Christchurch shootings: Remembering the unfortunate victims of a social misconstruction

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugging mourners at a memorial service for victims of Christchurch shootings

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, with an urban area that lies on the south islands coast. The north of bank peninsula, it boasts a home to over 400,000 residents. In recent times, the city has been unfortunate, having been posed with series of disaster and misfortune. First was its September 2010 earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7.1, which occurred at the central Canterbury region, causing a massive destruction within the city’s structures.

A second earthquake occurred again, this time measuring a 6.3 magnitude, on February, 22 2011, barely six months after the former, 185 people were reportedly killed and the cathedral badly damaged.

In 2017 it was reported that two bush fires started on its port hills over two days whereby eleven houses were destroyed.

On Friday 15 march 2019, a white Australian man was seen on Facebook live session, driving to Al Noor Mosque, Ricarton. At about 1:40 pm he began shooting sporadically at the worshippers during a live prayer session (Jumu’ah). The police in its statement said it received the first emergency call a minute after the attack started.

Right there at Al Noor Mosque, it was recorded that he killed 42 people before moving on to the mosque at Linwood Islamic Centre, where he began his second attack at about 1:55pm killing 7 persons there, totalling altogether 50 people between the ages of 3 and 77 years old.

The gunman, Brenton Harrison Tarrant (A 28 year-old) was arrested 21 minutes after the emergency call at 1:41pm on Brougham Street in Sydenham. There were claims that he planned on executing other killings in a third location had he not been arrested. Police Commissioner Mike Bush issued thereafter in a statement that 50 other people had been injured in the attacks.

The gunman has been reported in the media to be a White Supremacist. White supremacy is an ideology or belief that white people are superior to people of other races and therefore should be afforded the dominant race. The white man has always felt an intense belief that being the sojourner of modern civilisation, he should be at the pivot of determining human affairs. In the primordial times, if going with the biblical narrative, it would be found that human beings were divide into races. It is assumed that out of one blood, God had created these nations. The case of a set of people claiming dominance over another deviates from this norm. The issue of racism and all form of racial subjugation can be said to have been birthed by this. The normative value of being just human (bereft of the numerous labels) deserves a careful attention and respect. Racism as stated by Frantz Fanon in his essay on Racism And Culture is not the whole but the most day-to-day and not to mince matters, the crudest element of a given structure.

In a statement issued today at the event, the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden has rebuked the act of extremism saying it was time for the world to come together in ending its vicious cycle. In her words “our challenge now is to make the very best of us a daily reality, because we are not immune to the viruses of hate, of fear. We have never been”

Tarrent however has been charged with one representative count of murder at the Christchurch district court on 16 March. He was reported to have dismissed his duty lawyer charging to represent himself at future court appearances. 

We all from wish the victims a peaceful transition to the luminal space.


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