Thursday, January 19, 2006

everybody hurts

In times of momentous challenges and threats that hover over entire populations it is the private, personal tragedies that continue to rivet our attention.

A cursory look at the headlines of the last few days show us what news hits home.

1. A handicapped six year old girl is so badly beaten by her mother's boyfriend that her left arm has to be amputated. The girl's mother not only refused to give her daughter immediate medical attention, she invented a series of lies to protect her daughter's assailant. To date no one has been charged.

2. A seven year old girl is tortured in cold water and beaten by her step-father. She is left alone in their apartment by her mother, moaning and pleading for help, only to lapse into unconsciousness and die in the hours before her mother's return. Nixzmary's funeral was held on Tuesday.

3. MA courts ruled that an eleven year old girl could legally be taken off the life support that has kept her alive since a beating at the hands of her adoptive parents last September that left her on death's doorstep. The day after the court's decision (yesterday) Haleigh's doctors reported a change in her condition. She can now breath on her own.

4. Another arrest was made in the case of the homeless folks attacked and beaten by Florida teenagers over the weekend. One man was killed, two others were hospitalized. The teens' families brought in lawyers to negotiate the surrender of the young men in a way that would be sensitive and respectful of their rights. Having seen the security video of the beatings time and time again on the evening news all week, I can understand how sensitivity is a big issue with these kids.

Iran and North Korea pursue nuclear programs. OBL makes more threats over Al Jazeera. Volcanoes erupt in Alaska...

But the really scary shit happens next door. Down the block.
You don't have to go far to realize that what we do best is hurt each other.