What does at mean that they’re “one of us”?
Posted on 06:00, February 16th, 2009 by Anita
Over the last couple of weeks there’ve been a number of threads floating round blogs about what it means when “one of us” does something wrong.
Tane has a great post at The Standard about Bruce Emery’s conviction
Luddite Journo takes the next step to look at the victim rather than the murderer, in a piece titled You can only be a victim if you own a house she writes
[As an update, Morgue has a great post in which he suggests that the issue is not the treatment of people-like-us, it’s our treatment of people who are not like us. Emery got appropriate empathy, but we don’t extend it to others]
On similar themes but different incidents Maia writes two posts about why we try to construct rapists as other, and all over the media and blogs people struggle with the way Paula Bennett is one of us but her grandchild’s father is not.
Why is it such a contentious issue? Because is all the bad things in the world are the fault of other people we can sit back and do nothing. This view is well illustrated by Stuart at StuRants:
The reality is that people like us kill people, and those killings are just as wrong as the ones that are committed by criminals on benefits in state houses. The domestic violence, rapes and child abuse that is committed by the educated middle class is just as damaging as any other kind. It is only by accepting that these terrible things are done by people like us that we will learn to stop them.