The reaction to the Christchurch attack, at least here in the US, has been a mix of shock and horror but not very much surprise. We’ve been watching this trend build for years: The ugly, disingenuous rhetoric of politicians, taken seriously by zealots and the mentally ill. The excuses that right wing lawmakers and commentators use when challenged on their own words: I was only kidding! It was satire! Free speech! The Christchurch attack is as horrifying as it was inevitable - the moment when online griefing mutated into real world genocide.

This is what happens to the world when assholes are in charge; when assholes allow other assholes to broadcast their bigotry with impunity, and nobody wants to stop them lest even more assholes get even more angry.

This is what happens when the President of the United States dog whistles to Breitbart that his supporters in the military and police and biker gangs like to “play tough,” or when Silicon Valley libertarians start believing that bigotry is somehow a pre-requisite for innovation…