I cannot imagine the terror and horror of the people in Christchurch as they were being gunned down. I cannot imagine the grief and sadness of friends and relatives who are left. I cannot understand the rage of one human being who undertook such deliberate acts of terror and horror.
My sympathy goes out to the people who experienced such great loss and terror in Christchurch.
There are too many of these incidents happening but I listened to a radio interview this morning that gave me a couple of thoughts. White supremacy jumped out at me. I hadn't thought about that issue very seriously.
What makes someone become such an extreme white supremacist that they will kill? Somehow they become obsessed with the idea that people of other color will take over the world. They see danger and risk hiding in many places. They see themselves as a savior to white people.
Some things are easy for me to see and say as I spent 5 years as a minority person and was often called the white man. The first time I was called a white man has stayed with me all my life.
As a child and young adult the only idea in my head was that white people were the best in all areas. My parents and all surrounding neighbors thought this way although they didn't say anything about. It just was the situation.. We were not exposed to people of color except for the odd Chinese running a local restaurant. These people lived alone and did not participate in the community. I did not see a black person until I was in my teens and had no contact with them. Asians were looked at as unusual. For all my public school years I went to school with white kids.
None of us ever thought of taking this idea to any extreme. We didn't have any fear because there were no other people to worry about. We were it.
So today why are so many white supremacists taking an extremely violent position. They fear losing power. They fear that other religions would prevent them from their freedom of religion. They fear other systems of law would be imposed on them. They fear that they will soon be in a minority because the people of other cultures are having so many children and moving out of their homelands to other parts of the world.
As a child I was not exposed to other races. Once I was exposed to other cultures I learned that they had all kinds of good and different ways of looking at the world. I learned to trust and rely on people who where different. This exposure changed my life forever.
Somehow we have to be able to set things up so that people are exposed to other cultures in a meaningful way and that they will not become so extremely fearful of others that they will see the only option is to kill as many as they can.
I think that some world leaders are supporting white supremacy for their own political gain. We don't need leaders dividing us for their political power.