Echoes of Echoes
An Avoidable Tragedy?
- Way to Respond?
The way Norway responds to the tragic shootings will say a lot how that country deals with its radical right.
- Breivik's Monstrous Dream—and Why It Failed | The Nation
Using new media and terror, he hoped to ignite a civil war in Norway. He failed utterly.
Fear Of The 'Other'
Last year, the world was stunned to hear of a bombing and shooting rampage in Norway. Many people's initial thoughts, much like after the Oklahoma City Bombing, were that this was the act of Muslim extremists.
The crime in Norway was indeed committed by an extremist. A right-wing extremist who saw himself as a soldier in a war against the menaces of immigration and Islam.
What might have a few people wondering, is why Europe, which saw the ravages of Fascism first-hand, would have people embracing those same ideas? Some of it is likely generational, Europe's younger people are two or more generations removed from the days of the Brownshirts and the SS.
Or could it be that the European right has managed to tap into a fear of the "other". For generations European nations have been basically homogeneous. Wars and violence in many of former colonies has brought refugees. To some on the European Right, this creates an opportunity to claim that purity is being threatened.
It's an idea that the American Right has been exploiting for years; the Irish, the Pole, the Asian, the Latino, and much like Europe, the Muslim. One need only look at the rhetoric of the "Minutemen" or the backers of Arizona's SB1070 to hear a toned-down version of the rhetoric that lead to the tragedy in Norway.
Of course, the American Right needed to get it's ideas from somewhere. Folks like Jared Loughner may have taken the notion of the outgroup as scapegoat from the ideas that Hitler and Franco rode to power.