31810544983_74a8246e8b_b In the face of hate, we must show love. But what form does love take to be effective in responding to the recent hate crime that occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand?

The man, described as a white nationalist, who is suspected of committing mass murders at one of the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, referred to worshipers as immigrants, ignoring that his family was once European immigrants to Australia. The AP reported, “He is a 28-year-old Australian white nationalist who hates immigrants,” who “was set off by attacks in Europe that were perpetuated by Muslims. He wanted revenge and wanted to create fear.” But is fear the impetus that propelled him to launch this hate crime in the first place?

Sometimes when people are fearful, they become vicious and lash out. Their senses of reality become skewed (which may be a form of mental illness). Their fight or flight instinct is triggered and instead of retreating, some decide to go on the offense, and in this case, attacking self-selected enemies. Is the fear really that they (white nationalists) will become irrelevant at best or extinct at worse? How do we dispel or alleviate what seems to some as a real threat? How do we allay the fears of people who have delusions that “others” are plotting to destroy them? When we are able to answer these complex questions, we will at best have an opportunity to solve these problems or at least learn to better manage them.

In considering our response – our call to action – we should speak to how we must work together to examine and address the perspectives of people who commit heinous, terrorist attacks in the name of saving their way of life. Perhaps it will help us save our own.

Princess G. Hoagland

Chair, Not In Our Town Princeton

Source: Mosque shooter a white nationalist seeking revenge