Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Tragedy in Toronto

It is way too easy to fall into clichés when talking about a tragedy like the one that befell our region and country yesterday.  I am going to do my best to speak clearly about this and avoid platitudes and rote responses as best I can.

A driver, currently suspected to be Alek Minassian, drove a white van into a crowd of people along Yonge Street in Toronto on April 23 killing ten and injuring fourteen. The identity of the victims is being slowly revealed publicly. An old classmate of mine knew one of the victims directly, which has been a strange experience for one of these incidents.

Like many, I assume, I initially assumed that the crime was perpetrated by someone radicalized and taking up the mantle of a violent ideology. I may have been right, but I at first assumed this was an ISIS-inspired action. We have no information about the suspects motives. However, Minassian seemed to be connected to radical misogynistic communities and beliefs. As Vicky Mochama writes, the pattern seems to be radicalization of young men rather than a particular ideology. 

As the victims are revealed and laid to rest there will be important questions to address. Why this happened is chief among them. How we as a culture immediately assumed that this violence came from a certain kind of perpetrator. Worse still, how so many seemed to hope it was.

I hope those injured make full recoveries, that those left behind by those killed will find peace in time.

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