I ran across this article in my local paper, and I’m completely dumbfounded, and really, really pissed. I had heard about the crime shortly after it happened. A crime so heinous, so vicious, so damaging, so inconceivable before these cruel, evil, stupid boys made it the victims’ reality.
My mind just can’t wrap around how anyone can say these kids are “not that bad” and didn’t deserve to end up in jail. Really? Really?
I get how these kids are at a disadvantage before they are even born. How poverty and discrimination are rampant, and how difficult it is to break out of the cycle of drugs and broken families and violence. I do.
But where do we draw the line, as parents and as citizens? How much will we forgive, or pardon? Our community should pardon their crimes and free them because they had truly, horribly bad childhoods, because they hung with younger kids, and because they love their Moms? Because they were never given the opportunities most of us were? What message does that send to other children who grow up with these same heartaches and make the decision not to wreak misery upon their fellow man?
Would these friends of theirs feel the same way if it had been their mother and little brother that these boys violated?
I’m just so angry – at the accused, at their friends, the parents – even with the reporters who wrote this story. You just can’t humanize the inhumane.
There may very well be good qualities, even lovable things about these kids. I’m sure there are. I even have empathy for them and their families, and that this is what their lives will be defined by.
But that doesn’t outweigh their crimes. Not by a long shot.
I don’t want to understand or accept that in their world this behavior is “not that bad”. This is my world, too.