Saturday, February 15, 2020

Two mass killings a world apart share a common theme

Eco-Fascism: the Racist Theory That Inspired the El Paso and Christchurch Shooters

Both believed immigrants were destroying the environment, a racist trope that's gaining steam among white nationalists.

The El Paso shooter, who killed 22, claimed in his manifesto that the “decimation of the environment” through “urban sprawl” was endangering future generations in the U.S — and that immigrants, encouraged by corporations, were responsible. He said the way to protect the environment was “to decrease the number of people in America.” The Christchurch shooter, an Australian national, labelled himself an “eco-fascist” in his own manifesto, which he defined as “ethnic autonomy for all peoples with a focus on preservation of nature and the natural order.”

White nationalist organizer Richard Spencer published a manifesto one day prior to the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, August 2017, in which he also expressed eco-fascist ideas. “We have the potential to become nature’s steward or its destroyer,” Spencer wrote. “The natural world — and our experience of it — is an end in itself.”

“Climate change — and the prospect of ‘scarce’ resources that comes attached to it — is just fodder to a far-right that feeds on fear of the outside.”

David Adler, policy director of Democracy in Europe Movement, a transnational progressive party, who has written about environmental policy, says that the fringe subculture has been gaining ground in Europe, where there’s been a resurgence of far-right anti-immigrant groups’ efforts to win over environmentalists.