Omicron and Blaming

by Fiona Joy Green and Jaqueline McLeod Rogers

At the start of the pandemic, BC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, was hailed as a hero for communicating clearly with citizens, being a voice of encouragement and information. Imagine our surprise when recently talking with others and hearing them toss off criticisms of Henry — as if it were her fault that she had bad news to share. It seems like a classic case of “blame the messenger”.

When we were raising young kids, one of the values that went unquestioned was that when any one of us got in a tight spot, we were not to default by finding a scape goat. There’s not always someone to blame when things go wrong. We wanted our kids to have a more complex view of the world and their responsibilities. Cultivating this sense of responsibility took some work and repetitious teaching. So many times, a smart young person feels outraged at what they believe to be unfair discipline — “how could that bad teacher give me a bad mark? How could that teacher who never knows what’s going on begin to correct my behaviour?”

The trouble with blaming others for being stuck in a bad situation is certainly on display in Ottawa at the moment with the “Freedom Convoy” — a group of fellow citizens who seem hellbent on acting like disgruntled school-aged kids with attitude. While we’re determined not to invest too much time trying to understand what motivates a group that specializes in bullying and complaining, it’s hard to overlook their attacks on current leaders and demands to be allowed to do whatever they want. Height of crazy: this morning one of the convoy members in an interview on CBC radio, asserted the right of the group to have their minority opinions influence everyone. WHAT? Minority rules?

Hopefully we’re coming to the end of this pandemic wave. Sadly, these maverick citizens may just be warming up. Whenever they disagree with anything, they’ll find others to band together with. The problem with this is that they have no legitimate grievance based on inequity but rather a grievance based on their sense of privilege and ‘rights’. They believe they should be able to do whatever they want. This would break a family. It certainly hurts community and nation.

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