Leaders need to denounce alt-right

Matt Girard

As someone whose job it is to keep up with current affairs it is difficult to watch the response from Canada in reaction to the Quebec Mosque shooting.  Trudeau appeared solemn and stoic and told the crowd of mourners. “It is with a heavy heart that we come together this afternoon to grieve the loss of these innocent lives. But as a community and as a country, together we will rise from this darkness stronger and more unified than ever before — that is who we are.”  The fear in his constituents was all too real, but his response was comforting knowing that a purposeful, moral, and courageous leader was prepared to take them through a disgusting and evil act of hate.

Alexandre Bissonnette has been charged with six counts of first degree murder in connection with the mass murder on the evening of Jan. 29 at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City.  There were 19 others injured when Alexandre Bissonnette walked into a Mosque and opened fire on them as they were praying.  It has been revealed he held extremely right-wing white nationalist views.  This very sadly and unfortunately resembles the climate of the 1930s which predicated World War II.  The Nazi party developed legal arguments for the state’s right to conduct extrajudicial killings.  Those arguments were of course wrapped in fancy vernacular.

In contrast to the Canadian leader, President Trump called Justin Trudeau, but has been completely quiet with the American public.   Instead Team Bannon’s response was much darker, revealed by a source within the White House, much in the same manner as Deep Throat during the Nixon Administration.  Bannon apparently has twisted views on a War with China, and deportation of legal immigrants on public assistance.  The Washington Post, Vox and several other major outlets report that documents were drawn up in order to remove legal immigrants on assistance, and punish the people who sponsor them. If this occurs it will disrupt science, morale, culture and spirituality on campus and in Lexington.

Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul seem unconcerned with their constituencies’ fears of Bannon’s extremist elements, rubber stamping everything Team Bannon purports to be a lawful act.  It will be a small relief to see their power usurped by Bannon or their constituents if they don’t stand up to Trump.  We are very concerned citizens who are Kentucky’s scientists, engineers, teachers, lawyers, historians, academics, journalists and religious leaders, and we need our leaders to assume their mantles.

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