Rage Is Much Easier Than Grief
When your child is born with extreme, visible birth defects from which it dies from in five days, people expect you to grieve. I can sympathize.
Whereas you might want the child’s birth announcement for your scrapbook, that’s okay too. However, I also understand when the newspaper might balk at running a photograph of the child, especially a newborn with extreme facial birth defects. In normal circumstances, people might accuse the paper of sensationalism or insensitivity for running a photo like that.
I do not have any sympathy, however, for throwing a civil fit because the paper balked.
A couple of parents in St. Louis are doing just that. The mother, in between filing civil complaints against the publisher of the Suburban Journals, offered this bit of vocabularial ignorance:
“He … used the word ‘disfigured,'” Kelly Kittinger said. “He needs sensitivity training if he’s going to be dealing with the public.”
Let’s go to the dictionary:
These particular birth defects (“Perjorative!” the PC banshees will soon wail) marred the appearance of the baby. Disfigured is an accurate description, and I’m certainly not in favor of sensitivity training that destroys accuracy to sooth inflamed feelings of an allegedly grieving mother.
However, this mother is subverting grief into “righteous” rage at the indignities afllicted upon her lost child by lashing out. Perhaps something good will then come of the child’s short life. Increased “sensitivity” and maybe a little settled-out-of-court jackpot for the
grieving raging parents.
Also, kudos to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for its continuing coverage of this important breaking story and for showing its compassion for the “little people” by elevating trivial slights into crusades while humping the legs of big corporate interests in St. Louis (publicly funded stadiums, anyone?). An earlier story this week described the birth defects and their disfiguring nature. The linked story does not. By Sunday’s paper, perhaps you, oh monopolithic dispenser of wisdom, will have forgotten why the Suburban Journal balked at displaying the picture at all.