The Independent has recently published an article in regards to the Cologne attack in Germany during NYE in which around 1,000 men of predominantly North African and Arab descent were reported to have robbed, sexually assaulted and raped numerous women.
The author, Mr Siddons expresses the view that focus should not be on the race of the attackers but instead be on the fact that the perpetrators were men. He urges us to ignore the obvious differences in this attack in that it was a large scale incident involving possibly North African and Arab migrants, and instead, focus on the similarity that the perpetrators were all men. Although certain men are responsible for abhorrent instances of sexual assault and rape and it is a frequent occurrence in Western society, the fact that such a large scale attack of 1,000 men has never previously occurred seems to escape him. In effect, he is asking us not to generalize against one group of people (North Africans and Arabs) but to generalize against another group of people (men) instead.
To use an analogy, it would be like importing Africanized killer bees into Europe and then when there’s an incident in which they kill a dozen people, Mr Siddons urges that we shouldn’t be focusing on the fact that this outbreak of deaths was caused by an imported strain of Africanized killer bees. No! Doing that would be racist towards these African bees. Instead, we should all focus on the similarities, namely that the perpetrators were bees. After all, European bees kill numerous people every year, in fact, they kill far more people than Africanized killer bees. Bees in general were responsible for these deaths and we should move to outlaw all bees.
Using his flawed reasoning, Mr Siddons then goes on to accuse right wing groups of using “women’s sexual trauma as the vehicle for their xenophobia” when they could have instead done something helpful like combating the “swinging cuts” to domestic and sexual violence charities in the UK. Setting aside the fact that there have been successive boosts to domestic and sexual abuse funding in the last year alone, Mr Siddon’s critique of right-wing groups reveals the true agenda behind this article.
This attack in Cologne has obviously become a political issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel having to defend her immigration policies in the face of this incident. Regardless of whether or not the perpetrators behind these attacks truly were refugees, right wing political groups are using this as evidence that the migrant policies of the chancellor are flawed and problematic.
To defend against such policies, the liberal left media has immediately gone on the defensive by covering up the magnitude of the incident. Now that the incident can no longer be masked, they are attempting to distract people by using authors like Mr Siddons to twist the narrative into a gender issue and also by airing ridiculous claims that perhaps the whole attack was a right-wing conspiracy.
Mr Siddons is just a left wing mouth piece, whose primary concern isn’t really about violence against women and the assaults that occurred in Cologne. If he was, he would instead be focusing on the media cover-up and on how society can achieve justice for these women. Instead, he is trying to twist this away from being a political issue on immigration by manipulating the narrative and blaming all men.
The right-wing is using this attack for their political agenda in stopping migrant intake so as a leftist liberal puppet, Mr Siddons shifts the issue and tells us to not blame apparent North Africans and Arabs, but to blame all men. After all, sexual assault also occurs in our Western society so this incident is just a symptom of how men sexually prey on women, he suggests to us whilst disregarding the fact that in recent years, rape and associated offenses in Germany have fallen by 7.8%.
This article also highlights the excessive migration sensitivities and the reluctance in expressing actual or implied right-wing views that may come across as racist. This was evident even during the incident when police officers were reportedly reluctant to intervene during the attacks for fear of being perceived as racist. This article capitalizes on these fears with Mr Siddons basically saying to his audience that you should blame men in general; don’t focus on the fact that the perpetrators in this attack appeared to be of North African and Arab descent. That is racist. You don’t want to be one of those dirty right-wing neo-Nazi racists do you?
As a society that supposedly values due process and is against racial and religious bigotry, it’s wrong to presume guilt and it’s wrong to transfer that guilt from the accused to their whole ethnicity and religion. We should not treat all North Africans and Arabs as violent, rapists just because there have been accusations. That being said, the accused also should not be treated any differently than any other group of strangers. An entire religion or race should not be presumed devoid of criminal elements just for the sake of avoiding to appear as racist or anti-religion. Furthermore, we should definitely not use such sentiments to redirect attention away from an incident just because it may have unfortunate political fallout.
Mr Siddons accuses the right-wing of opportunistically using women’s sexual trauma as the vehicle for their xenophobia. In response, I accuse him of being a left-wing puppet who callously disregards women’s sexual trauma by making broad generalization against men and shifting the narrative away from the accused just to avoid a potentially contentious political issue.
- I Have a Dream – Outdated and Unrepresentative? - February 6, 2016
- Feministo + Collaborators; teaching journalists on how to bias their reporting - January 29, 2016
- The Independent shifts the blame in Cologne to all men - January 14, 2016