Caylee Anthony: a murdered child deserves better than bread and circuses
Over two years since her untimely death her face has become imprinted on our social consciousness: the wide blue-green eyes and angel's face that took a pixie-like quality when she smiled. Most Americans have come to love this little child who was snatched in the most unthinkable of ways and during that most precious stage of life, when all should be most wondrous, most beautiful, most carefree. For most of us little Caylee Anthony has come to represent all victims of the most heinous of crimes, child murder.
And so we keep up with the trial of the woman accused of her murder. We keep up with the hope that the facts surrounding Caylee's murder, as much as experts can humanly provide, will be definitively revealed. We keep up with the hope to understand the incredible behavior of a mother, who only days after Caylee went missing, was out partying But most of all we hope for justice for Caylee. For in justice for one child is there hope for justice for all the Caylee Anthony's of this world.
There is a certain amount of drama to be expected in any murder trial case, In trials where details of the crime are highly profiled in the news most of us are likely to form an opinion to the question of guilt or innocence surrounding the accused. This is human and it is understandable. In the matter of the accused in this case -Casey Anthony- I certainly have formed some of my own opinions. There are many, many disturbing issues surrounding Caylee's death and I pray for justice as served according the judicial system of this country.
With this said, however, there is a new and blatantly ugly menace that is emerging in the public interest of this trial. It is a menace that, by right, should be disavowed by the same kind of person who is shocked by reports of any mother out partying while her child was missing. It is, however, an ancient menace, one witnessed many times over the centuries. This menace emerged fully and was nurtured to its full capacity in ancient Rome, where, for the sheer sensational enjoyment of the spectacle, people paid for the privilege to watch starved animals rip each other apart and so-called enemies of Rome crucified. It appeared again in Spain during the days of the Inquisition when the true believers gathered to watch the mutilation and killing of Jews, Moors and other non-Christians. It was allowed to roam unhindered in Europe when crowds thronged into city squares to watch the torture and executions of accused witches. Today it is still welcomed in certain areas of the world, in places where excited mobs gather to witness the stoning of alleged adulterers and where exuberant congregations burn children accused of being possessed by the devil. Wherever humans have allowed their sense of moral indignation to run rampant it has whetted the appetite for revenge in its nurturers and glutted itself on the dessert of suffering. This menace has been called many names over the centuries, but we may know it best today by the name mob mentality.
Yes, it is human to demand justice. The people who vie for tickets and seats in Casey Anthony's trial probably justify their actions by believing they do so in the spirit of seeing justice performed. But this is not a Justin Bieber concert, this is not a line to a ride at Disney World. In grieving for little Caylee the decent do not grin while running for a spot in line at the courthouse. In supporting justice the decent do not squabble and argue over tickets. The decent do not relish every crocodile tear we speculate runs down the face of the woman on trial. The decent weeps for the victim while showing respect for the life lost and without indulging hysteria. To demand bread and circuses was the way of the ancient Romans who took holidays to watch people -including children- crucified. It is not the way of people who treasure the innocence of childhood. By demanding our modern equivalent of bread and circuses we demean the seriousness of the crime against Caylee Anthony. She deserves better than this, and so do all murdered children.
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