Ann Allan: The Rush to Blame

The recent desecration of a memorial on the Newtownards Road brought out the armchair detectives. A rush to blame the other side for the destruction. What I saw was a lone figure on a bicycle on a mission. What his/ her reasons were for this act of stupidity was not obvious. Nor was it obvious where the perpetrator had come from. Notwithstanding, those on the loyalist side blamed the Short Strand and those on the Nationalist side blamed the Newtowards Rd community themselves.
Why is there this rush to blame and cry foul? Why try to stigmatise a whole community for the actions of a few? Do those in the loyalist community really believe that the residents of Short Strand had a secret vote? That they all supported the motion for an idiot on a bicycle to go to the Newtownards Road and wreck a memorial. Likewise do the residents of Short Strand really believe that the whole community in that area hatched a plan to wreck a memorial just so ‘themuns’ would get the blame?
I’m not saying that it wasn’t the case that one or two members of these communities did actually do it and with the intention to cause trouble but it wasn’t the entire community. Most people want to live and let live. Most people want to get on with life. So when we start blaming without all the facts then the seed for mistrust is sown.
You can see it around you every day, especially on Twitter. The actions of one or two idiots has the usual suspects out ready to judge. You are playing into the hands of those who carry out these deeds. They maybe get their kicks out of wrecking things or they may have an agenda to cause more tension so please in future wait for the police to do their job and find the criminals before you rush to judgement.

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