I know it is in our nature to look for an explanation for tragedy: Is it “God’s will?”, or “the evil of man?”, or “that terrible rock-n-roll music?”
But, it still takes my breath away when we blame the victim(s) in an accident.
For instance, I just left my 11-and-8-year-olds downstairs making scrambled eggs so I could help my 9-year-old with the shower. If one of my children is terribly burned, how quickly will someone blame me for leaving them alone? (“She left her babies near a stove?!?!”)
After I stopped working to become a stay-at-home homeschooling parent, I’d hear comments like, “I could never let a stranger raise my children” every now and then. I always wondered, “Do they know that I let strangers “raise” my child three days a week so I could work an hour away?”
Do they know that I’d left my kids with a babysitter for a much-needed night out with my husband, only to find out later that this person was in no shape to be watching my very-young children. . .so much so that her mother called me afterward to say that her daughter was not “well” enough to do any more babysitting?
Do they think about all the children who get on a school bus each morning, or get dropped off at preschool, or go behind the doors of a gymnastics class. . .how vulnerable they are every day? Or do they tuck their children under their arms and take them everywhere, never letting them out of their sight?
I read last night’s horrific story about a nanny killing two young children with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. That this poor mother returned from taking her 3-year-old daughter to swim lessons to find her other two children bleeding in a bathtub is one of the worst things I’ve ever read. I dare you to read a news article about the screams the neighbors heard coming from that apartment and not be haunted by them.
Except some people weren’t haunted. They wanted to blame someone. And while the nanny seems like the likely person to blame, some blame the mother. How dare she have a nanny and “let someone else raise her children”? Serves her right for being wealthy and leaving her kids with a “stranger”? Some even make this a political point as if this is a debate topic.
I realize the internet allows for a certain amount of anonymity so people feel “free” to make comments they would never have the guts to make to a person’s face. They may even feel they are raising important “issues”.
Though, make no mistake, they are not making some grand statement that needs to be heard: People who say this kind of stuff are assholes.
Have we always been so cruel? I suppose we have been. . .it just used to be easier to stay away from people like this. Now, with the internet, they seem to be everywhere.
My heart goes out to the shattered Krim family.