Necropolitics

Thoughts to Hanau

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20 Feb , 2020  

Yesterday there was a terrorist attack in Hanau, Germany. It seems that the white male terrorist killed 9 persons in 2 Shisha-Bars, later killed his mother and himself. Most of the victims seem to belong to Kurdish communities. The killing was racist.

But parts of German press first pushed racist narratives of “clan-criminality”, even using the term “Shisha-Morde”, which is specifically disgusting as the murders of the neofascist terrorist organization NSU were labeled and disguised as “Döner-Morde” for a long time.

Even if the racist terrorism is at the point where white people openly shoot at brown people, people of color there still is this attempt to cover up the racism. If you compare the interest in the ethnicity of the terrorist with that of so labeled “Islamic terrorist” you can see the average racism of society.

The white terrorist is “extremely right”, which means political as opposed to the “extreme left”, which the moderate center can comfortably distance itself from. And especially: “mentally ill”. But he is never white. He is never a product of this society, where in fact more and more people are aligned with his ideas and believes if not with his means.

The part of mental illness is complex, because of course I can’t say that the terrorist was not mentally ill. But the way it is framed is just really poor in some comments. I would describe myself as mentally ill and I don’t shoot at marginalized people. I think racist terrorist don’t kill because they are mentally ill, but because they are racists, fascists, anti-semites, white supremacists, anti-feminists.

This was the third major fascist terrorist attack within less than one year in Germany. While the assassination of the migration friendly conservative politician was by a “professional” Nazi, this terrorist attack seems to correspond more with the terrorist attack in Halle. White terrorism is propagated through the terrorist attack itself. It has no tactial goal as to hit a specific public person as a political assassination. Its hit marginalized people in their everyday live. At communal spaces like bars or food places.

The Italian philosopher and feminist Adriana Cavarero developed the concept of “horrorism”, what maybe captures the randomness of this specific neo-fascist terrorism. Perons get killed simply because they exist. Because they exist and being vulnerable, being made structurally vulnerable and marginalized through racism/anti-semitism/sexism.

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