Saturday, November 22, 2008


I am sometimes so heart broken over something I read.  There are many very sad stories in the newspapers or on line.  We all read them every day are horrified at the things our fellow humans can do.  Sometime I wonder what makes us different?  What makes some people do horrible things?  What separates us from them?  This week I have read two stories - one in England and one here in the Bay Area - they both deal with child abuse and the death of the children involved.

The first was Baby P.  From the picture I saw he was a beautiful 17 month old little boy who lived for so short a time in England.  His mother, her boyfriend and the boyfriends brother did things to him that were so awful that I will not go into them here.  Just think of this, when the poor baby died his back had been broken for at least a few days.  

Here in Antioch 15 year old Jazzmin Davis was so abused by her aunt that she died weighing 78 pounds!  In this story as well the abuse was so awful I find it hard to imagine.  What happens over the course of 15 years that the baby you took in dies with burns from an iron on her?  

In England the legal system protects the identity of the murderers, they can not be named in the press, but the internet population has been very vocal about who they are and what should be done to them.  The unnamed may get 7 years for this horror show.  Our legal system has no such protection and Shemeeka Davis faces murder charges that could send her to jail for life.  And poor Jazzmin's twin brother also faces a life sentence of dealing with abuse he received and the guilt he must feel for still being alive.

In both these cases there was a common element - child social services.  Both homes received visits.  In the Baby P case, he had actually been taken away from his mother but had been returned.  The police had stepped in and asked that he not be returned to the home, but had been over ruled by social services.  Jazzmin's Antioch home had been visited by her social worker who saw nothing amiss.  One could argue that Jazzmin was old enough to speak up, but I just imagine how afraid she must have been to not say a word.  Baby P was not old enough to even understand what was happening or to tell anyone, but I am sure he must have also been so afraid.

There must have been others that noticed.  That "thought" something was just not right in these homes who did nothing.  I want to hope the most of us would do something.  I am sure that we all think - of course I would do something.   You are outraged that I would even suggest you might not.  But it just all leads back to my first thoughts - what is the difference between those that can do things like this and us?

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