Douglas Murray Douglas Murray

The dishonesty of how we respond to tragedies

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It isn’t hard to notice that some crimes are more important than others. Or at least more politically advantageous.

It is six years since Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered in her constituency by somebody who appeared to be a sort of aspiring Nazi. Back then, various campaign groups and newspapers in this country had no problems with claiming that guilt for that attack could be liberally spread around. Some said that everybody on the political right bore responsibility. Others claimed that anyone who was leading Britain’s ‘Leave’ campaign in the EU referendum shared the blame.

It was different in October last year, when Sir David Amess MP was murdered – also in his constituency. Sir David’s killer was an Islamist called Ali Harbi Ali, and there was no attempt whatsoever in the media or among parliamentarians to spread the blame around that time. Nobody blamed any circle of people around Ali, let alone everybody who shared his religion. Instead, MPs focused on the importance of their precious Online Safety Bill, which is meant to make internet anonymity harder. Not that Ali – who proudly sat by his victim’s body until the police arrived – seems to have had any especial concern with anonymity.

It is the same in the US. Last Saturday, in Buffalo, New York, an 18-year-old shot at customers in a Tops Supermarket, claiming ten victims, all of them black. On his rifle the gunman had written the names of some of the victims of the massacre at Waukesha, Wisconsin, that took place in November. On that occasion the killer was also a racist, but Darrell Brooks Jr was a black anti-white racist, who ploughed his car into a Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring 62 others. That is a nasty little cycle of violence right there. But the incidents are not isolated.

In the era of mass communication, it is not possible to conceal the overt double standards

Last month, a 62-year-old black man with a history of anti-white racism shot ten people on a subway train in New York.

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