Wednesday, July 13, 2011
"When I was little, I used to pour salt on slugs. I liked watching them dissolve before my eyes. Cruelty is always sort of fun until you realize that something’s getting hurt. There’s a word we learned in social studies: schadenfreude. It’s when you enjoy watching someone else suffer. The real question though, is why? I think part of it is self preservation. And part of it is because a group always feels more like a group when it’s banded together against an enemy. It doesn’t matter if that enemy has never done anything to hurt you-you just have to pretend you hate someone even more than you hate yourself.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
On November 29, 1998, in Jefferson County, Texas, single mother Kenisha Berry, 20, placed duct tape across the body and mouth of her 4 day old son, and placed him in a black plastic trash bag. A couple collecting aluminum cans stumbled on the body. One year prior to this death she was accused of leaving another child in a field full of ants. He survived and his ant scars are still obvious today. Then there is Debra Mike, Dora Durenrostro, Caro Socorro, Susan Edwards, Caroline Yowd, Robin Row, Michelle Tharp, Debra Milke, and Patricia Blackmon, and I could literally go on for another page of names that were not ever mentioned in the media and barely mentioned in a news time blip. We continue to persist with the unrealistic beliefs that mothers don’t hurt their children. The American Anthropological Association states that more than 200 children are killed by their MOTHERS each year. In fact, homicide is the leading cause of death of children under 4 years old. Caylee Anthony was 3 and ½ years old…and the WORLD reacts with the first ‘social media trial’ in history.
We live in an information age. We thrive on instant news, apps, stimulation, web relationships, computer updates, around-the-clock news channels to ‘keep us informed’. We are SO WORKED UP we can’t even think without stopping for an instance to put ourselves in another’s place. Yet we go to church, practice yoga, meditate, download apps to meditate, vacation, and supplement with relaxing lotions to SLOW US DOWN. We live in a country that (thank God) gives us a chance (a chance) to have a fair trial if we are convicted of a crime. Many people far more important and brave have fought long and hard (and continue to fight) for rights that are allowed to American citizens. That doesn’t mean we all agree with the outcomes…my God if we all agreed we would have far less men and women killed in far-away wars….
Could social media become the DOWNFALL of hundreds of years of a democratic crawl for freedoms??? Now, I watched every minute of this trial that will go down in history. I kept up through Facebook, Twitter, iPhone apps, CNN, In Session, Nancy Grace, etc etc etc. This NOBODY mother living in Orlando has become a household name. Look, I’m a mom and I totally GET the disgust. The Casey Anthony freedom clock is ticking and in less than 48 hours America’s MOST HATED MOTHER will be ONE OF US…gasp….it’s ooookaaay! Justice may not have appeared to have worked. Crowds are picketing her neighborhood. Oh, and the death threats??!! Really??!! Isn’t that why we are here in the FIRST place?! Remember there have also been 272 people on death row exonerated in our country after being CONVICTED of crimes they didn’t commit. Oh, and 17 of those people were ALREADY put to death. Look, I understand the feelings of injustice in this case. I have my own opinions regarding what may have happened. In fact, we have all become well-trained crime scene investigators in recent years, so damnit, we are right!!! Well, truth is, this verdict may not be what we thought should happen. Often it isn’t! We, as citizens in this country need to STOP! Millions of dollars were spent by the town of Orange County to seek justice for Caylee. Casey did not have millions of dollars, like OJ. A jury found her innocent and she will be the monster walking among us by Sunday afternoon. She will not be protected behind mansion walls like other famous exonerations. She will shop at Target, hang out in bars, and maybe even get her fake job back at Universal Studios all while wearing her scarlet letter FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE! That is NOT freedom. That, my dear, is justice in disguise. That is one sentence that is a lot more difficult than sitting in a 6x4 ft cell for 20 plus years. If she really is the demon that we have seen she will reveal her true colors in the future. Let’s all slow down. Let’s pray for peace. Let’s enjoy the show, but realize this ‘show’ is a real life event for many people in this person’s life. Let’s use this to teach OUR children a lesson about love and honesty. Let’s enjoy the hype but resist the anger. Let’s not forget that everyone is somebody’s baby, sister, and friend regardless of the behaviors that they have. Let’s not hurt someone because we think they hurt someone else. That is not how we do it in this country! Let’s remember that there are many people in our city, state, and country that don’t know HOW to do the right thing and our compassion might make a difference to one of them, and if NOT, it might set a good example to those little ones who call YOU mommy or daddy!!!
- ▼ 2011 (11)