EDITORIAL: The quest to assign blame

Instead of sympathy, some have worked to distance themselves from these attacks or to assign blame.

A massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday has left 50 people dead and many others injured. Attacks such as these, targeting Muslim worshippers, are becoming far too common.

But some of the responses have been completely inappropriate. Instead of sympathy, some have worked either to distance themselves from these attacks or to point fingers and assign blame. Soon after the attacks occurred, there were statements from New Zealand stating that the alleged shooter was an Australian, not a New Zealander.

RELATED: Mass shootings in New Zealand kill 49; 1 man charged

RELATED: Australian senator blames Muslims for mosque attack, faces censure

Later on Friday, Australian Sen. Fraser Anning blamed Muslim immigration for the tragedy. “Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?” he stated in a tweet.

A lengthy manifesto written by the alleged shooter has detailed references to a far-right ideology and white supremacy. Understanding this motivation is an important part in preventing similar attacks from happening in the future.

But some on the political right have stated that the actions of the shooter should not be seen as a representation of right-wing politics. Rush Limbaugh, an American conservative commentator and talk show host, went even further. In a broadcast on March 15 – only hours after the massacre – Limbaugh speculated the shooter was someone from the political left, committing the horrible deeds in order to make his political opponents look bad.

Such speculation is not only implausible but also extremely cruel and insensitive, using a tragedy as a political positioning tool.

Assigning blame does nothing to explain why this tragedy happened, nor can it undo or alter the events which unfolded on Friday.

Being able to identify the shooter’s nationality or ethnic background or politics will not reduce the number who died or alleviate the grief their families and friends are experiencing, nor will it minimize the injuries of those who were wounded in the attacks.

It is understandable to feel sadness, shock, horror, revulsion, anger or confusion when massive acts of violence occur.

The quest to point fingers and place blame will benefit nobody.

 

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrest woman who withdrew $10,000 with stolen victim’s personal ID

32-year-old Langford woman charged with theft, fraud, and impersonation

Saanich man charged in cross-border drug smuggling operation pleads guilty

William Milton Barnes was charged following a six-month joint investigation

Advanced polls see 29 per cent increase in voter turn out from 2015

Some 4.7 million people took part, says Elections Canada

Sentencing date set for Oak Bay father convicted of killing his two daughters

Andrew Berry was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder last month

Victoria city staff start from square one on Crystal Pool project

Victoria staff need direction on revised plans for the Crystal Pool and Wellness Project

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Pot use admission at U.S. border snagging Canadian boomers, says lawyer

A waiver to enter the U.S. can cost $2,000 and isn’t a guarantee

Health concerns over vaping cast haze over Canadian cannabis market expansion

More than 1,000 people in the United States, and a handful in Canada, have developed a lung ailment

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

Most Read