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When lone wolves meet fools of ability

Posted August. 10, 2019 07:01,   

Updated August. 10, 2019 07:01


At Tuesday night (local time), a terrified crowd of visitors and citizens ran away from Times Square in a chaos as they mistook the engine sound of a racing motorcycle as a gun fire. Horrified and panicked, they evacuated to clothes shops and play theaters even with shows on. This chaotic runaway led twelve including a 12-year-old boy and a 79-year-old lady to get their knees and wrists injured and broken, according to the New York Times.

The high levels of terror among New Yorkers reached its peak right after a series of gun shootings killed 31 lives in El Paso, Texas on Saturday and Dayton, Ohio on Sunday. The disturbance in New York City is testament to a countrywide spread of fear and dread following the recent two shooting sprees, reported the New York Times.

Mass shooting incidents take 40,000 lives every year across the United States. Rising voices argue that a so-called red flag regulation should be imposed by the federal government on gun use if any psychological problems are discovered. However, guns are only tools. Tragedy will only repeat itself unless an end is put to hatred that leads people to shoot others on the other side considering any kind of relationship a zero-sum game.

A 21-year-old white suspect who shot those at a Wal Mark in El Paso on Saturday had posted an anti-immigration and racist declaration on a far-right online forum where he mentioned the invasion of Hispanics to Texas. He also talked about the terrorist act on an Islamic mosque that took place in March in Christchurch, New Zealand. Professor Juliette Kayyem at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government wrote in an editorial in the Washington Post titled “There are no lone wolves” that hatred out of white supremacy is a collective phenomenon.

The trend of white supremacy is nothing new as it upholds the principles of great replacement or a conspiracy that whites relegate to a minor racial group; and acceleration that argues for a rapid demolition and reconfiguration of social order. Then, why have young people of today been drawn to such conspiracies? American University professor Cynthia Miller-Idriss pointed out in an editorial in the Boston Globe that what differentiates today from the past is that such conspiracies become ever more convincing with a related demographic change coming nearer.

It took too long a time for a conspiracy to spread across the globe. However, the digital era allows it to go viral on the spur of the moment. Considering that there are no borders in digital space, this issue crosses borders going beyond the United States. Anyone can turn into a useful fool to be easily manipulated if he lacks an ability to tell fake news filled with loathing and hatred.

Yong Park parky@donga.com