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The American Blame Game

Americans love to “get involved”. It’s usually a good trait.  Americans really care about what the Government does, or how events and trends effect our lives and culture, for good or otherwise.

In the past, child-in-peril stories engendered support, not judgment. But now there is a down side. where make self-serving judgments are made based not on facts or observations but on personal perceptions.

A case in point are the reaction to the recent story about the alligator attack on an infant at a Disney amusement park.  There are at least a few comments questioning the child’s parents.

“People are blaming an alligator for being an alligator, when the real issue here is child negligence”. Someone tweeted.

Well yes, the alligator was being an alligator, but were the parents not being good parents”?

Reports that the child’s parents were right next to him, and that the father struggled desperately to pull open the alligator’s jaws to save his child were not as widely recorded.

A similar incident happened when a preschooler slipped away from his mother and fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. The child survived, but zoo officials had to shoot the gorilla. The result was many calls for the parents to be prosecuted.

There has been a backlash. Many have called for more understanding and compassion and a better knowledge of the situation before making “knee jerk” judgments without knowing the whole story. Some people seem to be focused on finding blame for a parents, rather than compassion for it victims.

“Judge not lest you also be judged” is a forgotten maxim for many of us.