I really should know better than to read comments on The Herald's website, but really...

A person in my circle was recently killed by a violent act that wasn't intended for said person. I was googling to see what was taking place in terms of charging the perpetrators and whatnot. At the bottom of an article in The Herald, I found almost entirely comments about how someone who is a parent should not have been out in the evening, comments suggesting that this person's children had been left alone while this parent was not at home, comments full of assumptions that said person had been involved in an altercation, how the victim should have known better than to have been in that neighborhood, how it's one less person on welfare, how it wouldn't have happened if the victim spoke English.

All of this presumably because this person is not white.

To make sure I wasn't unfairly pulling the race card, I looked at similar stories in newspapers that are aimed toward this person's ethnic group. It was as I suspected though; the comments were entirely of the sort of appropriate comments that one makes when one hears of such a tragedy -- prayers for the family, sadness about how senseless it is, etc.

Really, maybe I'm sheltered, but I'm just shocked that there are several dozen people who would say things like this and think that it's OK to say these things. And especially that there's not one critical thinker in the bunch, not even one person whose views might be quite different from mine, but who has the sense to point out that people are making all kinds of assumptions that weren't reported in the news stories. Is there not even one right-winger among the bunch who would correct the facts even just for the sake of enjoying proving others wrong? Other stories about the incident have mentioned what kind of work this person did, mentioned an educational background that would require speaking English, and explained that this person was just enjoying time with family and was not any part of any altercation.

And really, whose business is it if this person had been on welfare? Or didn't speak English? Sure, this is especially affecting me since I knew this person and know that this is a very clear-cut case of a hard-working peace-loving person who did absolutely nothing wrong, but that's immaterial; where do people get off making these comments about anyone? Do these people not have families and loved ones? How can they possibly think that children who are on welfare with non-English-speaking parents deserve to lose a parent? And really, have none of these people ever left their children with a babysitter and gone and enjoyed an adults-only night out? I really hope that doing so once in a while doesn't make someone a bad parent.

I guess it bothers me too that The Herald leaves these kinds of comments up and doesn't have an editorial person respond to them. If they had any interest in being a journalistic organization of any integrity, I'd think they'd at least want to correct basic facts. Personally, I'd also think that any business or any person or group of people would be ashamed to have any part in a giant racism fest, but I guess I should know better.

May your memory be a blessing, dear one. And may the Herald commenters find healing.


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