Sunday, July 3, 2011

ZenTiger Pitchforks and Big Ideas

I'm assuming that I missed the widespread publication and analysis of the court transcripts* and other material that detailed unequivocally the guilt of Macsyna King to the point she is deserving of any subsequent lynching by the NZ public.

But then again, the column by Michael Laws in today's Sunday Star Times (SST) hints at what I expect might be the real reason Wishart and King are drawing so much venom from those that normally disparage others for any poison dripping from fangs or nibs.

Laws pointed out that Macsyna King has become the face of the "underclass" that routinely beat, mistreat and maltreat their off-spring. To Laws, King has become the embodiment of the concept that the predominantly Maori, welfare dependent, drug abusing social group need to be hated, scorned and abused for visiting the sins of their parents on their children.

Nothing but a good violent lynching can break the cycle of violence, Laws explains as he justifies placing the sins of any and all onto the shoulders of a single person.

When big ideas like freedom get attached to things like flags, we can understand why ideas such as patriotism can encourage people to step up and put their lives between harm and their loved ones. Those are the big ideas that become bigger than a single person.

But when the big idea of child abuse and murder as a NZ problem is placed squarely on the shoulders of one woman, as Laws suggests is right and proper, I instead get a stronger inkling of the kind of society we live in that might be contributing to the problems we moan about solving.

Suddenly, we've moved on from talking about the specifics of this one case, to suggesting that her crime (which remains unresolved as far as I can tell) apparently justifies public whipping in the town square, echoed to everywhere from the TV and news papers to the local bookshop.

Modern day ostracism has advanced in potency considerably since the medieval times people so quickly disparage. The mob better hope they are right in their assessment of Macsyna King. But why am I even thinking this? Would it ever prick their conscience if they happened to be wrong?


*I'm still wondering where their source of evidence is that makes it so clear to them that the truth is already known. Can any readers point me to a concise summary of the facts that warrant a refusal to listen to Macsyna King's story?

1 comment(s):

macdoctor said...

The psychology here is simple, Zen. People are rightly appalled by the murder of the Kahui twins. They want someone upon which they can vent their opprobrium. Having been denied Chris Kahui, they have now settled on the other person cleverly suggested by Kahui's able defense lawyer; namely, Macsyna King.

It really does not matter that the case against her is, in fact, substantially weaker than the one against Chris Kahui (which is why the police charged him, and not her). Such logic is irrelevant in the face of visceral horror. As you point out, she is the sacrificial scapegoat upon which we can all show just how much we hate child abuse. Then we can all feel better about ourselves while ignoring the actual problem.

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