Who to blame?

Online writing has many advantages. It is immediate, and allows space for dissenting opinion where other media fail. It also provides a space to write without compromise. I think most bloggers (and blog commenters) would describe themselves as ‘uncompromising’, but often the rants are gratuitous, and serve no higher purpose other than a catharsis for the writer.
At other times, the shocking imagery is entirely appropriate, as in a post on Friday from Justin at Chicken Yoghurt, on the subject of teen killers and Rhys Jones:

If the author has any sense, he’ll be working on ‘101 Uses For A Dead Kid’ and make a fortune. The first use, I’d humbly suggest, is wedging a dead kid under the leg of a political party to stop it from wobbling, much as you would with a beer mat and a pub table. If that doesn’t work, take the corpse and beat your political opponent with it.

For years editors have found that if they suspend a dead child over the news desk, the resulting smell will attract hordes of readers seeking an emotional outpouring by proxy.

It is a sound point, but I doubt it would find its way into a newspaper. The satire is well placed, but it would be deemed too risky, and liable to being misunderstood. Journalists know this quite well, and self-censor as a result. Madeline Bunting also makes an important point in The Guardian today, but her article has a boilerplate feel to it, and lacks the impact of the Chicken Yoghurt piece.
Justin’s post prompted me to add a comment, which I may as well post here too.
It is notable that when an Islamic terrorist atrocity occurs, or a black child is murdered, the chat is all about how their culture is obviously flawed. Members of that ‘community’ must weed out the perpetrators and provide better role models.
Yet when an atrocity occurs within a predominantly white ‘community’, and the liberal left begin blaming the wider culture, the condemnations of wishy-washy self-hating political correctness are not far behind.

4 Replies to “Who to blame?”

  1. Actually, I was watching a man on Sky News on Friday, and he was saying exactly this: the shooting is evidence that the predominantly white ‘community’ is obviously flawed, that members must weed out the perpetrators, and provide better role models, and improve their parenting. Sky News, it was. I didn’t get the man’s name. Some chap from Liverpool.
    I didn’t see anything self-hating or wishy-washy in the reporting. It was about the community taking responsibility for their’s children, it was about fostering a ‘community’ that is more cohesive, where people look out for eachother, where children can feel good about themselves without this type of tragically aggressive behaviour.
    And actually, although it wasn’t specifically mentioned, I do think these type of things happen to apply to the wider culture as well. That doesn’t make them any less true, and I don’t think it makes me especially wishy-washy to say so.
    I also wonder whether some aspect of multiculturalism has anything to do with the erosion of the cohesive types of community that allegedly existed in the olden days. To be part of a predominantly white ‘community’ is potentially, to be exclusory. To police certain British cultural norms that are at odds with other cultures could be viewed as prejudicial or discriminatory. The same dynamic is true I think in the case of class dynamics. It’s difficult I think to get rid of the bad aspects of a ‘community’ and retain the good. I’m not even sure you can separate them.

  2. I can’t see any difference between the Police asking for information from the local community (which just happens to be white) and them asking for the same from a community which happens to be black or asian, unless your complaint is that because they don’t say “we need help from the WHITE community” they are implicitly communicating the idea that white is the default ethnic group. Islamic terrorists are by definition Islamic, and it would be a bizzare piece of doublethink if the Police pretended that this was somehow irrelevant.
    It’s perfectlly logical to say that if a particulatr group is behaving in a certain way, by blowing people up, or shooting each other for example, and that behaviour is not shared by other groups, then some characteristic of that group might be a factor in that behaviour. It is in fact an example of empirical thinking, which is the real reason the PC bridage have such a problem with it and prefer the fuzzy logic of realtivism.
    I think the chat about “role models”, whose power is not universally accepeted by psychologists, generally comes from within those communities, who can then cast the net of blame wider, and include absent fathers and the meeja, rather than from outside them.

  3. “It’s difficult I think to get rid of the bad aspects of a ‘community’ and retain the good. I’m not even sure you can separate them.”
    Very good point. The reason why it’s impossible to separate them them is that “community/society” is human nature writ large. You cannot erase the perceived undersirable aspects without affecting the whole, including the good aspects.
    I just have to crowbar in that this is the flaw at the heart of feminist theory, the beleif that you can somehow create a masculinity that isn’t agressive or destructive, but retains it’s creativity, its’s energy and it’s discipline. They are two sides of the same coin, you either have both (as nature intended), or neither (as countless left wing social engineers have failed to create).

  4. Ah now, that is where I beg to differ, MM. Have you heard of Nature and Nurture? Some of human nature just is, but some of what we call human nature is in fact culture. It is learned.
    This is true of masculinity and feminity as much as any other way of dividing humanity. Yes, N & N are intimately related, but crucially, one is relatively plastic, as evidenced by human beings’ capacity for learning. I live in hope that one can create a masculinity that doesn’t include hating, denigrating or bullying women/femininity.
    I think it’s an admirable evasion of whoremaster man to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of biology. It just doesn’t wash, and it makes a person look lazy and morally bankrupt.

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