A so-called “hate crime” was committed in Vancouver on Friday when a group of newly arrived Syrian refugees were sprayed with an aerosol can of pepper irritant, causing widespread confusion and surprise.
A crowd was gathered outside a Muslim Association of Canada event for government-sponsored Syrian refugees around 10:30 p.m. when a man on a bicycle rode by and pepper sprayed about 15 people, according to local police.
Now, if you thought there was more to this story, you’d be wrong.
That’s it. That’s the entire volume of evidence this case has. Or at least, the amount police and witnesses decided to share with us.
And yet despite this seemingly random act of violence, politicians throughout Canada are treating it as an attack on everything Canada stands for.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was especially quick to jump onto Twitter to scream about the injustice of it all.
And yes, the Vancouver Police told media they are treating it as a “hate crime.”
What evidence do we have that this was a politically motivated attack?
Did the cyclist scream something hateful during the attack? Was the cyclist white skinned, and therefore more likely to resent the arrival of brown skinned people?
Did the cyclist leave a political manifesto demanding the Liberal government halt all intake of Syrian refugees?
Was the cyclist wearing anything that might indicate he’s a racist or a bigot or one of those many “phobes” we like to designate people these days?
No. The truth is nobody knows who this cyclist is or why he pepper sprayed a crowd of people.
I have a theory though. Maybe he’s just a jackass.
Vancouver does have its share. Remember the 2011 Stanley Cup riot?
In fact, if you do a search for “Vancouver pepper spray” in Google, omitting recent results, you’ll find that incidents like this have happened again and again, with seemingly random reasons behind them all.
In October 2015, a Yaletown pepper spray attack sent 20 people running. Nobody knew why the person began spray restaurant patrons and the suspect fled.
A year earlier, dozens of Super 8 hotel patrons had to be treated after an unprovoked pepper spray attack. There was no known reason for the assault and no racial motive was assigned by police.
Is it at all possible that this crime was simply another in a string of random, pointless, senseless attacks by a degenerate resident in one of Canada’s most unliveable cities?
It’s probably a more likely theory than the one that a highly organized racist decided to pick 10:30 p.m. on a Friday night to gather his belongings, check a government public relations press release, put peppery spray into his bag and then do a calculated drive-by attack on Syrian people.
Perhaps the worst part in all of this is that Trudeau and the rest of the Twitterati decided to make an isolated incident into a politically charged story -- and then ironically claim it was nothing more than an isolated incident and that it didn’t reflect Canadian values.
Well, way to point out the blindingly obvious.
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