LONDON — Alongside a stream of condolences from foreign governments following mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend, leading international newspapers warned about the threat posed by growing white nationalism in America.
While the motive of the man who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio, is still unclear,the alleged shooter in El Paso, Texas, is believed to have posted online an anti-Latino, anti-immigrant screed before the attack.
In China, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece newspaper, The People’s Daily, ran a headline Monday declaring that “white supremacy’s ghost reemerges” in the U.S.
The country’s hawkish, state-run Global Times newspaper carried an opinion piece saying that “hate crimes in the United States have been on the rise in recent years, and hate crimes caused by white supremacism have grown particularly rapidly.”
It criticized the response of U.S. authorities, saying “‘white danger’ seems to have not received enough attention.”
The Chinese government has yet to comment, but in June its tourism ministry issued a travel warning for the U.S. because of the number of shootings in the country.
There have been 18 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, with a mass shooting defined as causing four or more deaths, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today, and the Northeastern University Mass Murder Database.
In Egypt, the most read newspaper, the semi-state run Al Ahram, featured the shootings on its front page alongside the headline “white terrorism strikes America.”
Some linked the violence with the rhetoric of President Donald Trump.
Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald ran the headline, “U.S. in the midst of a white nationalist terrorism crisis.”
According to the the story,right-wing extremists are not only channeling neo-Nazi ideology, “but also taking a cue from the words and policies of President Donald Trump.”
In Germany, the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper labelled the attacks as “right-wing terrorism” in its Monday headline, and made a reference to what it called “Donald Trump’s partial responsibility.”
The stories echoed comments by Trump’s domestic political rivals. Democratic presidential candidates Julián Castro and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., argued Sunday that Trump’s rhetoric on immigration has helped to stoke racial resentment and a climate of hate.
“He is sowing seeds of hatred in this country, this harvest of hate violence that we are seeing right now lies at his feet,” Booker said. Castro, the only Latino in the presidential race, said that Trump’s rhetoric has contributed to the “toxic brew of the white nationalism” in America.
The El Paso suspect is believed to have posted an online screed that discusses a “Hispanic invasion” and rails against “racial mixing.” The document took aim at both political parties, and its author said the views were developed before Trump’s presidency.
Trump has repeatedly condemned this weekend’s shootings in tweets and comments to the media, calling them “an act of cowardice” carried out by people who are “very, very seriously mentally ill.”
On Monday, he said that those killed in El Paso and Dayton should not “die in vain.”
“Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform,” he wrote in a tweet. “We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”
In a speech in Georgia last November, the president described immigrants trying to cross the Mexico-U.S. border as “an invasion.” He has previously accused Mexico of sending “rapists” and “drug smugglers” to the U.S.
More recently, the president caused an uproar after he tweeting that four congresswomen — Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. — should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Omar, a Somali refugee, moved to the U.S. when she was 12 and is a naturalized citizen. Tlaib, a Palestinian American, was born in Michigan; Ocasio-Cortez, who is of Hispanic descent, was born in New York; and Pressley, who is African American, was born in Cincinnati.
As well as the criticism, the shootings prompted a torrent of condolences from foreign governments.
A message of empathy came from New Zealand, which suffered its worst peace-time mass shooting earlier this year when a suspected white supremacist killed 51 people in two mosques.
“Sadly it seems to be our unfortunate reality that we have these elements in our midst,” the country’s defense minister, Ron Mark, said Monday after meeting with Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
One of President Donald Trump’s staunchest allies, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted his “condolences to the bereaved families” and expressed “solidarity with the American people.”
Another ally, the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, called the attacks “appalling acts of violence.” Meanwhile Pope Francis condemned the attacks on “defenseless people.”