Decoding The Racist Memes The New Zealand Shooter Used To Communicate (HBO)

The night before 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant allegedly opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, he posted a Facebook link where he would broadcast his deadly attack. The title of the post was “Screw Your Optics,” a reference to the words posted on Gab by a Pittsburgh gunman before he killed 11 people at a synagogue in October.

The coded reference to a massacre thousands of miles away is an example of the communication system used by modern white supremacists, who employ a shared language of memes and trolling, and who often lionize acts of hatred by domestic terrorists.

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