Editorial: ‘Ideas are not harmless’

The horror of the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand last Friday in which 47 Muslim worshippers were massacred during prayer at two separate mosques, was magnified by the motivation behind it. An avowed “white nationalist” from Australia embraced that creed’s most extreme ideas, executed his plan and broadcast it on social media for maximum impact.
Trump, who has promoted white nationalist ideas on the campaign trail before the election and since assuming office as president, denies his frequent white supremacist comments have a cause-and-effect relationship to the rise in such violence around the world, but experts disagree as pointed out in dozens of stories published since this latest tragedy.
Toronto-based writer and author Omer Aziz wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times this week that makes the connection succinctly: “Ideas are not harmless: They are taken seriously by thousands of people. If only one person applies these deranged ideas about the other to the real world, we get a mass-murder like the one we just witnessed… Racism begins with ideas. It ends with violence.”
If only Trump would take that to heart.

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