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tragedy

This is a horrible thing, being made even more horrible because several people have used it to make attacks against the entire state of Indiana, a place I've called home all my life:

http://bookshop.livejournal.com/834653.html

I'm extremely disturbed at the number of people who are using this horrible crime as an excuse to attack Indiana. These were murderous psychos, the kind that can and do exist in every state, every country, every walk of life. They no more represent Indiana than Hitler represents everyone in Germany. I've lived in Indiana all my life, had a black girlfriend here, work with a gay woman, and have never personally experienced a moment of predjudice because of my relationships. Most of the people of Indiana are good people, just as I believe most people of every state and country are -- don't paint us with the same bloody brush.

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( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
desdemonaspace
Jun. 22nd, 2007 11:54 am (UTC)
Jesus Christ. No, of course, who WOULD paint you all with the same brush? That's lazy-man's reasoning.

This was especially distressing reading for me, as Frank's nephew was stomped to death just like Shorty. Heartbreaking.
ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)
Sadly, some people were doing just that; and the really sad thing is that a couple of people who used to live in Indiana were making that sweeping accusation. I've found it not uncommon for young people who grew up in rural areas to assume their own back yard is the worst place *ever*, a case of "the grass is always greener".

But wherever it happens, it's always an awful thing.
empresspatti
Jun. 22nd, 2007 12:28 pm (UTC)
Very well said. Bravo

Too often people have the security of opinions without the luxury of thought.
ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 07:36 am (UTC)
"The security of opinions without the luxury of thought". I need to write that down -- it fits into all sorts of situations.
elizalavelle
Jun. 22nd, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC)
:( It's a shame that so much good about a place goes unremarked upon and then one horrific crime can suddenly be seen as a representation for an entire state.

Simply put it's the case of a few ruining it for the whole and it's terrible that things like this happen at all. I think that it's good that this crime is getting notice but that the people who are using it as an opportunity to say all of Indiana is a bad place are missing the point. Crimes like this happen all of the time, the media reports very few crimes, this is not a one shot problem.
ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 07:40 am (UTC)
No, it's certainly not a one-shot problem. And the problem being illustrated was the lack of reporting on this crime, of course -- it just bugged me that so many people were jumping on the "Indiana must be awful" bandwagon until I couldn't stand it anymore. If anything, that illustrates that there are good and bad in every part of the world, regardless of what you might hear on the nightly news.
(Deleted comment)
ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 07:43 am (UTC)
I didn't mind that the link was there. The main complaint -- that no one was reporting on this horrific crime -- is completely valid, considering I never heard about the story myself (I live on the other end of the state, but still). I just heard so much Indiana bashing that I had to point out those scumbags didn't speak for all of us.
frimfram
Jun. 22nd, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
Horrible story, some horrible reactions. I think people are just trying to deny the nasty truth that this shit can happen anywhere by making it about Indiana.
ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 07:51 am (UTC)
nasty truth
That could be exactly what was happening.
gillo
Jun. 22nd, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
I never for a moment imagined these swine were typical of Indiana, any more than the Yorkshire Ripper is typical of England. The way the news was treated as "non-news" is disturbing, but hardly something one can say is unique to any one place. To me the use of this topic to attack your state seems like displacement activity - pretend it only happens there where the nastybadwrongmen live - not at all like our nice place.

Feh.
ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:00 am (UTC)
What bothered me most is that some people who were *from* Indiana bashed it; it's hard to believe they could really think that's all there is to an entire state full of people. You have to drive more than 8 hours to get from one end to the other; what those people thought they saw in their back yard doesn't represent everyone, by a long shot.

But again, the real point of the article was the lack of news coverage, which is a legitimite issue, indeed.
curiouswombat
Jun. 22nd, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
It is an horrific crime - but I totally agree with you - it should not be seen as a reflection on other people from the same state.

It is very wrong that it is simply 'one of the crime statistics' and go more or less unreported - but this happens by the whim of the media all too often, as you will know only too well. Throughout Europe at the moment there is an enormouse poster campaign, daily newspaper and TV coverage etc. about one British child who was seemingly abducted from a holiday flat in Portugal. Over the same period a number of other children have had a fleeting mention or no mention in the papers or on the TV - some things become news, some things don't.

Also I understand the 'tarring with the same brush' and the 'you don't have a law so must all be viscious bigots' as well - we were one of the last places in Europe to repeal anti-homosexuality laws and are regularly lampooned as a lot of gay-bashers - and yet as you know from a discussion of the subject on my journal, our young people seem to be totally unbothered by sexual orientation, and our old people have always thought 'Each to his own'- I'm not sure that anyone was ever prosecuted under those laws, if they were it was before the 1960s and none since.

If there is any sign that the thugs involved do get lighter sentences because they accuse their victim of 'being a minority' then is the time to look further out at the state as a whole and how that could happen.
ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:07 am (UTC)
I remember wondering with the Portugal incident, why so much more fuss was being made over that compared to all the other disappearances that happen all too often. It seemed very odd to me.

Indiana *is* a very conservative state, and in fact gay marriage is being debated right now -- although it should be pointed out that our lawmakers have never been very representative of the people they're supposed to represent. Maybe if we actually showed up to vote, that would change.

But no matter where or why it happens, I still fail to understand why this is less important than Paris Hilton.
curiouswombat
Jun. 23rd, 2007 09:47 am (UTC)
Re Madelaine McCann - I think that the media took up on this because some of the reporters/editors etc. had a guily complex! Her parents left the children asleep in their holiday flat/villa whichever and went out for dinner to a cafe about 150yds away, from which they could nip back to check on the children and could 'keep an eye on the place'. Except from where they were sitting they couldn't actually see the door to their place - after all if they could they'd have seen the abductor(s).

At the beginning one or two people said 'WTF? They left the kids alone? When there was actually a babysitting service available? And, even if there hadn't been, WTF?'

Then a whole lot of media type people were in the press and on TV saying 'You shouldn't diss them for this - after all we've all done it.'

Well no - we haven't all done it - most of us would never think of doing it whether it has a reputation for being a safe holiday complex or not. And had they been a family from a rundown area in the UK and done the same thing at home by going to the pub 20 yards away they would have been in court on child neglect charges. But these are moneyied, good looking parents and good at talking to the media - and enough editors are thinking 'there but for the grace of God.....'

Well that's my theory.

Re Paris Hilton - my friend szandara had a wonderful bit in her journal about that, but she is a friends only journal (worth friending!) - but here are a few lines of 'The Judgement of Paris by LOL Cats Theatre' -

Lawyer: BLOND PRTTY RICH FAMUS GIRL IS ALLOWD TO DRYV DRUNK, YES?
Judge: O RLY?
Lawyer: YEH RLY.
Judge: WTF. NO WAI!
Paris: WTF? MOMMY HES BEIN MEAN 2 MI
ParisMom: (RANTS)
Judge: TUFF SHIT I GOTS ROBE. NO CAR 4 U!

Media: WE IN UR TV AKTIN LYKE THIS IMPRTNT. OMG WTF STAY TOONED
World: WE IN RL WRLD NOT GIVIN A FUCK
Paris: OH NOES!!!!
ozma914
Jun. 24th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC)
Guilt certainly could have something to do with it. I've always advocated treating everyone exactly the same, regardless of their personal backgrounds, but we all know that's not reality.

That Paris bit is hilarious!
pfeifferpack
Jun. 22nd, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC)
Oh I agree that the vast numbers of people in Indiana are wonderful (and tons of my family are still there and among the number). I, too dated interracially back in the 70's...lost lots of "friends" over it too, sadly but that was more than an Indiana thing. Was raised to treat ALL people well and not judge.

Sadly, I also know that many a small town (especially in Southern Indiana...a gloriously beautiful place)has a bad track record when it comes to prejudice. My sister, a Catholic, actually had a cross burned on her lawn in the mid 1960's....scared her and her three small children into moving from New Whiteland! She had no cross but the same reaction from neighbors in Vevay and Scottsburg too.

My mother's parents were members of the Klan in the 1920's and Indiana was the epicenter of the Klan movement at that time. They only dropped out because one of my grandmother's sisters became Catholic and she wouldn't turn against her. Fortunately, my mom was a rebel and I was not raised in that environment (although I have many a memory of my grandmother and uncles and their bigotted comments). Was it Indiana? I doubt it....lots of it was the times and their personality and would have been the case in any state they lived in.

So...with you on the FACT that the majority of Indiana residents are decent hard working kindhearted people...but can see how some folks have had negative experiences that scared them.

Love,
Kathleen Hoosier born and bred
ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:17 am (UTC)
My shift partner's grandfather was a member of the Klu Klux Klan, and remembers meetings and cross burnings when she was a kid (She's 64 now). Although Indiana was a leader in Klan activity for a time, it should also be remembered that public bigotry was common across the country back then. Indiana has changed along with the rest of the country, and I think even in the worst of places bigoted scumbags are the minority now.

But as you mentioned, a few (or even one) negative experiences are all it takes to taint a person's memory about a place, any place.
pfeifferpack
Jun. 23rd, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
I have horrible memories of Georgia because of a very scary experience with a cop whenI was a kid.

We were on the way to Florida, Catholic with the traditional statue of Mary on the dash board and the Indiana ("Northern") plates on the car. We were caught in a speed trap...no longer allowed they tell me...they had posted a much lower speed literally in a tree then would stop anyone not 'SEEING' it (this was pre interstate) catching all non locals. Anyway the cop was quite menacing and told us it would cost "$25 for the speeding, another 10 for the northern plate and a further 10 for the 'Lady on the dash'. Can pay now or wait 6 months for the curcuit judge to plea the case." We pled, paid and left but I never feel safe driving in Georgia to this day. It sticks with you.

Kathleen
ozma914
Jun. 24th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC)
I know just what you mean. It's a horrible thing to have happen, because some people will let such an incident color their perception of the entire state -- and/or their perception of all cops.
pfeifferpack
Jun. 24th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
Very true! I know that we just encountered one idiotic bubba and the state has loads of lovely, really lovely people but I admit driving there still gives me the willies (and I have lots of cop friends...not in Georgia *G*....even family on mom's side are usually in law enforcement).

Kathleen
ozma914
Jun. 25th, 2007 09:23 am (UTC)
My daughter's always reminding me to use our favorite line from "10 Things I Hate About you":

"I know every cop in town, bucko!"

Which is true, but I then proceed to add that it's not going to help *her* any!
deborahw37
Jun. 22nd, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
I certainly wouldn't dream of painting everyone in a state with the sam brush

Horrible things happen everywhere.. this was especially horrible but certainly no sane person would think that a few brutal thugs are representative of a whole state


but I would hope that , come election time, the citizens of Indiana might vote for officials who better represent them and get that hate crime law passed




ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:18 am (UTC)
Something I dream of is just getting the citizen of Indiana to vote at all! We've all come to take our democracy for granted.
redwolf
Jun. 22nd, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
I ran across that story a week or so back, seems it still isn't getting much press coverage.

Bampots live and breed everywhere. Unfortunately, Indiana does not have an exclusive collection of them. I say unfortunately, because if it did, we could airlift out the sane people and leave the idiots there to cheerfully kill each other off.
ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 07:21 am (UTC)
Kind of an "Escape from New York" thing, eh? It would be easier for Michigan to have the exclusive collection, because there's water on three sides and it would be easier to keep them in. In any case, when (or if) they decide to airlift me out, I hope they relocate me somewhere south.

I don't know why that story's not getting more press coverage -- I hadn't heard about it myself. The chilling conclusion is that it's so common the newsies don't think it's news anymore.
redwolf
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:03 am (UTC)
I seeded it on NewsVine a week back and this is the first time I've run across it again since. Even then, the bulk of the coverage was from independent sources, like IndyMedia, the mainstream press were avoiding it like the plague.

It definitely needs to be brought to people's attention, so I'm happy to see it hitting LJ.

I don't think it's a matter of a common crime that sees it getting dumped. I think it's a little too close to the bone. It's getting dumped in the same way the story about the Christian terrorist bampot with a houseful of explosives in Texas a few years back got dumped. Welcome to head in the sand news.
ozma914
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:21 am (UTC)
I used to be naive in that area, until I experienced it myself. It's tragic that what *should* be -- unbaised news based soley on the newsworthiness of a story -- is so different from what *is*.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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