The Murdoch Fallacy

It isn’t every day that I have the opportunity to name a phenomenon, so I’m taking full advantage of this chance. The Murdoch Fallacy is henceforth defined as the erroneous reaction to a tragic event in which the race, gender, or other identifier of the instigator is used as a vehicle to place blame that entire race, gender, or member of the other identifier. As an example, Rupert Murdoch, an Australian-American business magnate, tweeted the following message, which has since become viral:

"Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible." (https://twitter.com/rupertmurdoch/status/553734788881076225)

 

This kind of statement is the blood and bone of the Murdoch fallacy. The entire Muslim population worldwide is, according to Mr. Murdoch, responsible for the actions of the few extreme Muslims--the cancer, so to speak. Despite his ‘allowance’ that most Muslims are peaceful, and never mind that peace activists everywhere, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, have denounced the actions of these extremists, he still holds this peaceful majority accountable for jihadist attacks.

Nevertheless, let’s allow this leap of logic, just for one moment. Let’s make it acceptable to blame the many for the actions of a few. So then, Mr. Murdoch, if you’re a White Australian, why didn’t you stop the genocide of the Aboriginals? You’re Christian, why haven’t you done anything about your cousins-in-religion, the Westboro Baptist Church folk? Aren’t you also American? Why aren’t you held accountable for the slave trade, for killing my people with internment camps, harsh working conditions, hate crimes? You’re also a man, Mr. Murdoch. What have you to say about your brothers forcing my sisters into child prostitution, for the countless rapes in India, for the fear I feel when I walk alone? Why are we excusing you? Why are you allowed to be a White, Christian male and not be held accountable for all the crimes that your parts have committed?

Because of privilege. To be a White, Christian male means that you live and breathe in an unrivaled position of privilege. You have no need to be afraid of race hate crimes, religious persecution, or a potential rapist around every corner. You simply are not that vulnerable.

When a White man shoots up a school, he is not a terrorist, or a jihadist, or an evil man. He is simply a shooter, a gunman, maybe a misunderstood fellow with some mental disability. When a Christian militant blows himself up, there is no need for a mass movement like #illridewithyou, because no Christian anywhere has to worry for his or her safety. And, certainly, no non-Christian will ever be seen as a Christian just because of outward appearance. While there is stigma attached to all rape, a man will not have to worry about an unwanted pregnancy, about being slut-shamed because he was violated, nor about being seen as ‘damaged’ and unfit for love.

So for shame, Rupert Murdoch. To take the words of Aziz Ansari, I suppose that the existence of the Murdoch Fallacy (all the way back to any jihadist attack ever, any rape ever, and anything ever like the Japanese internment camps) is, without a doubt, #RupertsFault.