50 Scapegoat Quotes For Trading Blame For Accountability

Learn more about the psychology of blame placing with our scapegoat quotes. 

Many would argue that it is human nature to create excuses or blame others for our shortcomings or setbacks. 

Learn why people blame others with the scapegoat quotes and sayings below. 

What is scapegoating?

Scapegoating is when a person or group blames an individual or another group for blocking them from obtaining a goal. 

Many people scapegoat as a way to analyze negative experiences in terms of blaming an individual or group for the event. 

The individual or group doing the scapegoating mistreat the scapegoat as an outlet for their anger, frustration, or hostility. 

Check out these interesting facts about scapegoating:

  • Scapegoat is a Biblical word.
  • The first person to coin scapegoat in psychology was Emile Durkheim. 
  • Freud believed scapegoating is people’s misplaced hostility towards the powerful. 

What types of scapegoats are there? 

Sociologists recognize four ways scapegoating manifests. 

The first is the one-on-one phenomenon, where one person blames another for something they did.

This happens commonly with children, siblings, and friends who wish to avoid shame or punishment. 

The second way is a one-on-group manner. 

In this way, a person blames a group for a problem they did not cause. 

This scenario is common when blame is needed for a war, death, financial loss, or personal struggle. 

This form of scapegoating can be racial, national, religious, or class-based. 

The third form of scapegoating is a group-on-one scenario where a group of people single out an individual and blame them for a problem. 

This may occur on a sports team where multiple players blame a loss on one player who made a crucial mistake. 

Lastly, scapegoating can take on a group-on-group form where a group of people single out or blame another collective for a problem.

This may manifest in the form of political or economic nature along race, ethnicity, religious or national lines. 

To learn more, check out our scapegoat quotes below. 

Short scapegoat quotes about power and sin

Here are some short and sweet scapegoat quotes. 

1. “I was a scapegoat.” — Kate Moss

2. “The artist is the world’s scapegoat.” — Jacob Epstein

3. “As scapegoat, I could only bear the fault.” — Daphne du Maurier

4. “Unintelligent people always look for a scapegoat.” — Ernest Bevin

5. “Every group feels strong once it has found a scapegoat.” — Mignon McLaughlin

6. “Too often, when people are in trouble they look for scapegoats.” — Miep Gies

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7. “It is not good for me to be able to load a scapegoat with my sins.”George Bernard Shaw

8. “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

9. “A person who smiles in the face of adversity probably has a scapegoat.”Stephen Hawking

10. “He who is punished is never he who performed the deed. He is always the scapegoat.” Friedrich Nietzsche

The top scapegoat quotes about placing blame 

These quotes remind us why blame and scapegoating go hand in hand. 

11. “When things go badly, individuals look for scapegoats.” — Ron Paul

12. “The position of a scapegoat for the evils of the bureaucrats.” Ayn Rand

13. “They need a scapegoat, and for a long time, the imperialist served that purpose.” — Bernard Lewis

14. “All that remains to the mother in modern consumer society is the role of scapegoat.” — Germaine Greer

15. “I do not intend to be made the scapegoat of sacrifice, to be offered up as a victim to society.” — Victoria Woodhull

16. “The homosexual is a scapegoat who evokes no sympathy. Hence, he can only be a victim, never a martyr.” — Thomas Szasz

17. “The products of modern science are not in themselves good or bad; it is the way they are used that determines their value.” — Marshall McLuhan

18. “To delve into history entails, besides the grievance of hard work, the danger that in the depths one may lose one’s scapegoats.” — Jacques Barzun

19. “The courts are an easy scapegoat because, at a time when everything has to boiled down to easy slogans, we speak in subtleties.” — Rose Bird

20. “I think rap music is brought up, gangster rap in particular, as well as video games, every other thing they try to hang the ills of society on as a scapegoat.” Ice Cube

The best scapegoat quotes about victimhood

These quotes posit that if we have victims, we are going to have scapegoats. 

21. “In the war on terrorism, the immigrant is often the scapegoat.” — Andrew Lam

22. “Society has traditionally always tried to find scapegoats, well here I am.”Marilyn Manson

23. “The president is the country’s scapegoat more than the country’s leader.” Eric Andre

24. “There are many scapegoats for our blunders, but the most popular one is Providence.” Mark Twain, Notebook, 1898

25. “Some people are desperately looking for scapegoats; they just don’t want to see the truth!” — Jonathan Davis

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26. “It seems a universal rule in this world that people will always look for victims and scapegoats.” — C.J. Sansom

27. “The scapegoat upon whom the sins of the people are periodically laid, may also be a human being.” — James G. Frazer

28. “Stop looking for a scapegoat in your life but be willing to face the truth within yourself & right your own wrongs” — Eileen Caddy 

29. “It’s just you and nothing but you, standing in one spot frozen like a statue with no place to go for help or excuse or scapegoat except inward.” — Bikram Choudhury

30. “And when you’re desperate and scared, you scapegoat people. It exacerbates latent tendencies toward, well, toward racism or homophobia or anti-Semitism.” — Henry Louis Gates

Famous scapegoat quotes about life

Check out these scapegoat quotes. 

31. “You know, traditionally, America has always looked to scapegoat someone as the boogie man.” — Edward Zwick

32. “Democracy is susceptible to being led astray by having scapegoats paraded in front of the electorate.” — Frank Herbert

33. “The Red Sox are the local scapegoats. It’s hard enough to play baseball without being the local scapegoat, too.” — Michael Lewis

34. “There are weapons that are simply thoughts. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy.”Rod Serling

35. “Fear is also the universal scapegoat we blame when we take flight from intimacy or shrink up inside ourselves in a thousand little ways.” — Dan Millman

36. “For some high-profile men in trouble, women, especially feminist women, became the all-purpose scapegoats-charged with crimes that often descended into the absurd.” — Susan Faludi

37. “The scapegoat has always had the mysterious power of unleashing man’s ferocious pleasure in torturing, corrupting, and befouling.” — Francois Mauriac

38. “We are too prone to make technological instruments the scapegoats for the sins of those who wield them.” — David Sarnoff

39. “It’s too easy to criticize a man when he’s out of favor, and to make him shoulder the blame for everybody else’s mistakes.” Leo Tolstoy

40. “The Athenians regularly maintained a number of degraded and useless beings at the public expense; and when any calamity, such as plague, drought, or famine, befell the city, they sacrificed two of these outcast scapegoats.” — James G. Frazer

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Scapegoat quotes and sayings to live by

Let’s close our list with some insightful scapegoat quotes. 

41. “The dictator is also the scapegoat.” — Mary McCarthy

42. “Numerous scapegoats are made of the less politically powerful, to satisfy the egalitarian rage awakened.” — Wyndham Lewis

43. “Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

44. “The real explanation is too complicated. They won’t sit still for it. So, they look for scapegoats; the rich, the banks, the Chinese.” — Bill Bonner

45. “Real unity tolerates understands that creating proletariats and scapegoats and second-class citizens is a mean and contemptible activity.” — Northrop Frye

46. “It was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.” — Monica Lewinsky

47. “Under all the different systems of religion that have guided or misguided the world for the last six thousand years, the Devil has been the grand scapegoat!” — Geraldine Jewsbury

48. “The idea that God could only forgive our sins by having his son tortured to death as a scapegoat is surely, from an objective point of view, a deeply unpleasant idea.” Richard Dawkins

49. “Using some economic issues to make one group of people the scapegoat for all the problems of the country is just the stupidest, and yet, the most creative propaganda scheme that you can come up with.” — Immortal Technique

50. “Teachers were both blamed for everything that went wrong with kids and turned to for their every salvation. This dual role of scapegoat and savior was downright messianic, but even Jesus was probably paid better.” — Lionel Shriver 

How do I avoid scapegoating?

One way to avoid scapegoating is to think clearly and be sure not to assume. 

Do you have a favorite scapegoat quote?

Be sure to let us know in the comments section.

You can gain valuable insight from the classic comedy Caddyshack, which follows a young caddie named Danny Noonan as he works at a country club to earn enough money for college.

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