OCALA, Fla., April 15, 2014 — The worst of events often take us by complete surprise.
Over the weekend, an ordinary-looking man armed himself and set out to kill Jews. So, he set out for a Jewish community center and retirement home in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park. The result was three dead Christians — one was only fourteen, and he died alongside his grandfather. The other was middle-aged and female; apparently she had been visiting her mother.
All of these people were passers-by, more or less; they were not on the premises because it was a place for them to worship. Their lives ended all the same.
The shooter’s name is Frazier Glenn Miller. He is in his early seventies and, as he was being carried away from the scene, cried out in support of Adolf Hitler. Not long after, it was revealed that he is a regular poster on Vanguard News Network, a discussion forum which might make certain Stormfront regulars blush.
League of the South activist Hunter Wallace posted a VNN screen capture on his blog. It revealed that Miller, under a screen name, supported neo-Nazi kingpin Alex Linder’s aim “to attack Christianity and….advocate exterminating all Jews”.
In a separate posts, Wallace, a vociferous opponent of white nationalism and neo-Nazism, noted how “Vanguardists” and “Vantards” often commit acts of extreme violence. He also wrote of their movement’s dead end nature.
The question is this: What compels individuals such as Miller and his fellow travelers to engage in no-holds-barred savagery?
After interviewing Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation last year, I read some of the worst vitriol imaginable. It was directed at him and phrased in brazenly anti-Semitic terms. Far worse words about others — and Jews generally — float around the annals of the Internet; anything more specific is not fit for mention here.
There is something repulsive taking root across the fruited plains. I think it is, to a certain extent, the result of free trade fanaticism and some businesspeople’s desire for cheap, illegal labor. Both of these pathologies have combined to fiscally vanquish entire communities. It probably also has to do with the housing bubble bursting in spectacular fashion; no longer are middle class folks allowed to live like millionaires.
In any case, this repulsive something is, in its rawest form, anger. It is the sort of anger which can easily be cultivated into a seething rage. Of course, rage needs a target. This is when time-tested scapegoats are chased by blood-hungry wolves, even if the poor goats have absolutely nothing to do with the original problem.
As a matter of fact, they probably don’t. Rage cares not for reason, though, so this becomes a moot point.
It seems like this anger has found a target for the time being: secularism. That should be none too surprising as religions, especially those of a fundamentalist bent, often gain traction during times of financial hardship. Anti-semitism also flares up during economic downturns, and when the massive inferiority complex associated with this meets theological radicalism, all hell can break loose.
Considering that many Jewish-related charities and political organizations have long been champions of the separation between church and state, anti-secularism becomes all the more lucrative. Now, it is able to attract individuals who themselves are non-theistic, but despise Jews due to ancient prejudices.
Of course, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Some people in desperate situations hear fact-free but rhetoric-heavy arguments that implicate all Jews in a millennia-long conspiracy to overthrow Western civilization. For one reason or another, such tripe is accepted as Biblical truth and that is that.
Still, many neo-Nazis and white supremacist sympathizers observe some form of Christianity. Linder & Co. are outcasts among their own ranks.
The interesting thing about this is that millions of hardcore anti-Semites exalt a Palestinian Jew named Yeshua — Jesus — as their lord and savior. While there is increasing academic debate as to his historical existence, if he did walk the earth, there was no golden brown hair, sparkling blue eyes, and Nordic facial features like European painters portrayed. Instead, Jesus would have had the swarthy appearance common to the Mediterranean.
How on Earth a fellow like this has become a symbol of white supremacy is beyond me.
Addressing this hatred is no easy matter. I prefer to ignore it; why give these creeps the time of day, let alone a place in our national discussion? Still, just because one pays no mind to something does not mean that it will go away.
Perhaps it is best to support causes which strive to keep our government a secular one. If, by some human miracle, the economy picks up again, then any gains the haters have made during the Recession Era might erode.
I do hope that this is what happens.
Difficult as it might be, acknowledging that the rage exists is essential. Only then can we as a country begin to work against it.
Whatever the correct path might be, however, following it will not bring back the victims of Miller’s slaughter. Their untimely deaths prove beyond the shadow of a doubt why we need to work for a better tomorrow.