Contrary to the claims of Donald Trump and his supporters, the real “threat to safety and security” has, once again, turned out to be white men.
Shortly after the shooting that killed six people and injured 19 at a Quebec City mosque on Sunday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attempted to use the attack to justify Trump’s irrational, racist ban on immigrants. Glenn Greenwald reports that at this afternoon’s briefing, Spicer said:
“It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.”
The right wing press jumped on board, claiming the suspect was Muslim, “of Moroccan origin,” and shouted “Allahu akbar!”
Suspect in Quebec mosque terror attack was of Moroccan origin, reports show https://t.co/oRzxGHEXDm pic.twitter.com/aEsEtccMvi
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 30, 2017
But it turns out that keeping innocent people from returning to their homes and reuniting with their families in the United States simply because they come from certain Muslim-majority nations, doesn’t prevent terrorist violence. Contrary to the fear-mongering, racist propaganda pushed by the right, the shooting suspect in the Quebec attack is actually a young white man named Alexandre Bissonnette — a right wing, anti-immigrant, Trump supporter who hates feminists.
Observing the 27-year-old’s Facebook activity, Quebec media has reported that Bissonnette is a fan of Richard Dawkins, the Israeli Defense Forces, and was a known troll in a Facebook group called, “Bienvenue aux réfugiés — Welcome to Refugees,” who routinely posted comments attacking immigrants and feminists, who he called “feminazis.”
Bissonnette sounds remarkably like the many other young white men who commit mass shootings but are, oddly, never banned from the U.S.
The Globe and Mail reports that those who knew the young man at Les Compagnons-de-Cartier high school in Quebec City “say he was introverted, socially awkward, and frequently bullied.” Bissonnette was reportedly teased “for his slight, pallid appearance, and his unfashionable clothing.”
Far from uncommon, the men responsible for not only violence against women, but mass shootings, often have a history of misogyny — yet hating women never seems to constitute a red flag until its too late. If we did take men’s racism and misogyny seriously as warning signs of violence, we would, of course, have to ban Trump himself from the country he now presides over.
Many of you will recall white supremacist Dylann Roof, who killed nine black people in a Charleston church; and Elliot Rodger, who killed seven people in California; and Adam Lanza, who killed 20 school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School; and Robert Lewis Dear, who killed three people and injured nine at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic; and of course Marc Lépine, who murdered 14 women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal… Do you remember what they all had in common? They were white and they hated women. Now, this isn’t to say that only white men commit violence, but it is true that white American men kill more people in the U.S. than anyone else. Indeed, white, American, right-wing men are responsible for killing far more Americans in terrorist attacks than anyone else.
Just to be safe, Trump should probably make sure not to let anymore white men into the country. Specifically, he should focus on keeping out racists, anti-feminists, men with histories of domestic abuse, and his own supporters.