The first terror attack of the Trump era was against Canadian Muslims
Psychometrics and the mainstreaming of Christofascism
For immigrant folk like me, the question of the Trump administration wasn’t when authoritarianism would begin but how ghastly it would be. Justin Trudeau would speak out in the wake of the a mosque shooting that left 6 innocent Canadians dead at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre saying, “We will grieve with you. We will defend you. We will love you. And we will stand with you.” I wonder what words Trump had offered the prime minister given that 1 in 2 Americans are in support of his ban on Muslims or that the “lone-wolf” terrorist was pro-Trump. I also wonder whether there are really “lone-wolves” in a pack of rabid nativists.
Given how Americans would view other American Muslims (despite not knowing one) it’s hard to understand what condolences this country could offer to families as they were notified of the injuries and deaths at the crowded mosque. Standing at the San Francisco airport while we protested the xenophobic detainment of travelers, I hadn’t realized that Canada just witnessed terrorism nor that it was a religious hate-crime of the nature that Bannon and his ilk have promoted.
Meanwhile, widespread support of the ban and the dearth of reporting on a terrorist attack at a place of worship exemplifies the media’s complicity in Christofascism, as well as our own privileging of alt-right narratives. It’s alarming how the Trump administration effectively uses psychometrics to monitor our digital footprints and manage the nation’s emotional responses. And given how accurately our authoritarians in chief can now track individual sentiment thanks to public facebook data and disinformation, it’s unclear how we effectively push back against the mainstreaming of white supremacy, as seen with downplaying white terrorists or popular support of racially targeted policies.
The only sincere apology the administration should offer would be their complicity in a terrorist attack, an apology that Trump, Bannon and Guilani should jointly author just as they had the immigration executive orders. I’m curious how as Spicer says, “the president is taking steps to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security” when those steps inspire acts of terror in North America.
No surprise then that Bannon’s efforts pushed Canada to blacklist Breitbart saying, “The Government of Canada does not support advertising on websites that are deemed to incite racial hatred, discrimination or the subversion of Canada’s democratic system of government.” His platform Breitbart has also led 5 Democratic reps to write a letter urging Trump to remove Bannon from the National Security Council given that he’s “provided a platform for white nationalists and the alt-right, and he has also espoused a false theory of a violent clash of civilizations between the West and Islam that only serves to fuel violent extremism.”
At least this much is clear, white supremacy has deeply instituted itself in the White House which sadly aligns with the building’s construction by Black slaves. So as the economic contributions of immigrants to the nation swells, it seems Trump–Pence are poised to return America to a greatness built on exploitation and injustice. Some will argue that America never truly divested from those values but that’s an argument on how neo-liberalism had eroded our democracy.
This week the United States was downgraded from a full democracy to a flawed democracy. So it falls to us to citizens to govern and minimize the necropolitics of the current administration before more marginalized groups are traumatized, the EPA gets dismantled, or a war is launched, all while countering the mainstreaming of neo-Nazis.
It is not that I’m in disbelief of this historical moment. I left India as a child because of the poverty that colonial exploitation had wrought, and later left the United Arab Emirates because of the imperialist Gulf Wars. Growing up in Canada seemed to offer some respite from white legacy, except for the occasional nativist taunting of immigrants. The implicit popularity of white supremacy has stopped shocking me. What should shock us is the degree to which a small group of wealthy opportunists can explicitly overturn a nation in their white supremacists image.
So how does a conservative turn from sociology student to white supremacist eugenics. As Flavia Dzodan writes, “If you are going to ask readers to decide if it’s OK to punch a nazi, you better provide them with all the facts to answer that question.” But those facts will be all that much harder to realize under a psychometric regime in a flawed democracy.