Families bear brunt of criticism

Published 12:41 am Saturday, May 19, 2012

In a small, quiet town, things to talk about have always been in short supply, but there has never been a shortage of people who will talk just to hear their own voice.

When something happens that shakes up our sleepy little town, it’s only natural that the gossip vine is abuzz with the latest he-said, she-said. I know that we are all guilty o participating, but when innocent families of the presumed guilty are affected and hurt by the ramblings of others’ “opinions,” how far is too far?

The alleged perpetrators of the crime are always tucked away in jail and in a sense are sheltered from the hurtful blasts while their families are left to take the public’s blunt criticisms.

I realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I am not blind to the laws of freedom of speech, or the fact that everyone will always have something to say. But sometimes anger is misdirected.

When my brother was arrested, I’m positive that he was not affected by all the slurs, obscenities, jokes and rumors that many of you posted on WAAO’s Facebook page. But our family was. The situation is tragic, and no family should ever feel threatened in their own home. No family should ever lose a loved one, but in our society, these things happen every day.

I am not making light of the situation. But in innocence or guilt, why should a suspect’s family pay the price of carrying the burden of other people’s comments who are completely unaware of the situation?


Cherish Hughes