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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Saanich warns of ongoing night work at the Shelbourne, McKenzie intersection

Construction expected to take three weeks to complete

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep Saanich drainage pipe

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Police respond to successful Facebook scam on Oak Bay resident

Petty thievery in King George Terrace where plants, gargoyle are missing

Victoria Clipper suspends services through April 2021

International travel restrictions, COVID-19 uncertainty lead to decision

Oak Bay News celebrates community with photospread

Share your images for a chance to win a gift card

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Most Read