Thursday, March 4, 2010
We caught some television coverage of her alleged killer's arraignment last night while we were having dinner at the sushi bar as well as video of a gang of neighbors storming his mother's house in Rancho Bernardo, screaming and demanding that the family leave the area.
My first thought was that it was like something out of Frankenstein when the villagers lit torches and tried to storm the castle. The one young male family member was being set upon by the neighbors like a pack of wild dogs. He looked bewildered and traumatized. Can we really blame the sins of John Albert Gardner III on his family? Do we know enough about the rearing of this man to demand blood vengeance from them? I do not presuppose to know the family dynamics of the Gardner's but there have always been "bad seeds" that have come out of seemingly normal families and circumstances.
My second thought was that thank god, the perpetrator was not an african american or latino. The fires of xenophobia and racism are already so strong here, it could reach a tipping point. The backlash would even be more horrific. All of the recent high profile rapists/ kidnappers, be it Garrido, the kidnapper of Jaycee Dugard, Brian Mitchell, the man in the Elizabeth Smart case, John Albert Gardner, all have happened to have been white. I actually heard a person of color remark the other day that there would be nowhere near the attention if the victim had been a member of an ethnic group other than white. Unfortunately, that may in fact be true.