Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Blame The Victim?

12-year-old Tamir Rice

Why do some in society choose to blame victims of crime for the heinous acts committed against them by others. Shouldn't it be blame the criminals, as no one has any justification for violating the rights of others. This pattern of blame the victim happens in lesser known incidents of crime, but as examples, I will invoke famous criminal cases to illustrate my point.

When 17-year-old Miami boy, Trayvon Martin, was stalked, confronted and gunned down by violent neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, a man with a history of criminal behavior, who was acting outside the law again, some had the unmitigated gall to get on the internet and type garbage about a deceased teen that was minding his business.

The defense in the criminal case was no better, digging out stories about an underage murder victim's past, such as the fact he had occasionally smoked weed. By that insane reasoning, all marijuana smokers around the world deserve to be stalked, confronted and murdered in cold blood for walking on the street. Show of hands, how many of you have smoked weed, heads of state included (we know who you are anyway) think marijuana smokers deserve to be stalked, confronted and killed as Martin was by Zimmerman? You'd be a savage and barbarian if you thought that is okay. So why did some try to irrationally reason that it was okay, putting forward invalid and inhumane reasons in trying to justify the unjustifiable. If that is your mind's way of trying to make sense of something heinous, you need to change your way of thinking.

At the end of the day, what happened to Martin could have happened to anyone in that situation. Martin was not the problem. Deranged, psychotic Zimmerman stalking and confronting a person in violation of neighborhood watch and police rules, then resorting to violence via a gun, was the problem. Honestly, think about it, what would you have done if you were Martin and you were stalked, confronted and attacked by a stranger in plain clothes questioning why you were walking on the street rudely stating, "What are you doing around here?" (which was none of Zimmerman's business)? Your first thought would be the person is crazy and looking for a fight or going to rob you. 

In the case of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was shot and killed by failed, formerly fired cop, Timothy Loehmann, some chose to blame an underage minor for walking around with a toy gun in a state that allows people to openly brandish weapons in public places. Some stated online that the gun looked real and tried to justify the preventable shooting death under that false premise. However, Loehmann and his partner Garmback are to blame for driving right up to an alleged suspect with an item they were told could be a fake gun and opening fire within seconds. Why didn't they maintain a safe distance. They drove up a few feet from the child.

Trayvon Martin 

In rape cases, some blame women for dressing provocatively, inexcusably stating they were asking to be raped dressing in that manner. Let me ask you a question, when you are in the supermarket and the food looks appetizing, as it is supposed to be for attractiveness, do you not know it is unlawful to open the packages and start consuming the food.

When you go to a jewelry store, do you not know it is illegal to smash the glass, grab the pretty, shiny jewelry, stealing something that does not belong to you. When you are in an electronics store and you see a nice, shiny item you would love to have, do you not know it is illegal to grab said item and do whatever you feel like with it in stealing it. Therefore, how can anyone attempt to justify raping someone based on how they are dressed (or even citing the victim was drunk or high, so it is their fault). Furthermore, women in loose clothing, covered up from the neck down and sober have been raped as well. Therefore, there is no valid argument regarding dress code or inebriation.

Often in cases where celebrities are accused of crimes against others, some try to rationalize and explain away bad behavior regarding conduct that is wholly wrong. So caught up in idolatry, they blame and verbally attack the victims, rather than objectively looking at the facts in their faces. Some stars encourage this behavior in their fans, who end up with egg on their faces for believing them and mindlessly verbally abusing others on their behalf.

They begin vouching for famous people they don't even know and verbally attack and insult strangers on social networking and in some cases even their own co-workers, family and friends, whom they do actually know that do not believe the star in question is blameless in the matter. Then the truth comes out after all the public denials and lies by the star that said celebrity was in fact guilty of the misconduct they'd been accused of. Be careful swearing and vouching for people you don't know. You could end up embarrassed or in trouble over something you've written.

Lance Armstrong, among others, comes to mind. He viciously attacked his critics, who stated he was using steroids to win races, called them liars, filed lawsuits against them (knowing he was guilty) opened them up to public ridicule and hate, with his fans following his terrible example and verbally abusing and threatening his accusers. Then what happened? The truth came out that he was using steroids for years and engaging in practices to evade detection. He was investigated, stripped of his medals and banned from cycling for years. However, he and his fans had inflicted damage on innocent people who told the truth about his dishonesty and cheating and the damage was done in that regard.

The majority of society knows right from wrong. If people would learn to respect the rights of others and exercise due caution in unsure situations, most crimes and acts of abuse would not occur. However, when people decide they are going to do something they know is wrong, giving in to bad impulses, innocent people end up defrauded, abused, harmed or even killed.

Blaming the victim is cruel and inhumane, as it is the act of victimizing victims all over again. You are essentially inflicting damage on someone that has already been wrongly damaged by others. It's not a good or decent thing to do. It speaks to a lack of humanity in some. If the shoe were on the other foot, the same people irrationally and cruelly blaming the victim, would want to be believed, treated humanely, fairly and given justice. As the phrase goes, "Do unto others as you'd have done to you."