardless of whether it was before.[1] So we need to pare that back, in ways that seriously constrain the Executive Branch’s discretion in this area. That seems tough. Especially with current SCOTUS composition.

                Also, I dunno, it seems weird that you simultaneously agree that there’s a lot of truth to the complaints and also think that the people making them are irrational? I mean it’s not that they’re coming to a radically different conclusion from you, here.

                [1] The same person who ultimately sets policy for ICE pardoned Arpaio!Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy says:

                I guess I struggle to understand what the fear exactly is.

                Right now the US is kidnapping children, shipping them to foster care or whatever (cages, where sexual abuse is rampant), deliberately *not* keeping a paper trail of the names and locations of the individuals involved, and deporting the parents back to their home countries.

                The fear is, maybe, that it gets worse from here?Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to pillsy says:

                The part I think is irrational is the conclusion that the solution is something like disbanding ICE or totally opening up the borders, especially via choice not to enforce the (flawed) laws.

                In addition to the fallout nationally I’m not sure I believe the humanitarian situation would improve. I can envision plenty of scenarios where the feds standing down actually makes it worse, especially if state and local authorities feel they have no choice but to step in.

                A salient example I guess would be my views on law enforcement/criminal justice reform. I’m not happy with the situation but I wouldn’t advocate, say, disbanding the Baltimore PD, and I have no illusions about how it would unfold.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to pillsy says:

                Think of disbanding ICE as similar to disbanding cop unions. Then it’s not so crazy. 🙂Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to pillsy says:

                Heh maybe. I think I’d rather let you and Jaybird argue that one out.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

                The reason a lot of people talk about disbanding ICE is because it’s hard to see how a less severe solution will accomplish the desired goal.

                And really, I don’t think it’s quite the same as even a really, really screwed up police department, because the overwhelming majority of immigration infractions are victimless misdemeanors.

                Really, those are exactly the kinds of crimes I tend to think the costs of enforcement vastly outweigh the benefits. C.f. narcotics or sex work.

                And for all the dire predictions, our border enforcement sucked for years and tons of undocumented people came into the country and there were problems but they pale next to CBP kidnapping kids for Trump.

                And the way the Court is trending on this stuff, I’m not sure we can stop that with a CBP all.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to pillsy says:

                pillsy: our border enforcement sucked for years and tons of undocumented people came into the country and there were problems but they pale next to CBP kidnapping kids for Trump.

                Undocumented immigration is presumably a net positive, so basically anything pales next to that. Worse, we’re in a prohibition situation where the bulk of the problems with it being illegal are caused by it being illegal.

                Having said that, the christchurch shooter hits the radar as someone looking for something to kill over. While I think we should reform immigration, if we had then he would have been killing over some other cause.

                On a side note for everyone, if you’re replying to someone specific please note who that is.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to pillsy says:

                It’s really weird to see the left clinging to the constitution after degrading it for the last 80 years through various mean of lawfare.

                You lost your constitutional Republic. Now your screwed. Welcome to mob rule.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

                @JoeSal

                The Right has been much more aggressive about degrading Constitutional protections, though the Left (especially the centrist Left) was entirely too eager to play along during the ’90s and ’00s with the Wars Against Drugs and Terror.

                But that’s really neither here nor there, since one of the main reasons the Constitutional mechanisms we have in place can work is that political factions are happy to use them entirely hypocritically. Parties with principled views on procedural and separation of powers issues are almost certainly more dangerous to the Constitutional order than ones without.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to pillsy says:

                @pillsy
                I do agree the the WOD and terror, was a highly degrading effort.

                The constitution is a failed construct. It didn’t regulate, or even serve as a strong warning against government and its over reach.

                Inalienable rights is a failed construct.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to InMD says:

              Look my other reply was way too long and probably a long digression. But let’s put it this way: if you want people on your “own side” to recognize your position as being nuanced and in good faith, maybe don’t describe our position thusly:

              On the other it’s a matter of turning every border jumper and illegal alien into Jesus Christ himself and castigating anyone who would ask anything at all of immigrants or the government as virulent racists.

              Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to pillsy says:

                So you agree that the US has the right to take over any Caribbean nation we want, through showing up uninvited, bankrupting their welfare systems, and voting ourselves into office?

                After all, it would be racist for those countries to try and stop us.

                I kind of like that principle. I hear the Bahamas calling me.

                We could take over Canada the same way, but all they have up there is syrup and peat moss, so there’s not much point.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to pillsy says:

                That isn’t my position, but it is my impression of what is becoming the dominant progressive position in the debate.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy says:

                If it weren’t for people like you we might actually be in a situation where the dangers of having a more robust border and immigration policies didn’t vastly outweigh the benefits. But we aren’t because you and your ilk thought having a corrupt fascist garbage baby as President was a reasonable course of action.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to InMD says:

          I don’t even hear people making what could really be called the Obama/Bush II case on immigration. It’s now a battle of each side’s fevered appeals to moral outrage without real policy content.

          The policy content is there tho, InMD. Kids being snatched from their asylum seeking parents in order to deter future asylum claims; stasi-like round ups where citizenship papers are demanded; attempts to ban Muslims from immigrating to the US, etc and so on. I think part of Pillsy’s argument here is that this is the backdrop the immigration debate plays out in, so a defense of Trump on immigration – even anti-anti – is a tacit endorsement of the above policies. On the flip side, Dem Sens supported a comprehensive immigration bill with pretty wide GOP support that included border wall funding, a path to citizenship for DACA kids, other goodies favored by either or both sides, but was shot down by the Trump admin because it didn’t reduce legal immigration numbers (even tho recently Trump said he wants *more* legal immigration…). All this stuff allows for a million takes, of course, but some of those takes make more sense within that context., seems to me.

          Or something like that anywayReport

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Reddit shut down the forum where people were posting videos of the attack. I suggest we wait and see if that’s fixed the problem before we try to unravel the last 1400 years of Muslim/Western history that got us to this point, because by gosh, I couldn’t straighten it all out with a time machine and an unlimited staff of historians and CIA agents.

      Sure, my team could travel back and stop this particular attack, but we’d have to keep stopping attacks almost in perpetuity to break the cycle, if the cycle even can be broken, given that there wasn’t a cycle to break in the earliest days of Islam when they took over most of the core of classical civilization.

      Just as a start in the present, the shooter says he got radicalized when he went to Paris and said the problems there, which he assumed were overblown, were actually understated. He also traveled through Turkey, visited Pakistan, and visited North Korea. So that’s four societies we might have to fix by radically altering their history.

      The Paris attack would certainly be a good starting point, with 130 dead from multiple suicide bombers and gunmen who were upset about French air attacks on ISIS. That was the deadliest terrorist attack since the Madrid train bombings that killed 193 in 2004. The Madrid attack involved at least 29 people who were trained in Afghanistan by Moroccans. Then there’s the rental van attack in Nice France that killed 86, along with other vehicle and vehicle/knife attacks that might have fed the shooter’s rage.

      Stopping the Paris attack by preventing ISIS from forming or growing would be the most obvious approach. That would likely involve stopping the Arab Spring movement in Tunisia and Libya, or perhaps by undoing most of Syria’s history, especially its history since the breakup of the Ottoman empire. Stopping the 2004 Madrid attack would take undoing the Iraq War, which would likely require undoing 9/11, the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein’s rise to power, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

      But all those changes would probably result in just a different set of equally bad terrorist attacks somewhere else, so I don’t know if there would be any progress to point to, and I would feel that my job as a time bureaucrat is under constant threat because all I could do is just change one timeline full of terrorist attacks into another timeline full of terrorist attacks, and my superiors would likely become frustrated.

      To really make progress over the past century, I’d probably focus on retaining the widespread Islamic injunction on Muslims living in non-Muslim countries that was in place prior to WW-I, and of course keep the European allied powers of France, Italy, and Great Britain out of the Middle East in that war’s aftermath.
      That might just result in an entirely different set of problems to solve, but separating the parties, which should provide fewer interactions, should at least reduce the opportunities for terrorist attacks. Or it might result in much bigger wars.

      The sad truth was that if I had to pick what parts of Middle Eastern history should change, I’d answer “All of it.”Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

        Excerpt from the George Turner Diary.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          @chip

          I think Geoege makes a LOT of good points here. Maybe you could actually explain why he is wrong?Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            Happy to!

            49 innocent people were slaughtered by a product of the “Western Enlightenment Judeo-Christian” culture.

            And George’s response is to walk through history and note that there are four societies that “we might have to fix by radically altering their history”.

            And not one of these broken societies in need of fixing is the one that produced the guy who slaughtered these people.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              This comment is removed. No. We are not having statements, sarcastic or otherwise, about bombing and making a wasteland of a country that just suffered a tragedy. -AndrewReport

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to George Turner says:

                In fact, New Zealand was so not in need of changing that the very thought of it changing freaked him out.

                I guess we could perhaps bomb New Zealand for a couple years to turn it into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, so New Zealanders wouldn’t like it so much and therefore be less overzealous about defending it.

                This is absolutely vile.

                And people wonder why I don’t think Trump supporters and border hawks have any legitimate concerns.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner says:

                REDACTED

                George, you’re going to need to sit this one out. -Trumwill

                Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              @chip

              “And not one of these broken societies in need of fixing is the one that produced the guy who slaughtered these people.”

              So you think Australia is to blame?

              George knows his history, both recent and farther back. The point I was trying to make, and that he elaborated on, is that, it’s complicated. Let me try to paint a timeline here:

              1. Muslim countries have issues, but they are largely confined to Middle East.

              2. Europe and the U.S. get involved in the Middle East, making things worse.

              3. Muslim refugees begin flooding into Europe.

              4.Terrible European immigration policy pushes Muslims into ghettos.

              5. Clerics and other radicals, mad about European involvement in the Middle East, travel to those ghettos to radicalize the Muslim citizens of those ghettos.

              6. Newly-radicalized Muslims stage terrorist attacks in Europe.

              7. Whites in Europe and elsewhere react to Muslim terror attacks by radicalizing themselves.

              8. One of these people kills 49 people in New Zealand.

              What’s the root cause for the shooting in New Zealand?Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @Mike
                You have to understand, Perfect Justice only applies to who the Perfect Justice camps want it too. Everyone else doesn’t matter.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                You ask for the root cause, yet it is right there, in between steps 7 and 8.

                7. A Muslim kills someone in France.

                8. Therefore I must kill these Muslims in New Zealand.

                Here, let me make it a bit clearer.

                The root cause is the view that people carry their identity, their value and worth, in their blood and DNA, and are therefore interchangeable.

                An Arab is an Arab is a Arab, , whether in France or Australia or New Zealand.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @chip

                That’s a very narrow view. I think it also highlights the problem with the obsession over race and racism on the Left. It’s easy to see the attacks as originating with irrational racism. Nevermind the fact that it gives progressives another stick to beat the Right with, it’s also guaranteed to not actually solve anything. How do you solve racism? Talk it to death on internet chatboards?

                Addressing the very real problems caused by bad foreign policy and bad immigration policy are steps that might actually improve the relationship between Muslims and the West, which undercuts the ability of bad actors to stir up xenophobia. IMO that is how you actually move forward.

                As I said earlier, sometimes it feels like people don’t want to actually discuss policy solutions because it’s more fun to argue.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                What’s the root cause for the shooting in New Zealand?Report

                The root causes are…
                1) The media displaying the worst thing that happened in the world as though it was local news.
                2) The media letting itself be used as a platform to turn heinous people into celebs.

                It’s not clear to me whether this guy has more self awareness than most, but it is clear that he’s killing to make his message widespread and inspire others to kill like him. Emulate him. Just like he’s emulating the likes of Roof and Derik/Eric.

                This is a slow motion riot. Get 50 people together and they’re a crowd. But if something happens and one of them starts breaking windows and stuff, then maybe he inspires a second person, and the two of them inspire a third, and so forth. The 2nd wouldn’t have done it without the first and the 21st person wouldn’t have done it without 20 other examples.

                Note this is potentially a solution, i.e. stop broadcasting and celebrating these nuts.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @darkmatter

                I think cleaning up the media stuff would certainly help, but it still feels pretty reactive. I don’t think people are being radicalized by media coverage. I think they are being radicalized because they end up in a dark place, maybe on the web or maybe in a radical mosque in a Paris ghetto, or a meeting of the ‘men’s club’ in rural Mississippi, or at an Antifa gathering. I want to take power away from the people trying to radicalize them by removing their motivations.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @Mike

                It’s easy to see the attacks as originating in irrational racism, because that’s almost by definition what’s happening when someone murders 50 innocent people because they’re a member of a minority.[1] The idea that the people perpetrating these atrocities are reacting in a sensible way to policy missteps is… not very plausible.

                And this carries back up your causal chain, too: whatever the historical roots of jihadist terror, it’s kind of taken on a life of its own. That isn’t an argument that we shouldn’t have better policies but they aren’t necessarily going to fix the downstream failures of past policies.

                Also, for white nationalists, it’s fundamentally not about immigration policy. The kinds of things that normal people see as the goals of good immigration policy, i.e. making sure that immigrants can participate in commerce and civic life in peaceful. lawful, and productive ways, are horrifying to white nationalists. They have this whole “white genocide” theory where that peaceful coexistence is destroying the white race.

                And even if these things did work, the dividends will come decades down the line.

                If you want to solve a problem, you have to correctly identify the problem. If you want to propose a solution, people should [2] ask to see the causal mechanism that makes your proposed solution work.

                And that’s what I think the problem with the blowback argument is.

                As for being a stick to beat the Right with, well, that’s part of the problem here. The RIght [3] has made a series of choices that empower the racists in their ranks. They need to make other choices, if only to stop them from interfering with efforts to combat white nationalism because they knee-jerk see white nationalists as part of their ingroup.

                [1] Look it’s not necessarily gonna be racism; it could be some other toxic, fanatical ideology, but in this case it’s racism.

                [2] But all too rarely do.

                [3] Or more precisely, and the precision is important, actual people on the Right.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I want to take power away from the people trying to radicalize them by removing their motivations.

                That’s Europe’s issue. To a first approximation in the US, we don’t have motivations…

                …other than fame, insanity, self importance, and “my life sucks”. None of which is going away. In the US, these lone wolf terror attacks are largely a factor of *that*.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @darkmatter

                But US foreign policy DOES give radical Muslims ammo to recruit. Even if those attacks rarely come to our shores, we still bear some responsibility for the trickle down effects on our allies.

                In the US though, people are radicalized every day. There was a very under-reported shooting of an Antifa activist, protest and bomb threat that happened in January in Oregon. That is homegrown radicalization that IS happening here. We also know that white supremacist violence is increasing in the U.S. Those are things we can address here by looking at their grievances and figuring out it we can address them while still staying true to our principles.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                We also know that white supremacist violence is increasing in the U.S.

                Source that.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Mike Dwyer,

                The most important thing in that report was the following: In the U.S., right-wing extremists were linked to at least 50 murders last year, a 35 percent increase over 2017.

                So we’ve gone from 37 (a number which rounds to zero) to 50 (ditto), and that report also makes mention of 11 people dying in one incident.

                Which, by itself, accounts very nicely for the increase. Calling this a “rise in violence” is a misuse of statistics.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @darkmatter

                Agreed the number is a tiny blip and agreed that it’s a rounding error, but my understanding is that we are also seeing a rise in white nationalism online. We have had several anti-Muslim vandalism incidents here in Louisville in the last couple of years. Were they violence? Technically no, but arriving at your mosque and finding the walls spray painted certainly doesn’t make anyone feel safer.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                my understanding is that we are also seeing a rise in white nationalism online.

                Given that we’re seeing a rise of everything online, it’d be surprising if we didn’t.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      The European approach to Muslim immigration has been abysmal. I think we have done much better in the United States, but we are also not perfect. We create the conditions in which Muslims are vulnerable to radicalization and then are shocked when our own people react negatively to that radicalization

      Really, really good comment… but I’ll quible a bit with it.

      How many radical Muslims do we have? Mateen (Pulse shooter) was a violence prone antisocial nut starting in 3rd grade and got progressively worse as he got older. He nicely fits the profile of a violent nut looking for an ideology to be violent about.

      NPR claims we’ve had 300(ish) Americans try to join ISIS, which rounds to zero, and that’s in the context of events which are mostly outside of America.

      We’ve had a lot of blow back in Iran (which has legit problems with us), but it’s not expressed via home grown terrorism. In terms of “how to deal with immigrants”, the US is, by far, the best at this in the world.

      The big legit negative effect of immigration is that immigrants tend to do better than Americans because they don’t have our bad habits… but the bulk of what we’re seeing is xenophobia.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Dark Matter says:

        @darkmatter

        I agree with all of that. I think the policy mistakes the U.S. has made with Muslims are almost entirely relates to our foreign policy, not our immigration policy. Bad immigration policy is much more of a European thing.Report

        • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Why would a immigration policy that accepts groups who have incompatible rule of law social constructs be considered a ‘good’ immigration policy?

          What is the resolution of the social truth when Islamic law conflicts with the social truth of American law?

          Assume ‘peace and understanding’ has been the dumbest policy assumptions made in the modern era. Especially when it has been applied to factions that ignore such nonsense.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to JoeSal says:

            @joesal

            “Why would a immigration policy that accepts groups who have incompatible rule of law social constructs be considered a ‘good’ immigration policy?”

            Because U.S. immigration policy eventually led to acceptance of my Catholic ancestors in a largely-Protestant country that mostly hated them for the first 50 years they were here. America is really, really good at turning immigrants into Americans and getting the Americans already here to accept them. It’s not as fast a process as many would like, but it has been working for a long time.

            If you’re suggesting that somehow we have a potential problem with Sharia Law, I’m just not convinced (and to my great regret, I wasted a couple of days reading Glenn Beck’s entire book on the subject. I still remain unswayed.)Report

            • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              I would say the degree that Catholics truth and Protestant truth is closer in degrees than islamic truth and christian truth.

              If there were a measure in gallons of blood spilled, i think it could be proven empirically.

              Truth is one, if not the most rigid parameters of religion.

              What you say about making people American does have merit. I question if this factor is sustainable. Do these factions stay ‘american’ when the economy collapses? People start appearing very tribal when resources run scarce.

              What do these factions do when we have a civil war over our own issues with the truth component of rule of law?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to JoeSal says:

                I would say the degree that Catholics truth and Protestant truth is closer in degrees than islamic truth and christian truth.

                Maybe, but the Protestants who were freaking out about this stuff back when Mike”s ancestors were showing up were terrified of “papist plots” and the like. The sectarian conflicts of Europe weren’t all that mild, and were much more on the minds of the founders of the Republic than conflicts with Muslims.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to JoeSal says:

                @joesal

                I don’t like to play the historical comparison game, but I would almost be willing to bet more blood has been spilled over Christian/Protestant differences than Christian/Muslim. Just one example, my great-great grandparents lived through this:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Monday

                As I have probably talked to death, the study of the immigrant experience in the United States was one of my primary interests in college. It convinced me that America’s greatest strength is its ability to assimilate immigrants. One good example might be Asian Americans. Culturally, they are arguably as different from Americans as another people can be and yet millions of them have successfully assimilated.

                Another thing worth mentioning is that the immigrant experience today is a LOT better than it was even 50 years ago and definitely better than it was in the 1850s. We have so many more protections in place and I think now, despite the occasional spasms of xenophobia, we finally appreciate immigrants as a country instead of seeing them as some necessary evil to increase our population, build railroads and settle the West.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to JoeSal says:

            Because we shouldn’t be judging an individuals desires and beliefs based on what people think their “group” believes. Does every individual share every belief of the various groups they belong to? How do we define which group identity we area applying to individuals? Are our beliefs about those groups accurate?Report

            • Avatar JoeSal in reply to greginak says:

              The social stance on individualism is that it doesn’t matter. How many damn times has have i been preached to on this site thay man is a social animal and therefore my positions on individualism are critically flawed and by default don’t matter.

              I haven’t found a liberal/progressive/democrat yet that is opposed to rule by law which is the default collectivist setting of the laws of this nation, and that is not going to change. Little ‘l’ liberalism doesn’t exist after that threshold is passed.

              The law folk in this country have moved ever more against the individuals.

              The first to amendments of the constitution were supposed to regulate against collectivist government using rule by force against individuals. That didn’t work.

              Are our beliefs about those groups accurate? The policy makers don’t even have the social objectivity resolved enough to know.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to JoeSal says:

            What is the resolution of the social truth when Islamic law conflicts with the social truth of American law?

            The usual laws apply, so Judges get to decide this if the matter gets serious and “who cares” if it isn’t serious.

            Our number of radicals rounds to zero and local law enforcement deals with most of the outliers. That’s true for everyone from Nazis down.

            Where we need to change that is where we’re dealing with organized (normally state funded) terrorism and the like… but that’s also mostly a foreign thing which steps here only occasionally.Report

            • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Dark Matter says:

              Judges and laws don’t matter when there is no resolution in the social truths of rule of law.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to JoeSal says:

                That’s an argument that has been made to any number of judges, somehow they remain unimpressed. The places which seriously try to have Islamic law have things which are worse as the alternative.

                I don’t see how this concern is different from worrying that Catholics will be taking orders from the Pope if we place them on the Supreme Court.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to JoeSal says:

                Without rule of law the judges just get killed. Impressed, or unimpressed as they may be.

                If you look at Somalia the justice system wasn’t considered the truth until Islamic law was integrated.

                What makes you think the american justice system will be the truth for the immigrants of the same religion?

                Are we even able to satisfy the christian demands about what the truth of law should be?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to JoeSal says:

                JoeSal,

                Can we perfectly satisfy Christian demands about what the truth of the law should be? No.

                But we mostly muddle through.

                And in Somalia… it’s Somalia. The places where Islamists have had real success are places where the alternatives are goddawful; failed states, bloody-handed tyrants, totalitarian regimes and the like.

                Will it work perfectly here? Undoubtedly not.

                Will it satisfice? Almost certainly.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to JoeSal says:

                @pillsy
                I hope so pillsy.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to JoeSal says:

                Without rule of law the judges just get killed. Impressed, or unimpressed as they may be.

                Right now the number of dead judges is zero. The number of intimidated judges is zero. For that matter I’m not aware of any elected Islamic leaders calling for Islamic law.

                If you look at Somalia the justice system wasn’t considered the truth until Islamic law was integrated. What makes you think the american justice system will be the truth for the immigrants of the same religion?

                I expect any Somali immigrants came here to get away from those sorts of problems.

                Fundamentally the threat of Islamic law is to the Right what Nazis are to the Left, it’s the enemy they want to have, not the one that exists as a serious threat.

                The police (etc) hold society’s monopoly on violence, they (and we) are serious about them keeping it, other violent groups quickly find themselves behind bars or dead. I’m not aware of any US based violent Islamic groups (I’m excluding ISIS).

                Are we even able to satisfy the christian demands about what the truth of law should be?

                No clue what you’re trying to say here.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to JoeSal says:

                @Dark Matter
                It’s not the strengths that bring civilizations down its the weaknesses.

                Your correct in that things are stable at the moment in the macro sense.

                Maybe Mike is correct also. Maybe if religions are embracing peace more than they used to they can isolate their own truths without major conflict.

                Maybe the two partisan factions can get passed where we are headed.

                Maybe the economy makes it past the next three decades.

                It’s just a lot of needles to thread.Report

            • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Dark Matter says:

              @ Mike
              I think the crusades body count rounded out at about 200,000 . The count continued to ticking up from there.

              The Catholic and Protestant conflict is a subject i’m not very versed on, but i would wager that at peak body count they had some real conflicts in the social truth components.Report

  16. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    There is an even deeper root cause than just racism.

    The shooter expressed a fear that we hear a lot (even on this very comment section), of being overrun and conquered and subjugated.

    The reaction to this fear is striking, in that it uncritically accepts the idea that humans can only exist in a perpetual state of Darwinian struggle for dominance.

    The idea that a heterogeneous mix of ethnic groups and religions can exist in peace and equality seems not just incomprehensible, but actually loathsome to both white supremacists and jihadists.

    For example. Imagine a future in which December 25th is just another workday, but all the government offices and businesses close on, oh, lets say, the last day of Eid, or first day of Hannukkah or just some arbitrarily chosen Winter Holiday.

    For some people this inspires terror and rage. They see Christianity, and by extension white European culture, as the only acceptable dominant center, and any other status as subjugation.

    But why? Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists manage to live perfectly happy lives and practice their faiths in freedom, despite their holidays and totems lacking any official sanction.

    For comparison, can you imagine the purple rage that a proper 19th Century Protestant American would have felt if they were told that in the 20th Century, the entire city of Boston would virtually shut down to celebrate the feast day of an Irish Catholic, St. Patrick?Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      @chip

      So I will ask again – how do you fix any of that?Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        The American project itself offers a good example of the promise and limitations of progress.

        Even the Founders who penned words about freedom and human dignity, couldn’t stretch their vision to include their slaves, or even their wives.

        But progress does get made! We just need to accept that it is a continual battle, that there will always be factions who refuse to accept some of their fellow citizens as fully equal.

        And yes, this comment section is a part of the solution. People argued about slavery and sufferage and every other issue in taverns, sewing circles and social gatherings, and the tide of public opinion slowly changed each time.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          So, you’re not offering any tangible policy solutions, just hope that we will talk up progress? When average citizens were discussing slavery in taverns, it was the law of the land and it was eventually eliminated by a policy decision. The kind of nebulous radicalism we are discussing is NOT part of our laws. There’s no policy to be changed.

          I do agree that there is value in dialogue, which is why I prefer a hands-off policy regarding speech, but at the same time, do you think anything be discussed here is going to de-radicalize someone? Let’s say some impressionable 20 year-old with conservative opinions is starting to feel a pull towards radicalization around race. He somehow stumbles onto this site and starts reading the comment sections. Do you think he will moderate his views or harden them? None of the more devout liberals here are preaching patience and understanding for misguided citizens. They are name-calling and grousing about how they are done playing nice with the racist and fascists on the Right. So your tavern is pretty dysfunctional.

          Meanwhile, policy changes have the potential to impact millions and change entire cultural dynamics. I will continue to believe THAT is the discussion worth having, not everyone arguing about arguments.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            If you insist, one policy proposal is to have the federal and state governments treat the Klan and Nazis exactly as they do ISIS or Al-Queda.

            Freeze their bank accounts, arrest anyone offering them material support, heavily surveil their emails and phone calls for suspicious patterns. Force ISPs to shut down white supremacists blogs and message boards, Youtube and Patreon to stop monetizing their efforts even have cable providers deny space to white supremacist spokesmen.

            We’re not exactly lacking for law enforcement and counterintelligence policies and tools to handle this.

            But right now, we choose not to use them.Report

            • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              Add Socialists of all flavors and communists while your at it.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              @chip

              So you want to silence any groups you see as problematic? Can we throw their members in jail, or just harass them to the point where they actually commit a violent act?

              Assuming it doesn’t actually radicalize more people, do you think it moves the needle on minority-majority relations? Kind of feels like chipping away at the margins again.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              Chip: …one policy proposal is to have the federal and state governments treat the Klan and Nazis exactly as they do ISIS or Al-Queda. Freeze their bank accounts, arrest anyone offering them material support, heavily surveil their emails and phone calls for suspicious patterns.

              We do these sorts of things in the context of punishing crimes and criminals. ISIS is actively engaged in genocide and various other crimes. The Nazis aren’t. That’s the problem right there, the modern Nazis are for the most part not criminals. When they murder (Roof for example), they’re arrested.

              What you’re suggesting is the gov should say “we don’t like this group, we’re going to treat them like ISIS even though they aren’t committing crimes”.

              And you’re suggesting Trump have this ability.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Trump already has this ability, remember?

                Everything I mentioned is existing law, settled and court-approved, and from what I see, not even controversial.

                The only controversy would be applying it to the “wrong” terrorist groups.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Dark Matter says:

                @chip

                The KKK rarely does anything actually violent anymore. As pointed out, we have laws against violent acts. Your proposal would give them far more credit than they deserve. I would much rather watch 10 of them stage a sad little march with hundreds of people there to shame them than turn them into outlaws that could use that status for recruitment.

                As I said, sunlight is the best disinfectant.Report

              • Yeah. There are rightwing domestic groups you probably can do this for (I forget the various ties of the Bundy clan), but the KKK is probably not one of them at present.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter says:

                @Chip
                All terrorist groups are, by definition, criminal groups. If the Nazis aren’t committing crimes then they’re both not criminals and not terrorists.

                So… what is your claim here? Why should the gov be targeting them? What are the Nazis doing which is so criminal that we should treat them like ISIS? Are they leaving mass graves somewhere that I haven’t heard? (And no, you don’t get to point to things their grandparents did).

                As far as I can tell the actual problem is you don’t like them. That’s fine, most people don’t like them, and for good reason, but not liking someone shouldn’t instantly lead to the gov treating them like terrorists.

                And again, you’re giving Trump the ability to say “I don’t like them, ergo we’re going to treat them like terrorists… even if they aren’t committing violent acts.” If Trump can do that to the Nazis then I don’t see what stops him from doing it to the Clintons or CNN.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        So I will ask again – how do you fix any of that?

        One way, and I don’t mean this flippantly Mike, is stop being so terrified of SJWs that you view campus lefties as a presenting greater threat than rightwing white nationalism. THe fear of rising SJWism is that people will be imprisoned for wrong-think (Pinky and I think you have expressed this fear) while the fear of rising white nationalism is that people will be murdered on the streets or in their place of worship.

        And to flesh that out some, folks on the left as well as some moderate, more traditional conservatives, view the GOP’s systematic efforts to suppress the vote as of a piece with various strains of white-nationalist ideology gaining traction in retail politics. So that worry isn’t nonsensical or over-blown.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater says:

          “…stop being so terrified of SJWs that you view campus lefties as a presenting greater threat than rightwing white nationalism.”

          Did I say that? I mean, in this very thread I talked about ways to combat white nationalism and linked to an article which indicates hate groups are on the rise. I’m certainly not saying it isn’t a problem.

          But I also absolutely believe we are going to see SJW radicalization to the point where there is violence. I mean, it’s already happening.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

          stop being so terrified of SJWs that you view campus lefties as a presenting greater threat than rightwing white nationalism.

          It is a bigger threat. If we ever tear up the 1st AM, it will because SJW think it’s a good idea, and there’s a ton of colleges where it effectively is currently gone. Ditto if we ever jail people for wrong thinking, but making people unemployable and/or wrecking their businesses is a good substitute.

          There are dozens (are we into hundreds yet?) of people who can prove they were innocent suing various colleges for having their lives torn apart by college kangaroo courts. The concept that removal of due process is a bad thing is somewhere between very controversial and denied on the left. Apparently accusation should equal guilt.

          the fear of rising white nationalism is that people will be murdered on the streets or in their place of worship.

          Anyone who opposes the cause is not only wrong but Evil, and a potential mass murderer, and they need to be treated as that because people will die otherwise. All paths other than ours lead to genocide. So quick, let’s tear up the 1st AM and treat the GOP like they’re 1940’s style Nazis.

          The names change on why it’s a good idea to repress political opponents and why their views are totally illegitimate but instincts remain the same. So if we have a terrorist nut who claims he was motivated by everything from Global Warming to creating Communism to racism, it must be time to get serious about treating the GOP as Nazis because that’s how you stop this sort of thing. It’s for the greater good.

          Trump is about as far down the White Nationalism path as it’s possible to go and 20 years after he’s gone the Dems will be remembering him fondly as someone they could work with as opposed to whatever Nazi the GOP has running for office then.

          Big picture we have about 300 legit Nazis who kill people occasionally and then are arrested and we have tens of millions of SJW who want to tear up the Constitution in the name of fighting them and because it’s needed to impose their views. I view the later as a lot more dangerous than the former because of the numbers, popularity, and influence on society. If we end up with a police state it will be voted in to sound of thunderous applause.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Dark Matter says:

            @darkmatter

            Best comment of 2019. I agree with absolutely every word of this. Claire Lehmann (Quillette) said in an interview that the three foundations of society were 1) Due process 2) Free speech and 3) the scientific method. All three are being thrown away on college campuses.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

            This is what I mean by the right having to invent hysterical dystopian visions, despite any connection to reality.

            The worst possible outcome of “SJWs” is…what?
            That trans folks get to pee where they like? “Happy Holidays” replacing “Merry Christmas?”

            And ironic, that this is on a thread about a white supremacist, murdering 50 people.

            I don’t think the fear here is grounded in a real vision of oppression.

            I think it is more a terror of losing the status of being the central culture, around whom everyone else must revolve.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              @chip

              Visit those three links I posted above. Those are just the very tip of the iceberg. SJW protests are getting increasingly violent. Antifa is getting increasingly violent. And that’s just the more obvious stuff. there’s also a lot of careers being ruined by the Left because they are really, really good at mob justice. It’s not hyperbole – you just have to look for it.Report

              • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                So what do the respective body-counts look like?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                So what do the respective body-counts look like?

                If we’re going to look at body-counts for this kind of thing for the entire world then what stands out is we’ve got 50+ violent Islamic KKK-style organizations running around, some of which have serious government backing.

                Thus “blasphemy” (which can mean anything from talking about your god, to wanting to drink out of the same water well, to your neighbor wanting your land) is a serious “against the law” issue is some parts of the world. In some places the level of oppression from these groups is so high the words “slow motion genocide” come to mind. It’s very hard to think we don’t have 50+ people a day dying from these groups collectively and it’s probably more like 1000+ people a day.

                If we’re looking for a White Power equiv to any of them then (since South Africa got out of the business) *maybe* we have Russia but that might be stretching the definition a little far.

                None of which has much to do with the United States internally, which is why I dislike opening the door to New Zealand. Christchurch was extremely unusual, other atrocities by other groups are common. It’s serious cherry picking by the media because of the narrative they want to tell. If we apply that standard of evidence uniformly we get a very different story.

                Narrowing the focus to the United States, last year was a bad one and we lost 50 people from White Nationalism, up from 37 (which is more average) and the bulk of that increase was from one incident. I wasn’t able to find any deaths from the Antifa (etc), which should be more than a little disturbing considering they do things like plant live IEDs at police stations and have shoot outs at middle schools.

                So apparently every murder done by every alt-Right racist is considered part of the same movement, but any death or violent action done by a member of a left wing group or sympathizer is a one off and not considered part of anything. Sort of like how every socialist economic meltdown of an economy is retroactively made not an issue with socialism.

                In any case I’d say both body counts round to zero. However the level of political support and influence doesn’t. The ability to remove free speech and due process from all public colleges and to have serious people STILL think it’s justified and not a problem should showcase just how “mainstream” the rot is and how close we are to ripping up the Constitution to sound of thunderous applause.Report

              • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @Dark Matter,

                Thanks for doing the research, you’re making my point for me. All those deaths from the “50+ violent Islamic KKK-style organizations” is from right-wing extremism. Within the context of their cultures they’re the hard-line conservative nationalists.

                Meanwhile you “[weren’t] able to find any deaths from the Antifa (etc), which should be more than a little disturbing”. Huh? Why is the lack of deaths from left-wing extremists disturbing to you?

                I mean… this is the point I was trying to make. The lefty SJW crowd may be obnoxious, over-reaching, and disturbingly illiberal, and that’s all bad. But the right-wing extremism has a real non-zero body count.

                But don’t believe me; https://reason.com/archives/2019/03/17/why-the-rights-identity-politics-is-more/?fbclid=IwAR1C0dgbk8KV_KTuYdvk8oaYV6BuRF229rP8UsDv_O4BBo6imOJbNmd8JWEReport

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                All those deaths from the “50+ violent Islamic KKK-style organizations” is from right-wing extremism. Within the context of their cultures they’re the hard-line conservative nationalists.

                Pull the other one. Claiming Islam falls within our culture as “right-wing” (much less white nationalism) is like claiming the Antifa or the Weathermen are/were Right-wing because they are/were violent. It says more about where your head is at than theirs.

                Meanwhile you “[weren’t] able to find any deaths from the Antifa (etc), which should be more than a little disturbing”. Huh? Why is the lack of deaths from left-wing extremists disturbing to you?

                Because I’ve read some of the other links to local news we’ve had in this discussion. Someone dying in a shoot out at a middle school while carrying a backpack full of ammo quickly followed by his friends planting IEDs designed to kill cops sounds a lot like “death”, “terrorism”, and even an organized group. That he’s a vet training his fellows in all this doesn’t help.

                If a Right wing group had pulled all that the media would (correctly) be labeling it as a terror cell. However since it was a Left wing group it’s recorded as… nothing. Local news. Nothing to see here. The Left doesn’t do this. That’s not the narrative.

                The disturbing part on having an event this outrageous be ignored is it suggests other things are being ignored. The number of deaths can’t be zero if we’re looking at a corpse, and the level of terrorism can’t be nothing if your team is planting bombs at a police station.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @roadscholar

                If body counts are all that matters then why is there so much focus on Sam’s 65 unarmed police shootings per year and not the thousands that are killed by their neighbors in inner cities every year? Could it be that body count isn’t the only thing that matters?

                I think it’s fairly indisputable at this point that our universities have become progressive recruitment centers. There are hundreds of stories about the social justice craziness that goes on there. But that’s also where the people that pull the levers of power are. So yeah, the GOP figured out how to win elections and they are doing some despicable things in the very public eye of national elected officials. meanwhile all of those college-educated progressives are in thousands of mostly unnoticed positions like judges, lawyers, HR, journalism, etc. One could argue that is where the real power is.Report

              • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Pull the other one. Claiming Islam falls within our culture as “right-wing” (much less white nationalism) is like claiming the Antifa or the Weathermen are/were Right-wing because they are/were violent. It says more about where your head is at than theirs.

                I said that they’re right-wing extremists within their cultures, not ours. The self-reported motivations of the 9/11 attack by Al Qaeda and the NZ terrorist were basically identical: The perceived invasion of their lands by outsiders. Read it again, perhaps more slowly for comprehension. I also didn’t say they were “white nationalists”. That would be stupid and I’m not stupid. But they are nationalists; that’s what the whole Caliphate thing is about.

                And I’m certainly not defending Antifa. MLK proved that combating right-wing violence is best done by peaceful means.Report

              • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Could it be that body count isn’t the only thing that matters?

                I never said it was the only thing that mattered. But it also doesn’t NOT matter, either. And it’s not an irrelevant metric when evaluating the whole, “Which side is being more of a bunch of violent assholes?” thingy.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Excellently answered Road. Mike has a way of misreading comments which requires patience to clear up. You showed it.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                So we agree that there are a number of metrics we could consider. Maybe then we shouldn’t focus on only one of them to prove a point?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                {{…patience…}}Report

              • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Maybe then we shouldn’t focus on only one of them to prove a point?

                Or pointedly ignore and deflect from it because it’s inconvenient, sure.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @roadscholar

                I don’t think it’s even remotely a deflection for three primary reasons:

                1) White nationalists and the more radical members of the SJL did not rise at the same time. It seems fairly obvious that they would be at different points in their respective timelines.

                2) True white nationalists, not the folks like Trump who are merely using them to stir up xenophobia, are a tiny group. The progressive Left is a much larger group bu comparison. That alone merits additional concern.

                3) As we have discussed here many times, there are more ways to be violent than actually causing physical harm. The SJL is very, very good at mob justice. I could site dozens of examples here. One example, the doxxing of the Covington Catholic families (in addition to actual death threats).

                Ignoring all of the very nasty things that progressives do in the name of social justice just because there aren’t bodies in the street is pretty small-minded and I know you are smarter than that so what are you trying to do here?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Ignoring all of the very nasty things that progressives do in the name of social justice

                Posted, as they say, without comment.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @stillwater

                Would it make you feel better if I replied to your comment on the other thread? It seemed like you were fishing a bit there. You don’t have to try so hard.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Mike, I’ve already expressed my views about you as an interlocutor. I’m happy to repeat them.

                Also. I don’t care what comment you respond to on whichever thread. If you think that somehow matters here….Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I see we’re back to that. A bit bipolar isn’t it? Too bad, you were almost starting to be interesting.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Being interesting is what Lindsey Graham wants right now, tho he calls it “being relevant”. Hence his radical turn to Trumpism.

                Or so he says, anyway.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              The worst possible outcome of “SJWs” is…what?

              The worst current outcome is you’re accused of rape, even the accuser admits you didn’t do it, the kangaroo court finds you guilty anyway because everyone is always guilty (the conviction rate for these colleges can be 100%), and you have that follow you around for the rest of your life.

              Getting rid of due process is EXTREMELY nasty, and I’m really surprised that everyone doesn’t see how the police will use that against minorities more than anyone else. And due process was deliberately eliminated because the ideology of the people Obama had in charge of the education department is somewhere between women never lie and men deserve to suffer.

              Given the amount of pushback Trump has gotten from DeVos reforming this mess, it seems likely that HRC would have continued the system. And of course this doesn’t even touch things like lack of freedom of speech and how colleges seem to be training students to both insist on that and expect it.

              This sounds a lot like serious political power. It also sounds like several steps towards a dystopian state.

              This is what I mean by the right having to invent hysterical dystopian visions, despite any connection to reality. And ironic, that this is on a thread about a white supremacist, murdering 50 people.

              50 people in another country, so in order to maximize the body count we need to go world wide and it’s the worst thing to happen this decade. Here in the US we lost 50 people (total) last year from this sort of thing, and the year before we lost… I think it was 37.

              For perspective, we lose 51 people from lightning strikes every year and we have roughly 50 murders a day.

              So no, I’m not impressed by cherry picking the worst white power mass murder in the world when we think it’s going to be the record setter for many years. At the end of the day NO ONE with any serious political power is supporting this guy or suggesting he should go free as a matter of policy.

              However we have serious mass political movements in the US who already have serious political support who think it’s just fine to get rid of due process and freedom of speech and so forth.

              So yes, I’m a lot more afraid of the SJW ripping up the Constitution than I am the Nazis doing the same.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Getting rid of them, for whom?

                Compare these comments against the previous discussions we have had about the lack of “due process” and “free speech” for women and minorities.

                Because as we see regularly, women and ethnic minorities have always been, and still are, routinely denied the protections of their rights.

                The fear being displayed here is not that somehow “everyone” will suffer a loss of rights, because their concerns have regularly been dismissed and trivialized.

                Rather, the fear is that the treatment reserved for powerless minorities will someday be visited upon white males.
                Its almost like some Onion parody, like “Ermagerd, imagine a world where a white man is railroaded by The Man”.

                Yet in order for such a world to come about, who would have empowered?

                Who would enjoy a greater degree of liberty and security?

                No, I’m not suggesting we actually get rid of those rights. I’m saying that even the most hyperbolic dystopia imagined by conservatives is a world where white males live lives much like black women do right now.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Dark Matter says:

                @chip

                You’re playing a dangerous little game there. If it’s bad for anyone to lose those rights you shouldn’t be flirting with taking them away from other people and hand-waving it away. De-platforming and removing due process is a very real thing that is happening on the Left. If it’s bad when it happens to women and minorities, you should also be concerned when it happens to conservatives. Right?Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Dark Matter says:

                @Mike
                There isn’t a need to destroy ‘rights’ there is a need to control them. Every social construct that can be infiltrated will be.

                When they have control there will be no concern for conservatives. Obviously.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dark Matter says:

                @Mike,

                It’s bad for anyone to lose their due process rights, but the current scenario for huge swathes of the country WRT due process rights is way worse than even the worst of the problems with Title IX handling of sexual assault on campus.

                So if we’re talking about ranking fears, well, I think Chip’s point is relevant.

                “De-platforming” lumps together so many things that I think it’s hard to discuss as a single issue, lumping together things that are criminal (using violence to disrupt speech) or serious violations of norms of academic freedom and even free speech (firing faculty for unpopular opinions), to obnoxious (disruptive but nonviolent protest), to innocuous (harsh criticism, refusal to participate in fora or conferences because you dislike other people involved).Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Dark Matter says:

                @joesal

                I probably wouldn’t make it sound quite so intentional. The thing I always come back to with progressives is that they really do not understand what is happening to them. They are so in the weeds of their particular pet issues that they never take a step back and look at that 30,000 view where someone might say, “Holy crap, we have become really regressive!”

                Keep in mind, the people that set these events in motion did so almost 60 years ago and were playing the long game. Many of today’s progressives have no idea that they are on the tail-end of that strategy. I tend to be a bit forgiving of them for that.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Dark Matter says:

                @ Mike
                I agree mostly, the part i would disagree about is those who are trained in the strategies of infiltration and control and do it purposefully. Your probably correct about the rest, maybe social folks just flow into social constructs like water into sand.

                I did have a bit of clarity this morning. After about five years of burying every social construct that can be infiltrated, I finally found one that isn’t infiltrated to much extent.

                White Nationalism has the criteria that is very specific and the focus is narrow and not diverse. It doesn’t get infiltrated because the thresholds are too narrow and antithetical to broadbased SJLeft.

                It may go a ways to link the associations of disagreeableness with ‘nazi/ne-nazi/white power/racism/white supremacy/white nationalism/xenophobia’ that tend to be referenced in conflicts.

                It becomes short hand for the monolith that can’t be infiltrated (changed from within). It is the ugly chair they can’t sit in, yet cannot be moved. It is the permanent enemy in their own camp.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Chip,

                No one is magically filtering these issues so they’re only happening on the rich and powerful while sparing the people you want to help. These sorts of things are ALWAYS a bigger problem for the poor than the rich.

                Behind those white boys unjustly accused of rape who are suing the colleges are poor black ones who can’t afford lawyers. Worse, we should assume poor blacks are unjustly accused of sex crimes at a higher percentage rate because they make better targets (you would call it racism). Much worse, throwing money at the problem and transferring to another school and just lose a few years will be less of an option, especially for those on scholarship.

                And that’s assuming the system is applied equally to everyone and we seriously shouldn’t assume that. A 100% conviction rate means the really rich and powerful are either convicted… or with their superior access to the inner workings of the system they have a way to sidestep this.

                The system is designed to serve the interests of the college at the expense of Justice. These convictions in the face of evidence and tearing up due process are the result of that. By implication, convicting the guilty son of some really rich doner would hurt the college so presumably that won’t happen.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Dark,

                The system is designed to serve the interests of the college at the expense of Justice.

                You bolded it too, so that means you *really believe it* extra plus. Stamp the foot, bang the table!Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dark Matter says:

                @Dark Matter

                However we have serious mass political movements in the US who already have serious political support who think it’s just fine to get rid of due process and freedom of speech and so forth.

                Yes, like the Republican Party.

                Er, that’s not what you meant, is it?

                (I think this point is kind of silly, but the report was accidental.)Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              @dark matter:
              Your “worst case scenario” is a huge improvement over the status quo that millions of Americans experience right now.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Getting rid of due process and free speech is an improvement?

                Seriously?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                @chip

                I see your clarification upthread, and understand the point you want to make, but you are wrong. If we got rid of due process and free speech, those lives would not be made better. Things might be more ‘equal’, but they would be far from better.

                Absent a complete inversion of the power structure in this country, all it would do is increase injustice and suffering. And even with a complete inversion, the likelihood that the system would quickly revert to a similar state is high.

                No, playing with the idea of loosening the protections, regardless of the nobility behind the motive, is not going to wind up where people want it to.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              Mike Dwyer: I think it’s fairly indisputable at this point that our universities have become progressive recruitment centers.

              lolReport

            • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              True white nationalists, not the folks like Trump who are merely using them to stir up xenophobia, are a tiny group. The progressive Left is a much larger group bu comparison.

              Apples and oranges. The proper comparisons are between the White Nationalists vs. Antifa and then Progressive Left vs. Hard Right (like the Tea Party). You’re basically trying to equate maybe about half of the broader “Left”, the vast majority of whom do none of the things you’re worried about beyond supporting Bernie or Warren with the most extreme elements of the fascistic right. I reject the equivalence both numerically and morally.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Road Scholar says:

                The proper comparisons are between the White Nationalists vs. Antifa and then Progressive Left vs. Hard Right (like the Tea Party).

                Yes. This exactly.

                It’s why I have very little respect for the whole “afraid of being killed on the street by the White Nationalists” argument. It’s an effort (or the result of an effort) to mix the Hard Right with the Nazis.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Dark Matter says:

            This is a great comment and captures a chunk of what I am thinking these days.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

            I’ve already written this, but Im not opposed to repeating myself:

            As we speak the GOP, using the power of government as it’s lever, is kidnapping children at the border, engaging in stasi-like round ups of people demanding their papers, passing voter-ID restrictions with the express intent of depriving African Americans and other people of color their right to vote, etc and so on. On the other hand, we have young people on campuses shouting loudly about injustices and trying to censor campus speech.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Stillwater says:

              Is there a problem with recognizing that all of that is fundamentally wrong on numerous levels?Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

              Stillwater: As we speak the GOP, using the power of government as it’s lever…

              I’m not defending any of that as things which are good nor which should be done. Having said that, neither of those are actually anti-constitutional and they’re both also very narrow in scope.

              RE: Immigration
              We passed stupid laws. Up until Trump we relied on the President to not enforce them. He’s not so much acting in bad faith as ham handedly enforcing what everyone who came before him refused to do. I would argue that Prohibition has failed and we should change the laws to reflect that, but enforcing the law as written isn’t corrupting the Constitution.

              RE: Voter Suppression.
              We’re a 50/50 split country, there really are reasons to secure the integrity of the ballot box… witness how monocultural countries have laws stricter than what the GOP wants in the context of it not being controversial.

              And yes, the laws the GOP wants would magically favor itself in the process of securing the integrity of the ballot box, and also magically the laws the Dems want would have less integrity, more access, and would also favor itself. And yes, if either side’s voters change economic status then both parties will instantly switch positions.

              I don’t like it, but in terms of how heinous/reasonable this is I defer to what other countries do when the political parties don’t have their own interests at stake, and mostly that evaluation comes down on the GOP’s side.

              On the other hand, we have young people on campuses shouting loudly about injustices and trying to censor campus speech.

              This is the least problematic of what is going on. I view what they’re doing as a problem but I’m a lot more concerned when the college administration decides to do the same.

              I’m even more concerned when colleges are forced to rip apart due process because of official Presidential action. We’re not looking at inexperienced young people here, we’re looking at a major player in one of the two parties apparently believing, with popular support, that due process is a bad thing. That letting politics in general decide who is guilty on an individual level is a good thing.

              Stillwater: I don’t differentiate degree of badness.

              I do. There are limited resources and the world is imperfect. Every bad act doesn’t threaten the system as a whole. Every murder is not a recreation of the holocaust. Pointing to a bad actor and claiming we need to fear the recreation of Nazi Germany is very much the act of a partisan.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                “Stillwater: I don’t differentiate degree of badness.

                I do.”

                Wait! I was being facetious when I said that. Hence the quotes around the comment!

                Oh well….Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                From your initial comment on this subthread re: SJWism:

                It is a bigger threat.

                Just want to highlight this as an example of the hysteria driving the anti-left conservative consensus. Students with exactly zero political power are viewed as presenting a greater threat to American values* than GOP electeds who (eg) pass legislation with the express intent of undermining minority voting rights.

                Absolutely bizarre.

                *what does this term even mean anymore?Report

  17. Avatar JoeSal says:

    -mis threaded-Report

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