Conservative Max Boot linked the connection between President Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric to the New Zealand shooter in a column for The Washington Post.
The shooter, who has been a identified as 28-year-old man, but his name has not been made public, released a long manifesto that detailed his views on hate towards Muslim and immigrants. Boot said that there is a common thread of ideologies that result in domestic attacks and said the New Zealand shooting was not an isolated incident.
“In other words, when these are hate crimes rooted in pathologies shared by many others, rather than random emanations of a diseased mind,” he said.
Boot explained that extremists attack are not treated equally, and argued that “right-wing violence” should be treated with just as much seriousness as other forms of violence.
“Yet we do not treat all hate crimes equally. For decades, we have been understandably focused on attacks by Muslim extremists. I say understandably because 9/11 was the worst terrorist attack ever, and it was only a prelude of the horrors to come,” Boot wrote.
He added, “But a focus on Islamist violence should not distract us from the growing threat of right-wing violence.”
“The Anti-Defamation League reports that in the United States, ‘right-wing extremists collectively have been responsible for more than 70 percent of the 427 extremist-related killings over the past 10 years’, far outnumbering those committed by left-wing extremists or domestic Islamist extremists,” he said.
He then drew comparisons between the New Zealand shooter’s rhetoric to that of King’s.
“The alleged Christchurch shooter’s loathsome manifesto is called ‘The Great Replacement,’ a common trope of white supremacists. He complained of ‘mass immigration’ and “higher fertility rates of the immigrants” leading to “the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people,” he said.
He added, “Does any of this sound familiar? It should. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has spoken of his own fears of the ‘great replacement.’ Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former counselor, has voiced admiration for a racist French novel called ‘The Camp of the Saints’ that imagines France being overrun by nonwhite newcomers. Trump himself has expressed support for Le Pen; said: ‘Islam hates us’; praised white supremacists as ‘very fine people’; and warned of an ‘invasion’ of undocumented immigrants.”
Even after the New Zealand shooting, Trump failed to condemn the spread of white nationalism and said the ideology was only believed by a “small group of people.”
Boot called out Trump’s rhetoric as “deeply disturbing.”
“It is well past time for the president to accept responsibility for his rhetoric and to tone it down. Because the wrong words can inspire the worst acts,” he said.
Read the entire column here.