Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tragedy or Atrocity?

It's already been noted by others that our insistence on referring to atrocities as "tragedies" is a sign of the moral decline of our civilization. Here is another example involving the murder/suicide of a Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and his girlfriend.

The headline in the video itself reveals a skewed moral perspective: "Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher dead at 25." The most significant fact as far as the Globe is concerned is that the man is dead, not that he murdered his girlfriend. Why not "Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher kills girlfriend?" We are all dead in the end, after all, but we do not all murder our girlfriends.

Cannot we summon any outrage over a man who guns down his girlfriend? Not his friends:

‘‘He was a good, good person ... a family man. A loving guy,’’ said family friend Ruben Marshall, who said he coached Belcher in youth football. ‘‘You couldn’t be around a better person.’’

Unless you happen to be his girlfriend. And that is the most appalling aspect of the article: The relegation of Kasandra M. Perkins, who should be the moral center of the story, to the status of a bit player in Jovan Belcher's psychodrama. Her name is mentioned but once in the story, and is everywhere else referred to as "the girlfriend."

"The two of them left behind a 3-month-old girl. She was being cared for by family."

No, the two of them did not leave anyone behind. Belcher left his daughter behind, while the young girl had her mother taken from her by a murderer.

"It’s unknown how the Chiefs plan to pay tribute to Belcher during Sunday’s game."


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