Imagine that I went to a college campus and told a group of female students that they could decrease their chances of being raped by choosing not to dress like streetwalkers or by avoiding the seedier parts of town late at night. Odds are that I would be accused of “slut-shaming” or “victim-blaming.” And it’s never okay to blame the victims.


Exhibit A:

President Obama criticized the judgment of French Satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo when they published cartoons that poked fun at Islam, saying,

“We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory.”

When Charlie Hebdo published equally offensive cartoons lambasting Christians, the White House was silent.

Exhibit B:

Ron Paul spoke out immediately after the attacks, suggesting that French foreign policy was the primary instigator.

“France has been a target for many, many years because they have been involved in foreign affairs in Libya… they’ve been involved in Algeria, so they’ve had attacks like this.”

So to clarify, Ron Paul’s assessment is that when terrorists specifically attack a newspaper – and no one else – the week that it publishes content offensive to Muslims, it is because France has been involved in foreign affairs elsewhere. When terrorists leave the scene proclaiming, “we have avenged the prophet,” it has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the magazine published forbidden images of said prophet – rather, it is their involvement in Libya and Algeria that provoked this.

So, to reiterate:

Blaming victims is bad. Unless, apparently, you happen to be the President. Or the perpetrator is a Muslim. Or the victim is French?