Lack Of Consistency From Media & Politicians In Response To Violent Acts Sows Further Division & Distrust

Why are some events considered in isolation, while others are spun as requiring everyone to change?

Sometimes a single Tweet sums things up perfectly.

And this Tweet by @tleehumphrey is an example of this:

“The attack in Edm by a guy with an ISIS flag had an unknown motive, the Danforth shooter had unknown motives, the Boston Bombers had a poor upbringing, the London attack is deemed a terrorist attack with less than 24 hrs of investigation. Hint, they are all terrorist attacks!”

In another series of Tweets, Jonathan Kay pointed out the difference between the narratives following past acts of violence:

“In 2018, a killer shot up my neighbourhood. He happened to be South Asian, though of course didn’t represent that (or any) community. Trudeau, Ford, & Tory all came to my street. Not one of them said that this represented Canada. Correct then. Correct now.”

“Their message was the opposite. This didn’t represent canada at all. It was a horrible aberration. And statistically speaking, they were right. But sometime in the last three years, progressive grandstanders decided it would be politically convenient to flip this narrative….”

“…. in this new narrative, Canada is defined by the most heinous possible act of crime or historical disclosure one can find in any given month. This allows them to focus national political energy on dredging up wrongthink statements to tar opponents and get re-elected”

“This isn’t about helping people. It’s not about fighting real racism. It’s not about #FightingHate or whatever hashtags they now use. It’s about small cliques of largely white privileged careerists ghoulishly promoting their ideological bona fides on the graves of murder victims”

Using the word ‘terrorism’

There was a time, particularly following 9/11 and in the wake of a rise in Islamist terror attacks, when the word ‘terrorism’ was seemingly only used in the context of a violent act by someone of the Muslim faith.

There was also often speculation whenever a violent attack occurred, with some falsely blaming Muslim people for acts that were committed by someone else.

Understandably, there was a desire to push back on the idea that the word ‘terrorism’ should only be used in the context of an Islamist terrorist act, and should be used in the more broad and original sense, of any politically-motivated violent act.

However, rather than returning to a balanced assessment, things have gone entirely the other way.

There is now a clear reluctance from authorities, politicians, and the media to use the word ‘terrorism’ when a Muslim individual commits a violent act, yet there is a rapid move to use that term when someone else commits a violent act, especially if it’s a person of European descent committing a violent act against a minority group.

This ‘fixed’ one problem by creating another.

In instances where the word terrorism is used, there is often a concerted attempt to avoid ascribing it to an ideology, even when – as in the case of the Edmonton attack – there is something as obvious as the suspect having an ISIS flag.

For comparison, I would encourage you to look at these two statements from Justin Trudeau. The first is in response to the Toronto Danforth shooting, and the second is in response to the London attack:

Danforth statement:

“My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery. The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave – and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.”

London statement:

“I’m horrified by the news from London, Ontario. To the loved ones of those who were terrorized by yesterday’s act of hatred, we are here for you. We are also here for the child who remains in hospital – our hearts go out to you, and you will be in our thoughts as you recover.”

“To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable – and it must stop.”

 

Notably, following the Danforth shooting, Justin Trudeau pushed for more restrictions on gun ownership. Narratives of ‘hate,’ or the claim that all of Canada was somehow responsible or had to change, were notably absent.

Of course, following the London attack, the Liberal government will be pushing for more government regulation and control over speech.

CPC leader Erin O’Toole is also pushing for ‘Emergency National Action’:

“The recent violent attack in London shows urgent action is needed to support Canadian Muslims. I am calling on @JustinTrudeau to convene an Emergency National Action Summit on Islamophobia to take place before the end of July 2021.”

In these instances, the government and political class seeks to exploit a horrible event to push forward with their already-existing legislative agenda, using the emotional moment to try and pressure opponents into capitulation and the acceptance of the Liberal narrative – as already seems to be happening with some CPC MPs:

“Yes. I humble myself and ask forgiveness, and seek to make things right.

I have privilege; I am cis/straight/white. But I am also a woman who works in a system dominated by white maleness.

But no excuses. I will do what I can. That is all I can do, but it is much.”

Politicians exploit crises

Now, while pointing out the hypocrisy from the left, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that Conservatives have also done the same in the past.

Following 9/11, there was a vast expansion of the surveillance state in both Canada and the United States, and after the Liberals imposed such measures, the Harper government also often pushed legislation that further enhanced government power and restricted individual freedom.

As a consequence, despite the appearance of inter-party debate and disagreement, we often find that those in power simply want more and more power, and will wait for tragic and emotional moments to ‘slip through’ what they already sought to achieve.

Just look at what we’ve seen over the past year and a half, with there being no real difference between ‘conservative,’ ‘liberal,’ and ‘NDP’ governments provincially in how they expand their power. To be honest, the most restrictive government has been the Ontario PCs, with other provinces like BC being somewhat more willing to protect individual rights (though not by much).

So, this is not simply a claim that the left exploits crises, as the right has often do so as well.

But, in this moment in Canada, there are very few if any real ‘conservative’ governments left, and the Liberal/leftist narrative dominates all.

And that narrative is very dangerous for the country, because it picks and chooses how to use a crisis to push a political agenda, sometimes claiming an event is isolated or due to ‘mental health,’ and other times claiming that all of Canada is somehow ‘wrong’ and ‘must change’ due to another event.

Pushback

Amid what is becoming an increasingly obvious attempt by the political class to manipulate people and exploit the tragic events in London, Ontario, there is growing pushback.

“Agree. A racist whack job killed 4 ppl. It’s bizarre & lurid that so many ppl (including @theJagmeetSingh) insist we designate a criminal as the moral embodiment of Cdn society. In a country of 35m ppl, horrifying things will happen. They don’t define us. Ppl once understood this”

And in a very strong article in the National Post, Rupa Subramanya pushed back against Jagmeet Singh’s unhinged claims that Canada is a ‘racist country.’

Here’s an excerpt:

“Any evidence that racism is on the rise is deplorable and every racist incident must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. However, Singh does the cause of fighting racism no favours by taking an extreme and exaggerated position that I, as an immigrant and person of colour, cannot agree with. Are there racists in Canada? Sure. Is Canada a racist country? Absolutely not.

By any metric, Canada is one of the most tolerant countries on the planet, and one which I am proud to call home. The 2020 World Values Survey places Canada amongst the most racially tolerant countries in the world, with less than five per cent of those surveyed saying that they would not want to have “people of another race” as their neighbours.”

Subramanya goes further, and points out something that all common-sense Canadians know is true, yet few are willing to actually admit:

“I first experienced racism, not in Canada, but in India and the Middle East, two places where I grew up. I was routinely denigrated by some Indians for having darker skin and by some Arabs for being Indian, dark skinned and not a Muslim. These prejudices can be vicious. The truth is that many people of colour who immigrate to Canada are “racialized” long before they arrive here.

That racism can, and does, exist between people of colour is a reality that’s entirely missing from the discourse on race in Canada, where it’s assumed to be perpetrated solely by old stock white Canadians, with people of colour as their victims. An honest conversation about racism in Canada must acknowledge these complexities, especially given demographic changes driven by large-scale immigration from non-Western countries.”

This is the kind of honest discussion Canada needs, rather than the virtue-signalling, guilt-based, emotionally unhinged purges of ‘bad feelings’ that increasingly characterize all of our major parties.

With all the main political parties surrendering to hypocrisy and making obvious attempts to manipulate Canadians, the risk of further division increases.

Our response as Canadians must be to take a courageous stand for the truth, call out hypocrisy, and seek to be consistent and realistic in how we assess events.

Our leaders and political class have abandoned their leadership role, so we must each take up that mantle of leadership ourselves, in every big and small way we can.

Spencer Fernando

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