I’m a white Australian. I know that blaming myself and my cohort is illogical, but I can’t escape the feeling that all of white Australia is implicated in the deaths—a white majority that has fomented and let foment hate. Though he may have labeled himself a European, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant was an Aussie through and through, growing up in a country town north of Sydney, steeped in mainstream Australian racism and our particular national brand of Islamophobia. He grew up in the same Murdoch-controlled mass media environment that the rest of us did—one that recently trashed Islam 2,891 times in a single year—and under the same governments, with prime ministers who have repeatedly stoked anti-Muslim sentiment for votes, with one major party making it central to their electoral strategy.
White Australians must no longer tolerate those mainstream voices who give white supremacy a platform and megaphone. Instead of brushing aside the racism in our homeland, or pointing instead toward Trump and the United States, we must call out dog whistles in our own government, in our own backyard, every chance we get. We must condemn hate speech not just when someone like Anning goes “too far,” and we must deny visas to alt-right figures who come to our shores expecting a friendly welcome not just in the wake of right-wing terror attacks, but always. We must fight the normalization of Islamophobia. And above all we must accept responsibility for the hatred we have normalized. Rather than go easy on ourselves, we must go hard.
There you have it: the Australian Left is not about to let a good crisis go to waste. White Australians in general are no more responsible for Tarrant’s vile attack than Muslim Australians in general are for Islamic terror attacks in that country. Again, though, this is about progressives instrumentalizing a terrible crime to silence their opponents.
They’re coming after me, in fact. I am scheduled to give a series of lectures in Australia in May. The Ramsay Centre invited me to give a talk under its sponsorship. I had planned to speak about classical Christian education, and the importance to us all of learning about the roots of Western civilization as an antidote to the condition of “liquid modernity” (the concept is the Marxist sociologist Zygmunt Bauman’s). Check out today’s Sydney Morning Herald. Excerpt:
A writer who responded to the New Zealand massacre by noting that “everything [shooter Brenton] Tarrant identifies as qualities of a disintegrating Western civilisation is true” and an academic who runs a fan blog dedicated to right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos are some of the “distinguished visiting speakers” being promoted by the controversial Ramsay Centre.
The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, which recently signed an agreement with the University of Wollongong to begin offering a new Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation, has come under fire for including The American Conservative editor Rod Dreher and University of Chicago academic Rachel Fulton-Brown on its 2019 lecture series speakers list.
In an article on Tarrant’s manifesto, a 74-page document which was published online and sent to New Zealand politicians in the minutes before Mr Tarrant killed at least 50 people in a mosque in Christchurch, Mr Dreher writes: “It’s a chilling document, for a couple of reasons. First, it’s grounded in both paranoid, racist grievance, and legitimate, realistic concerns.
“You may think that declining numbers of ethnic Europeans is a good thing, or something that has no particular moral meaning. But it really is happening,” Mr Dreher writes in the article that was published on Friday afternoon under a screenshot from a video of the massacre filmed by Tarrant and disseminated online.
Mr Dreher’s article is critical of the massacre, which he describes as a “despicable act”.
Here’s the article of mine to which the Morning Herald piece refers. I completely stand by it. As I’ve said, Brenton Tarrant is a devil from the pit of hell, but if we are going to fight terrorists — white nationalist terrorists, Islamist terrorists, all kinds of terrorists — we are going to have to face honestly the conditions that produce them. Here is the part of my essay that sparked controversy:
What is “degeneration”? According to [Tarrant’s] manifesto, it consists of:
- The decline in native European populations, and native European stock in the US, in terms of numbers relative to non-Europeans within those societies. [UPDATE: In the US, obviously Latino immigrants are European; I mean non-northern European in the US — RD]
- Politics and policies within European countries (that is, countries with ethnic European majorities, including the US and Canada) that disempower native Europeans.
- Widespread drug use.
- The loss of worker rights and stability under the reign of globalist capitalism.
- Environmental degradation.
- The collapse of Christianity (which he seems to value only as a force ethnically binding Europeans)
- Rampant hedonism
Here’s the chilling part: Everything Tarrant identifies as qualities of a disintegrating Western civilization is true. You may think that declining numbers of ethnic Europeans is a good thing, or something that has no particular moral meaning. But it really is happening. So are all the rest.
Who can deny this? Why is it not permitted by the Australian Left to bring this up? In no way to I endorse what Tarrant did. You don’t have to endorse Islamist terrorism to recognize that the US invasion of Iraq is a factor in radicalizing Muslims. These leftists are choosing to be ignorant of social, political, and economic factors that lead to radicalization. In fact, they want to silence anyone who talks about them. The alt-right in the US can’t stand me, considering me a Christian cuck, but Australian leftists are trying to pin the label onto me.
Here is left-wing Aussie academic Nick Riemer using the massacre to attempt to crush the Ramsay Centre, which simply wants to engage in education about the importance of Western civilization. Riemer calls the academic center an advocate for “Western supremacist politics.” Do you believe that there is a thing called Western civilization, and it is worth studying, loving, and defending? Then you have the blood of Christchurch Muslims on your hands — and you should be shamed out of the public square. This, according to Nick Riemer and Rachel Withers.
This — the Left moving to silence any critics of progressivism, and to tar everyone on the Right as a white supremacist — is exactly the kind of thing that Brenton Tarrant (who despises conservatives) wanted to happen. From his manifesto:
In this sense, Rachel Withers and Nick Riemer — a Marxist activist and leader of the Sydney BDS movement who, I discovered via Google, has been waging an ideological campaign against the Ramsay Centre for some time — are doing the bidding of the Christchurch terrorist more faithfully than the conservatives they deplore. It’s disgusting. Here is a video clip of Riemer in 2015 defending the “right” of left-wing university students to shout down speakers. This man despises free speech and open inquiry.
I don’t know if I’ll be deplatformed in Australia. I don’t know if I will be denied a visa. I’ll say here that I do not want to be responsible for the destruction at the Left’s hands of any of the organizations hosting my lecture tour, so I would not hold it against them if they withdrew their invitations. But if that happens, you will all be hearing from me, loud and often, on the subject of illiberal liberalism in Australia. And I hope that Australian conservatives fight back hard against these smears, and left-wing attempts to instrumentalize a massacre to gain political power over their opponents. It’s massively important.
The Nick Riemers of Australia want to make you all ashamed of Western civilization, and to despise it. Don’t let him get away with it.
UPDATE: As ever, Who, Whom?:
— Will (@Oil_Guns_Merica) March 19, 2019