Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blaming the victim?

[Post I'm thinking about - Jared Lee Loughner at Everyone Needs Therapy]

Why is it that when an insane twenty-something shoots up a political event, kills Judge John Roll and wounds Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the fault lies with the people who incited him

...But when terrorists bomb, shoot and knife Israelis, the fault lies not with the Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and so on handlers who incited them, but with the Israelis the terrorists were angry at – the victims, in other words?

...And when 20 Muslims fly planes into the World Trade Center, killing thousands, the fault lies not with the imams who incited them, but with the Americans the imams were angry at – the victims, in other words?

Why not blame the victims - Congresswoman Giffords, Judge Roll - the same way that the world blames Israelis and Americans for the actions of the people who attack them? Why not blame Democrats, or moderates, for the reaction of Jared Lee Loughner? As repugnant as I find the idea, wouldn't it be consistent with society's general approach?

Or, perhaps, might it be correct to change society's general approach, and to stop blaming the American government, or Israelis, for the actions of the terrorists who attack them?

I’m just asking.


  1. Perhaps you can reword that first link (that goes to some now none existing CNN page - you should have taken a screenshot in case they actually took it down) as:
    "the fault lies with the people CNN and other liberal media claim incited him." Because there is no evidence of who incited him except maybe Karl Marx or Adolph H.

    Well said, the rest of it.

  2. Thanks, Leora. I've changed the link to their new page - which is more carefully "balanced" than the original....

  3. In the aftermath of the terrible tragedy in Tucson, there was no shortage of blame. The left immediately blamed the right, particularly Sarah Palin, for incitement. Conservative pundits pointed out that the shooter made entries in the social media reflecting a liberal viewpoint. The local sheriff attributed the violence to increasing vitriol in political discourse. None of the above explain the senseless violence or the indiscriminate shooting, including even a young girl. It was in fact, an unbalanced act by an unbalanced person, unrelated to the dialogue of democracy, no matter how shrill it may occasionally be. This dialogue, even when blunt and rude, is how balanced people are entitled to express themselves in a free society. Although the recent massacre at Ft. Hood had twice the victims, it only had half the reaction. This muted response resulted from political correctness, since that shooter had a motivation on the fringe of his own religion. Should we be more concerned with minority sensitivities than our own freedom of speech? A church, with a history of hateful funeral protests, plans on picketing the little girl's funeral. People with such a radical agenda will not quiet down. How would it be if only such disdainful voices were heard? The shootings were terrible, but let us not make political dissent yet another victim.

  4. Sarah Palin used the term Blood Libel, in defending herself against accusations that she is responsible for the actions of the obviously mentally disturbed shooter in Tucson. Her frenzied distractors have seized upon the opportunity to now pronounce that she has offended Jews, by using a term long associated with anti-semitism. The Huffington Post quotes Jewish groups and rabbis so offended. They omit the fact that these groups and rabbis are so leftist, that they are also critical of Israel. Sarah Palin certainly was libeled by accusations that actions on her part, resulted in the recent horror. Reasonable Jews are not offended by her use of the term. Holocaust is now a widely used term in regard to mass violence. Reasonable people reject the concept of scapegoats, whether it's Jews or Sarah Palin.

  5. Aggressive nutcases left alone for PC or budgetary reasons can threaten society. They can be self-inciting.

    How easy it is to blame one's political opponents for every imaginable evil. Those who stoop to this in the absence of proof need to get their heads examined, too.

    By the way, the aftereffects of deinstitutionalization in the decades since it was implemented as a social/financial panacea have to be looked at soberly.