Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I Thought We Stopped Burning "Witches" at the Stake

It's been a long time since I've posted anything here. I don't know if I stopped feeling like I had anything unique to say, or if life just happened, but I'm back and I have something to say.

The past few days have really given me voice to say something that's been building in me for a long time. Where is our compassion?

Over the weekend, there was a tragic incident at the Cincinnati Zoo in which a beautiful gorilla named, Harambe was shot to death because a small child had breached the enclosure and was in potential danger with the gorilla, who at first seemed gentle with the child. Zoo officials and others who are experts at this sort of thing said the zoo had no real choice because to not act was putting the child's life in grave danger.  Because I am not an expert, unlike so many arm chair "experts" on social media, I accept what they say.  It's sad and tragic, but I have to accept it and Lord knows I typically like animals more than most people, but I accept the loss.

What gets me is the huge vitriol that has been stirred up against this boy's mother. Maybe before spending some time lately with a toddler, I might have been one of the townspeople carrying a torch, but my experience has changed my perspective.  Here's a newsflash:

Toddlers move fast and they're curious and we sometimes turn our head's for just a second and that's all it takes.

Lighten up, people!  Accidents happen.  Are we so ready to vilify anyone we perceive as imperfect that this is our only course of action?  We want to burn this woman at the stake?

What I find most disturbing about this is that many of the people I see causing this uproar are our very own liberals.  I understand it when conservatives do this, it's kind of what they do.  The liberals are supposed to be the compassionate ones.  We feed the hungry, go to yoga and say "namaste".  I guess "namaste" means save the animals, but fuck the humans!

I'm starting to understand why Donald Trump is leading in the polls to become our next President of the United States.  If the uproar over this accident is any indication of the kind of President we deserve, maybe it is him.

Maybe I'm the one who doesn't belong here anymore.


  1. I've been thinking about this post all night....

    I like to consider myself a kind, fairly decent person. I have 2 adult children whom I have tried to raise as compassionate people. There is a big part of me that wants to agree with this post.

    But I can't.

    When my son was 2 1/2, I lost him in Walmart. It was the longest 5 minutes of my life. Yes, it was an "accident". I certainly didn't MEAN to lose my child. But... it was MY fault. I did not blame Walmart for not having a safe shopping environment. I. Stopped. Paying Attention. It was definitely a Bad Parent moment. Fortunately, he was returned to me without harm, and no one in Walmart had to be shot and killed before this happened. I can tell you this: if he had stood before me and TOLD me he was going to wander where he wasn't supposed to be, I would have listened. Measures would have been taken. He would have had to sit on the floor by me, or, even more likely, we would have LEFT.

    I have worked in Child Care and in a Preschool. 4-year-olds (should) have some concept of right and wrong. I'm willing to bet anything in the Zoo gift shop that that kid KNEW what he was doing was wrong. I'm also willing to bet that a "No" from Mom doesn't mean much to him.

    Am I being judge-y? You betcha. If that makes me a bad person, so be it. Every single thing about that situation could have-and SHOULD have-been prevented.

  2. Hmmm. I've often thought Fox News feeds the fear that makes Trump look like a solution, but I hadn't considered that social media, which encourages Trumpeting, plays a role, too. Tragic loss, but I would have made the same choice the zoo folks did.

    1. Thanks, Jeanne. Perhaps I'm just suffering from some social media burnout.