Category Archives: Suriname

Why I don’t give a damn about Casey Anthony

I fully expect to be excommunicated from the society of white middle class Americans for this, but here I go — I really don’t give a shit. I didn’t even care about her before her trial. I didn’t watch the trial. I accept the verdict. Color me weird.

Did she murder her daughter? Probably. OK. Very likely. Will she make a fortune on book & movie deals. If some maniac doesn’t decide to kill her first, absolutely.

Was justice served? Sadly, yes. So why don’t I care? In a word, perspective.

Do you have any idea how many murders take place in the United States a day? It’s 40 on average. In the time everyone was focused on this case that began grabbing headlines on July 16, 2008 — that’s almost 3 years to the day, that means… hang on I need my calculator for this.. OK, I’m back. 43,800, rounded up because I did 3 years and we’re missing 10 days, but hey, once you’re close to 43,800 what’s a few more dead…

Oh, but this is different. This was a Child, and the accused is her Mother. From the Case Law School journal in reference to mothers murdering their offspring: “One study by the American Anthropological Association put the number at more than 200 cases each year in the U.S”

I’m not interested in defending their numbers. The point is it happens — and a lot more than we want to think. Excuse my quoting at length here, but these statistics from the American Journal of Psychiatry will likely rock your world: (I did the bold)

“Among children under age 5 years in the United States who were murdered in the last quarter of the 20th century, 61% were killedby their own parents: 30% were killed by their mothers, and 31% by their fathers (1).

Estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 1994 indicated that homicide was the fourth leading cause of death for preschool children and the third leading cause of death among children from ages 5–14 years (2).

Compared to other developed nations, the United States has the highest rate of child homicide: 8.0/100,000 for infants, 2.5/100,000 for preschool-age children (age 1–4 years), and 1.5/100,000 for school-age children (age 5–14 years) (3). In contrast, Canada’s reported rate for homicide of infants was less than half that of the United States: 2.9/100,000 (3).

Furthermore, multiple authors have suggested that rates of child murder by parents are underestimated in epidemiological studies of child death (46).

So I’m not asking about Ms. Anthony’s future. Nothing brings back the dead, and like I said I don’t care about the woman.  I’m not even asking why so many Americans used so much of their precious time to watch the Anthony mini-series, although I do wonder a bit. No, these are the questions that are bugging me:

Where were we when unattractive, non-white women killed their babies? Where were the cameras, the compassion, the shock?
Where are we on actively seeking community to replace alienation, a village instead of a burb to raise our children?
Where are we on piecing together a just world in our own lives?

And where are we with the miscarriages of justice that have destroyed lives and filled our prisons decade after decade? I’m not even going to begin with statistics on racial injustice and the criminal system in the US of A, but if you’re unfamiliar with the shocking tale, or just want to get upset check this out.

By the way, in my world view the verdict was not a miscarriage of justice. This was an example of the way justice actually works. Anthony had a jury of her peers. She was provided all proper legal and juridical steps. The prosecution had time to prepare its case. She had a strong defense. The jury’s unanimous decision was made within the bounds of the U.S. legal system. What the 12 told the world was that they had no incontrovertible proof and lacking that, they couldn’t convict. That, IMHO, is the U.S. determination of justice.

3 symbols to protect the ghosts of a village massacre in Suriname

 

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2009? That year is so 5 minutes ago.

bus sign reads 'jour eyes only' - phonetically correct in Suriname

In Suriname New Year’s Eve is called Old Year’s Day. Tradition has it that at noon all businesses close their doors and move outside where they set off rows of firecrackers in front of their shops. Firecrackers, displays, music, dancing, boozing and general partying go throughout the day. By around 8 or 9 p.m. the streets are deserted. People head home for prayer or quiet family time. At midnight the fireworks come out.

Contrast that with our Euro-American tradition of New Year’s Eve where the Old Year doesn’t have a name and is overlooked and all but forgotten before it’s gone. All eyes face front in anticipation of the New Year, (which my spell check only allows in Title Case). Meanwhile the old is already out to pasture, like an old horse.

Our celebration rituals reflect our thinking and we carry this mentality into the associated ritual of New Year’s resolutions. We look with great determination to what we want to do, be and accomplish. As if a tiny New Year’s goblin whispers “Darling, this list will be the new you. Last year was so 5 minutes ago.  Start fresh, because this year it will all be different.

Woa there friend. Not so fast.  Let’s really send off that Old Year. The Winter Solstice is past and the days will get longer, but we are still in the dark time of year. This is the time of turning inward, of assessing where we have been and where we want to be. But to complete the inward journey, one more piece is often overlooked. Yes we need to know what we want to bring into the New Year, and we also need clarity and action on what we don’t want to bring with us.

Remember and celebrate your 09 accomplishments. But before you pull out the pencil and start with the proverbial resolves for 10, shed the old and release what held you back from fulfilling your 09 resolutions.

To change your New Year’s resolutions from a laundry list of  soon overlooked wishes, become crystal clear on what no longer serves you. Release that – be it an attitude, a suffering, a grudge, a debt owed, a relationship or a belief.

If you were a computer I would suggest you free up space on your hard disc before you install your new program. Since you’re flesh and blood, and only sometimes function like a computer, I’ll say free yourself, put the saddle back on that old horse, get ‘er out of the pasture and ride with the wind at your back!

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