I won’t be shedding a tear over this but here’s a reminder of where far right hate originates from.
While prejudice and bigotry are a part of every country, in the US organized extreme right philosophy originated in Europe. Even in the Neo-confederate South the roots of their philosophies descended from France’s proto-fascist colonialism, which is why the tribal nationalist Napoleon III lent unofficial support to the South even while he never officially recognized the Confederacy’s sovereignty officially.
Police confirmed the man’s identity as Dominique Venner, 78, an essayist and activist linked with France’s far-right and nationalist group.
They said he had shot himself with a pistol shortly after 4pm (2pm GMT) and that the cathedral, which at the time contained about 1 500 people, was then evacuated without incident. Venner left a message, which was read out by a friend after his death on the conservative station Radio Courtoisie, and a final essay on his website.
They denounced both the recently passed law legalising gay marriage and immigration from Africa. “I believe it is necessary to sacrifice myself to break with the lethargy that is overwhelming us,” he said in the message read out on the radio. “I am killing myself to awaken slumbering consciences.”
Venner’s suicide was hailed by Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right Front National (FN), as a political gesture. “All respect to Dominique Venner whose final, eminently political act was to try to wake up the people of France,” Le Pen said on Twitter, though she added later that “it is in life and hope that France will renew and save itself”.
Cathedral rector Monsignor Patrick Jacquin told AFP that Venner had laid a letter on the altar before killing himself. A police source said the letter contained similar writings to those on Venner’s website.
“We did not know him, he was not a regular at the cathedral,” Jacquin said, adding that he believed it was the first time anyone had committed suicide inside the cathedral.
Jacquin said masses had been cancelled and that church officials would hold a vigil.
“We will pray for this man, as for so many others at their end,” he said. “This is terrible, we are thinking of him and his family.”