This morning, I woke up to the news regarding the tragic events in New Zealand. A terrorist attack took place aimed at the Muslim community, with reports showing that 49 people have been killed (but that number could rise).
Having spent time living in New Zealand, this news has struck me hard. Many of my friends are from Christchurch, so I was worried for their immediate safety.
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with rolling mountains, epic wilderness, and beautiful beaches. It is like five different countries rolled into one.
It isn’t the nature that makes New Zealand such a fantastic place though. Instead, it is the people that inhabit the two islands. Coming from the UK, where we tend to be a rather quiet and moody bunch, I was shocked by the level of friendliness when I first arrived. This never comes across as over the top either. Rather, it is sincere and full of hope.
When I first set foot in New Zealand I was flat broke, with nowhere to stay. Within a week, numerous people had offered me beds despite barely knowing me. This shows the kindness that is ingrained in the people of New Zealand.
The welcoming nature of the people makes this attack all the more shocking. Christchurch is still recovering and rebuilding the city from the terrible earthquake of 2011. But hope is not lost.
I do not fear for the people of New Zealand. Such attacks will only strengthen their bond and increase their perseverance in fighting this hate with hope. The attacker will not be successful in his aims and New Zealand will bounce back stronger.
My heart is broken. My country is weeping and so am I. I am dying knowing that this kind of hatred can happen in my homeland. All my love goes out to Christchurch, the victims, the families, the Muslim community, and all who have chosen our islands as their home. This is not us.
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) March 15, 2019
Whilst many of us in cryptocurrencies bicker online (I too am guilty of this), such days put life into perspective. We spew a lot of hate online, worry about price movements too much, and some involved in cryptocurrency have attractions to anti-immigration rhetoric that only encourages such attacks.
We as people need to recognise that Islamaphobia and white supremacy are real and they are rearing their ugly heads. It is our duty to denounce such attacks and ensure those who spew such vile vitriol are not given a platform. That includes us that are involved in cryptocurrencies.
Events such as those in New Zealand show us what is truly important in life and how we as people need to be better, both in ourselves and to others. New Zealand will go through a period of mourning, but it will come back stronger than ever.