, 06.10.2021 07:54 PM

My latest: the haters

Right off the top, let’s all agree not to use his name. The alleged killer of the Muslim family in London, that is. With some crimes, that’s what the criminals so often want: to be named, to be remembered.  So let’s deny the killer that. But, as we try and find a motive for a crime as senseless, as evil, as this one, let’s also agree on this: there can be more than one motive. There can be more than one reason. The killer wanted notoriety, to be sure.  But what else could possibly be his motive, for a crime this horrifying, this cruel? We don’t know for certain yet. Bits and pieces are coming out, as they always do, in newspapers and on social media. Shocked neighbours are interviewed. Disbelieving former teachers, too. Family members are typically sought out for comment, but they often don’t know what to say. Understandably. But whatever we learn about the killer, and the killer’s motive, one thing is certain: he belongs to a certain demographic.  It’s one this writer has been paying attention to for three decades, because their ranks have been growing. Going back to my book Web of Hate in 1994, I started to notice a certain type of criminal thug committing a certain type of crime. And their ideology didn’t matter so much as their psychology. They’re not terrorists, often. Despite what Justin Trudeau claims, they’re not motivated by some political or ideological purpose. They’re just criminal thugs, and they hate other people. Often: • they’re male • they’re young (teens to early thirties) • they’re unsuccessful (at love or life) • they’re unemployed (often after post-secondary study) • they’re angry (at everything and everyone) • they’re alienated from family (who often have lost contact) • they’re involved in petty crime From skinheads to incels, these young men become incandescent balls of rage. They are looking for a replacement family, a new beliefs system, a sense of belonging, a higher calling, a culture that rejects the popular culture, a new religion, maybe even a uniform to wear. And along come manipulative older men, practiced in deception, who give them all those things. The old men give the young men a manifesto of hate. Now, desperate young men do desperate things, as we are now seeing – in London, Ont., in Quebec City, on Parliament Hill, on Yonge Street in Toronto. But these crimes are happening much more frequently, it seems, and with much more ferocity. Why? Well, social media doesn’t help.  It’s a cauldron of hate, too often, where hatreds flourish like dark weeds. Video games and popular culture, too: they nurture the notion that violence is a legitimate way of expressing oneself. But all of these young men share certain characteristics.  Despite the differing races and politics, they share motive. Why? Because they feel rejected by the mainstream. Because they feel they do not belong. Because they are shunned. So they leave civil society, and embrace a decidedly uncivil one. These young men turn to anti-democratic action precisely when they feel democracy has turned on them. Using violence to achieve political change is terrorism. But, Trudeau’s claims notwithstanding, the terrible events in London simply may not be terrorism. They truly seem what they they most often are: an angry, directionless young man, suffused with hate, who tries to destroy what he fears. Which, in this case, were some strangers who had what he did not – family, faith, love and a belief in humanity. [Kinsella is the author of several books on organized racism, anti-Semitism and extremism.]

5 Comments

  1. Pedant says:

    In this tragic, horrible case, the behaviour of the accused following the killings suggests the most likely affliction was paranoid schizophrenia rather than neonazi indoctrination. I presume a psychiatric assessment is underway.

  2. Phil in London says:

    It would be safe to say whether indoctrination or schizophrenia there is a need for psychiatric assessment.

    I think the important thing for all of us to realize is we don’t know hardly any facts about this just yet.

    I think the leap to conclude it an act of terror was too fast. It could be that he was indoctrinated but it could be wasn’t. But It is surely an act of hate. A young man with a deeply troubling pattern as Warren notes, is not an entirely unpredictable pattern.

    Social media’s unintended very large and dark side. Facebook etc hasn’t caused the downfall of a society but it does contribute to an astonishing lack of dialogue between persons.

    There is also a huge section of the young populace addicted to everything from Marjuana and booze to so called street drugs with seemingly no answers toward cure.

    Not sure this horrendous lockdown won’t incubate even more jilted young men.

    I think we all need to be aware all the conditions that create an opportunity for hate.

    • The Doctor says:

      I would encourage anyone who hasn’t seen that documentary The Social Dilemma to please watch it. It’s that important.

      We are basically living in a sci-fi dystopia right now, with what social media companies and their algorithms are doing to us and our discourse. The only reason we’re not more alarmed by it is that it has happened gradually over the last 10-15 years or so. Just like the way the proverbial frog doesn’t realize it’s being boiled to death until it’s too late.

      If I were a world leader or parliamentarian or whatever, this would be my first priority. Get rid of those toxic algorithms and fix social media and online business models so that they don’t and cannot be based on pushing out and circulating hate, inflammatory insane content and disinformation.

      They are literally killing us. If you don’t realize that, you’re not paying attention.

  3. Arron Banks says:

    “But all of these young men share certain characteristics. Despite the differing races and politics, they share motive. Why? Because they feel rejected by the mainstream. Because they feel they do not belong. Because they are shunned. So they leave civil society, and embrace a decidedly uncivil one.These young men turn to anti-democratic action precisely when they feel democracy has turned on them.”

    B-I-N-G-O! The problem when the issue of Islamist terrorism was the mainstream was that politicos of both stripes (right and left) were unwilling to look beyond the religion and race of those being radicalised in order to see this is a wider problem involving young men of all backgrounds. The ideologies may be different, but as Warren points out, that should really be seen as secondary as these young men have far more in common with each other than they would themselves perhaps even admit.

  4. Robert White says:

    From a Sociological perspective we are evidencing Emile Durkheim’s Theory of Anomie [normlessness] coupled with gravitation towards the disenfranchised disaffected
    white males as an in-group buttressed with a superordinate goal they all share of out-group adherents.

    Reverend Jim Jones of the Jonestown cult indoctrinated his followers much the same way as Alex Jones of right-wing fundamentalist American ‘white nationalism’ ilk indoctrinates their adherents. The contemporary manifestation via Jones’ ‘Prison Planet’ paints the picture for a future of nihilism for the disaffected white males & unwitting victims of current right-wing religious funadamentalism run amok. They envision their superordinate cause as paramount to their survival because they have abandoned civility & civil society as Warren rightfully points out.

    And as well all know it is next to impossible to de-programme their indoctrination as they have become a weaponized group of hate mongers.

    Deradicalization methods are required to enlighten those that are mired in that in-group bias as they will never extricate themselves from that mired existence until they age out of the group cohort of believers. via a new set of beliefs.
    RW

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