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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Far-Right Reaction To Tragic Shooting in Toronto Exactly As Expected

First, the most important part of this horrible tragedy is that two people, 10 year old Julianna Kozis and 18 year old Reese Fallon, were murdered and their names are the ones that should be remembered, not that of the murderer. As such I will as much as possible try to avoid using his name in this article.

When the shooting occurred, I was working on the article identifying the Montreal chapter leader of ID Canada. Initially the news that trickled in was that there were shots fired in Toronto's Danforth area. As time went on the full scope of the tragedy became apparent. Right now little is still known about the motives of the killer. A statement from his family suggests that he had struggled with mental illness since at least 2010 and was known to the police having been apprehended two times under the mental health act. A friend stated in an interview that eight years prior to the shooting the suspect had confided in his friend that he suffered depression and psychosis. Beyond this is all speculation at this point in time.

Sadly, the speculation and accusations began soon almost immediately as false news was being spread:

This blog has recorded many examples of the Islamophobes ARC monitors jumping to conclusions before more information is made available. I could provide the screen shots I've collected and posted elsewhere as examples, but I think a short and non-comprehensive list should suffice:

  • Joking about the mass murder of young people assuming that the suspect was a Muslim only to learn that the suspect was a far-right extremist (they then simply dismissed him as crazy).
  • Forest fires (including the one that devastated Fort McMurray) and prairie fires have been claimed as proof of a jihadist plot as Muslims have been accused of starting them.
  • The massacre of six men at a mosque in Quebec City is still being claimed as either a false flag or having actually been carried out by Muslim extremists.
  • The van attack in Toronto this past spring that left 10 dead and more than a dozen injured is still being claimed as an act of jihadist terrorism.
  • There are many who suggest that Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy was an example of Islamic terrorism.
There are more examples than these on this blog. Feel free to peruse at your leisure.

I think my views concerning the rush to judgement in these cases as well as the most recent tragedy are summed up best by journalist Steven Zhou:

All of this was prior to learning the identity of the suspect and it holds true after learning the identity as well.

I spent much of the day scrolling through the usual profiles and groups on Facebook prior to and after the identity of the shooter was known. It was like a car accident that one couldn't look away from. The usual rage-filled comments were being posted prior to the name being released:

  • Claiming that the shooter was a member of ISIS who had returned to Canada or was at least inspired by ISIS
  • Blaming refugees, immigrants, and multiculturalism.
  • Suggesting Trudeau and the Liberal Party had "blood on their hands" and were fully to blame (given that the shooter had been in the country since at least 2010, it's a bit of a stretch) with the more extreme demanding the execution of the prime minister and any Liberal or NDP supporter.
  • Demands to end immigration, deport Muslims and "non-white" Canadians, and to close down mosques. 
I could post screen shots from any number of sources -- God knows disinformation was spreading like wildfire -- but I think a focus on a single case study should suffice:

Steven Myatt has become a bit of a nexus for spreading false information and whipping up his Islamophobic supporters into a frenzy. Examples of the subsequent comments are as follows:

A second post prior to learning the identity of the shooter combined arrogance and entitlement with an undeserved sense of victimization and a great deal of unwarranted speculation:

"Muslim looking"?

And I thought that they claimed that their xenophobia wasn't about race? Funny that.

Of course Myatt isn't looking for truth at all. Neither he nor his mostly boomer followers care anything about the victims or the motive of the shooter. They simply want to feel aggrieved and to assign blame:

To be fair, at least one person wrote that perhaps they should wait until more information was released:

Eventually the shooter's name was released:

What is remarkable, though not unexpected, is the palpable joy about being "right." It doesn't matter that he's not a refugee. It doesn't matter that he has been in Canada since at least 2010 (and likely longer as I haven't done the relevant research myself as yet). It doesn't matter that he has lived in this country and was likely a citizen long before Justin Trudeau became the Prime Minister. It doesn't matter that no motive had yet been determined. And it certainly didn't matter that the victims of the crime were representative of the multicultural nature of the Toronto these people hate.

What mattered was that he had a Muslim sounding name (whatever that means). That was all they wanted to hear.

And they got to gloat:

I admit characterizing Myatt as gloating might be a bit provocative, but considering what he seems to think is a triumphant victory lap, I can't think of describing it any other way:

The same screen shots were posted by a member of Le Meute who claimed not to be Bryan Trottier (but who is almost certainly Bryan Trottier) in response to my condemnation of Myatt:

However, there's a bit of a problem as noted by one of Myatt's fans:

Well, not quite.

It was originally spelled the exact same but was changed. Considering that the shooter was either shot by the police or ended his own life, it would be difficult for him to change his profile unless....

Yeah, you already know:

I'm not about to out this guy's new profile name as he's been harassed enough.
As of the writing of this article, Myatt hasn't removed the defamatory claims that this individual was the shooter. As for my Le Meute friend when I initially informed him....

.... this happened:

Don't let these ghouls pretend that they care anything about the victims or the truth.

They don't give a shit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, well documented. Thank you for the informative read.