The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: A Loss So Fundamentally Cruel

What We’re Following Today

It’s Friday, March 15.

At least 49 people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the deadliest in the modern history of the country. The suspected gunman posted a 74-page manifesto on the extremist chat room 8chan before his attack (which he appeared to have live-streamed), invoking far-right language on the erosion of “whiteness” and citing “a future for white children” as a goal.

‣ Friday’s attacks were the first mass shootings in New Zealand since six people were murdered in 1997 in the North Island town of Raurimu, more than two decades ago. A sobering fact: In that same time, at least 90 mass shootings have happened in the United States.

‣The Christchurch shootings mirror recent attacks by other terrorist groups. The emphasis on mass killing, the weaponization of social media, and the fixation on perceived threats to the identity of the group the attackers take as their own are shared threads. But none of this can “fully explain a violence so fundamentally senseless, and a community loss so fundamentally cruel,” writes Kathy Gilsinan.

‣ J. M. Berger warns how news organizations dangerously amplify the impact of extremist manifestos by sharing them.

‣ Adam Serwer examines the deep American roots behind the seemingly fringe conspiracy theory of “white genocide” in the April issue of The Atlantic magazine: “When Americans abandon their commitment to pluralism, the world notices, and catastrophe follows.”

Here’s what else we’re watching:

VETO!: As expected, President Donald Trump vetoed the Congressional attempt to block his declaration of a national emergency, and leading up to the Senate’s rebuke on Thursday, seemed to care very little about trying to win over Congress.

A Candidate for the ‘Middle’: You might not have heard of Representative Tim Ryan, but the …read more

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