Friday, September 19, 2008

What in the world are they thinking????

What would make people choose to protest outside the home of a homicide suspect?

This morning I've been watching the news and there have been several reports of physical confrontations in front of Casey Anthony's parents' house in Orlando. Casey Anthony, for those who have been living in a cave, is the woman whose daughter, Caylee, has been missing for a very long time and she continually lies about what happened. The little girl hasn't been found yet.

Granted, it's tragic and the case is sickening. Casey Anthony is disgusting. But protesting in front of her house? Blocking the streets? Harassing her parents? Bothering all the neighbors who have nothing to do with the case? The verbal violence has been escalating over the past several days and now police are concerned about people bringing weapons.

Do these people honestly believe Casey Anthony will come out and say "Ok, guys. You're right. I should tell the truth. I've been really stupid and I'll come clean now. I've seen the light."

The real point is that I can understand protesting political policies or even protesting in front of a business that has been unfair in its practices somehow. I can see protesting for a cause, for raising consciousness, for bringing something to the attention of the public so that we can take action. Protesting has a place in a healthy society. Any society.

This is simply voyeurism at its worst. The people who are gathering there are reducing a very tragic case to little more than an opportunity for entertainment. There have been reports of people showing up, carrying signs, drinking beer and yelling.

I've been watching this case on the news and I'll admit it: I think Casey Anthony is probably guilty of murder. No. Wrong. No qualifiers. I think she is guilty of murder.

At the same time, this kind of circus is a blatant display of public stupidity. It contributes absolutely nothing in the effort to investigate and ultimately prosecute the case. What in the world would compel people to behave that way?

Those people hanging around the front of her parents' house need to go do something worthwhile. Perhaps they could work for Obama's campaign (although I doubt that is their political persuasion), do some volunteer work for missing children, join the search team - something - anything - but this!




flutter said...

I've never understood when people protest at funerals..I mean the person is DEAD folks.

SUEB0B said...

I am proud to say that I live in enough of a cave that I hadn't heard of this. It sounds pretty weird.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it just silly? Few people have much extra time in their lives, and when some of them do, this is what they do with it? Don't work on housing our hunger or anything that matters, go express your opinion about someone's innocence or guilt. Yeah, that is a major contribution to the world. Geesh.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I suppose when a case like this inflames the public outrage, people need an outlet which will make them feel as if they are doing something. They are really acting out of fear. Of course it's silly and futile, but it's just the latest permutation of the lynch mob mentality, which perennially reinvents itself.

I also believe that the mother is guilty of the most heinous crime imaginable, but our system can only work if the accused are given a fair trial. As far as I now, she hasn't had one yet, and more importantly, no amount of protesting will bring that poor child back. It's just terribly sad, all of it.

Anonymous said...

They saw this story on television, and mistook it for their own lives. Our entertainment-driven culture has created a whole generation of people who have only a tenuous grip on reality, and no idea at all of what constitutes appropriate behavior.

Christy said...

I think people focus on one person too much--not that I don't feel this is a tragedy, and it breaks my heart.

Thousands of children are brutalized in Africa and nobody seems to care.

I don't know how to say this to where it doesn't sound mean and heartless to the single victim.....

thailandchani said...

Flutter, I guess they have something to say to the living - but I see your point. At best, it's certainly disrespectful to the dead to use them as a propaganda tool.


Suebob, it's totally weird. Totally. As Thomas said, there does seem to be a thin line between reality and fantasy for them.


Feather, remember all the folks who demonstrated outside OJ's house during his trial? Same dynamic and you're right. It is, when all is said and done, silly.


Susan, yes.. a lynch mob. That's exactly the way they've been behaving, too. They don't seem to realize that it isn't an episode of CSI: Miami. It's real people and a real dead little girl. Nothing they do will change that.


Thomas, I agree. Completely.


Christy, you make a very good point. Another thing that occurs to me is that if Caylee had been a little Black girl, there wouldn't be wall-to-wall coverage - and there wouldn't be protesters outside the suspect's parents' house.

As for your other issue, I try to remember that perspective is not something that's easy in an ethnocentric and egocentric culture. The pain of those parents and children in Africa isn't real because they aren't "like us". That doesn't diminish the pain of individuals who experience loss but I'm not sure they would be able to understand what you're saying in the midst of their pain - but perhaps at some point, they'll use it to increase their own empathy.


meno said...

Looks like they are cruising for some vigillante action. That is disgusting.

Border Explorer said...

I seldom watch MSM news. On my first glance at this, I'm noticing the protestors' very bad (or non-existent) personal boundaries. What makes them think this situation warrants this involvement? Or that their involvement will be productive? Very fuzzy thinking indeed.

Thanks for noticing this situation.

thailandchani said...

Meno, no doubt in my mind! There have been some really violent people showing up. It wouldn't be surprising if someone shows up with a gun one day.


BE, it seems to be a matter of not thinking at all! They're reacting from pure emotion, not understanding the mess they're creating! Imagine if they all put their energy toward more important things.


FranIAm said...

It is Rome before the fall...

This is tragic.

Yes - do something worthwhile. We have such disaffected and lost people in our culture and it is so sad.

Since I see us as all interconnected, this is troubling to me at many levels.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This is how vigilantes get started. Stuff like this scares me. There is no excuse for it.

Anonymous said...

Guess I have been living in a cave because I don't know this case. But in my opinion, the protestors are cut from the same cloth as popel who attend executions. They take a gleeful pleasure in other's misery and in feeling superior. It is a sorry way to behave.

thailandchani said...

Fran, "It's Rome before the fall" is a good description. Christians and lions. Ugh!!


Ruth, I agree. It is a Jerry Springer type of vigilantism. No thought, no intellect - just crusty emotion.


Citizen, I think you've summed it up well.


womaninawindow said...

Weird, weirdy weirdos. The protestors, that is.

How's that for eloquence? They don't deserve much.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Protest is such a powerful tool, and like all powerful tools, it can also be totally misused.

There is a group in Ann Arbor that wants Israel to disappear and have all the land restored to the Palestinians (even the land that belonged to other communities, some Jewish and some not). They've chosen to protest this - where? In front of ONE synagogue in Ann Arbor, EVERY Saturday, DURING religious services.

Do I agree that Israeli policy is horrid? Yes. Do I think it's very complicated? Yes. (I believe there are many sides at fault in this issue). But why the ONE synagogue? There are several other places of Jewish worship in Ann Arbor. There are more ecumenical places, like the Jewish Federation building, where the Federation collects money that supports Israel. Or they could protest in front of the Federal Building (because most of the signs say "No U.S. Aid for Israel", etc.). But in front of a place of worship DURING worship?

Needless to say, they've totally alienated 95% (or higher) of the local population to their cause. It's nuts.

painted maypole said...

that case is really frightening. I had not heard about the protesting. really strange.

Defiantmuse said...

I'm glad I apparently live under a rock and hadn't heard about this.