This article took me some time to write, and in the course of the time that I began writing until it was publishable half a dozen more accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists hit by cars surfaced in the news. For a while I tried to keep on top of the latest ones and update the first paragraph accordingly, but there are simply too many, which goes some way towards proving my point in the first place.
|Hey, I wonder how fast that car's going.|
On Monday morning of last week, 6 people were struck by cars in Toronto in the span of an hour, all while legally crossing or waiting to cross the road. That seems like a lot – and it is, it is a lot, a rash – so surely there was some connective factor this morning? Something to learn from so many violent interactions in a single morning? Indeed, says traffic services Const. Clint Stibbe, the common factor was “dark clothing worn by pedestrians”. If those pedestrians had been wearing lighter clothing, then, they may not have been struck by the cars that struck them. What if they had been younger, if they had not been pushing a stroller? Did they make sure all the cars were going to stop at the crosswalk before they started walking? Did they? And if, as Christopher Hume asks in the Toronto Star, Monday's pedestrians were all crossing legally, “why should the colour of their clothing make a difference?” Indeed.
So, to summarize the coverage: a person is the victim of a violent act, a crime, and in the aftermath of that crime we ask each other what the victim did or did not do to invite the violence on themselves.
This is victim-blaming, pure and simple.