scapegoat

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make (one) the scapegoat (for something)

To wrongly attribute all of the blame for some negative situation or outcome to one particular person, whether or not they deserve some (or any) of the blame at all. Once it was discovered that I played a part in developing the company's scheme that robbed millions of people of their pensions, the mainstream media made me the scapegoat for the whole thing. Instead of trying to make someone the scapegoat for this problem, why don't you spend that energy trying to come up with a solution?
See also: make, scapegoat

make someone the scapegoat for something

to make someone take the blame for something. They made Tom the scapegoat for the whole affair. It wasn't all his fault. Don't try to make me the scapegoat. I'll tell who really did it.
See also: make, scapegoat
References in periodicals archive ?
Scapegoated individuals range from innocent victims to group members who more "willingly" assume the role.
Conversely, counselors coming from backgrounds in which they were scapegoated may become highly protective of persons subjected to ridicule and rejection by group participants (Schoenewolf, 1998).
As with other defense mechanisms, it is critical for the counselor to intervene in the projective identification pattern to avoid an emotional assault on a scapegoated member.
As another aspect of group development, the scapegoated client frequently plays a prominent role in the formative stages of group.
Consider the therapeutic value of the following client's statement to a scapegoated target: "When you continually whine and sulk, I feel like putting you down too.
A scapegoated client, for example, maintains a view of the group counseling experience as a period of tension and threat.
As an example, a scapegoated individual, attempting to establish a new role, on a weekly basis makes several efforts to act more assertively in group.