So much is so horrific about what happened on Friday in Christchurch. A hate-filled Australian man who had clearly been planning the attacks for a considerable time and who had earmarked the location of his shooting spree in advance.
The rise of extremist far right white groups is becoming alarming. It is not limited to America and Australia. We have seen it is several parts of Europe - and it is getting worse. If there are two lessons that should have been learned, one is that weak gun laws helped this crazy murderer. It is heartening that New Zealand's Prime Minister has firmly stated that the country's gun laws will be amended quickly.
Another is that something has to be done about hate speech. The fact that this massacre of 50 people was live-streamed on Facebook is hideous. That it was kept up despite Facebook's assertions months ago that its systems had been tightened up and tens of thousands of monitors been hired is a condemnation of the company. That Facebook only took it down after the New Zealand police requested it is a further stain on Zukerberg and the veracity of what he says in public. The fact that even now it can still be seen on social media is sickening.
Free speech is enshrined in the US Constitution. There are limitations. But clearly that freedom is taken way too far. One reason surely has to be the so-called leader of the free world and his encouragement - actual or implied - of far right white extremists.
This video shows what one teenager did to a far right senator in Australia's parliament. He was giving a speech in which he blamed the massacre not on the murderer but on New Zealand's policy of allowing Muslims into its country. The teenager may be guilty of a misdemeanour. The Senator's reaction is typical of far right bullies.
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It is perfectly obvious, watching Trump's reaction, that he couldn't care less. And just as bad, since it was an attack on Muslims, probably many Americans also couldn't care less - and some are probably glad it happened.
"The whole world was collectively sick in those years - and still is."
- Edith Evans (Dr. Parmentier), 'QB VII'
That quote comes from a mini-series made in 1974 - and it is worse now than it was then.