Thursday, September 3, 2009

The "Human" Element of Human Rights

To err is human, to forgive divine.

Not sure who said it, but how true. As humans, though beautifully and masterfully made by a perfect Creator, we are true screw-ups. We can take the most perfect situation and turn it into a disaster in the blink of an eye. I guess that's the glory of free will.

So where I am going with this... back to the most psychotic case I have ever seen unfold before me in the national news. The horrifying kidnapping and captivity story of Jaycee Dugard has literally made my stomach churn. I think what really made me sick was when I learned that she birthed two baby girls in the tents in Phillip Garrido's makeshift backyard compound. Having delivered two babies myself in the decency of a hospital, I am fully aware of the anxiety and pain, as well as both physical and emotional time of healing afterwards. My heart broke when I realized that this poor woman was made to carry out what should be the most joyous moments of a woman's life in a tent in the backyard of a psycho.

I am appalled by the entire story. And the more I read, the more angry I get. This joker has never done anything good. His first brush with the law and known brush with criminal sexual assault was in 1972, when he took a young girl off in his car, gave her illegal drugs, took her to a hotel room, and sexually assaulted her multiple times (by the way, sexual assault is just a nice word for rape and/or other horrific sexual acts against one's will). The charges were dropped when she refused to testify against him in court. Then four years later came his kidnapping and rape of a woman for which he served time and was on lifetime parole. And now this...

Do you know what bothers me the most about our fine country? In recent years, the terms alleged and accused have become too common. I challenge you to watch your local news and count the number of times it's used in one broadcast. Dare we say that someone actually did something these days.

Let me get this straight: Garrido has a history of sexual assault. A grown woman was found living in a series of tents in Garrido's backyard and was subsequently identified as Jaycee Dugard who has been kidnapped over a decade ago. Two young girls were found with Garrido and were identified as the children of Dugard and Garrido. But we have to refer to Garrido as Dugard's alleged captor and accused rapist.

So let me pose this question: If I spent an hour and a half yesterday trimming back some lantana in my flowerbeds, and my neighbor as well as any passers-by saw me doing it, and I left three lawn bags full of the clippings to prove it, did I allegedly do it or did I actually do it?

There are a certain sect of people who don't deserve the benefit of the doubt. And it saddens me to know that in the name of human rights the media has hopped on this bandwagon of protecting the names of those who don't deserve protection. I understand that in a court of law, we are all innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, there's no need to use terms such as allegedly or accused when the evidence is so obvious. In Garrido's case - one in which he took away every conceivable human right poor Jaycee Dugard ever dreamed of having before she was stolen from her childhood - he does not deserve any benefit of the doubt.

It's the ultimate human err - to further take away the dignity of a victim by attempting to protect the rights of those who don't deserve such protection.

By the way, Crazy Mama allegedly wrote this post.

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