New Zealand Unites against racism

Family members of the man accused of killing 50 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch are speaking out. They describe the man suspected of the country’s deadliest mass shooting as quiet, saying he changed after travelling abroad.

Australia’s Channel 9 news interviewed Marie Fitzgerald who says she is the grandmother of Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the man accused of committing a terrorist attack, killing 50 Muslim people who were praying in two different mosques in New Zealand on Friday.

Tarrant’s grandmother, and uncle who live in Australia say the accused killer grew up as a normal boy. In high school, he loved computers and video games. Channel 9 reports that Tarrant headed to Europe after his fathers death in 2010.

Even so, the 28 year old’s family says nothing could have prepared them for this. Fifty innocent people dead, dozens more injured, a country and the world mourning.

In the accused killers court appearance yesterday, he did not speak, but made this sign with his hand that is associated with white supremacy.

The terrorist attack is prompting discussions about racism in our own communities, in Niagara on the Lake, there was an open meeting today with the goal of addressing racism.

The gathering was organized by groups dedicated to ending racism specifically the prejudice migrant workers face in Niagara on the Lake. The horrific attack in New Zealand is a reminder for many, that racism is alive and well even in countries that are known to be open and inclusive.

The organizers saying racism can present itself in insidious ways, sometimes hard to pin point.

New Zealand authorities are working to quickly release the bodies of those who were killed in the mosque attacks so that they can be cleansed and buried in accordance with Islamic law, and to bring some closure to the devastated families.