6.29.2005

They're All Doing It

They're All Doing It...Natalee Holloway in Aruba

"She's doing the same thing any normal kid would do."--Geraldo Rivera and Mark Fuhrman commenting on Natalee Holloway, on Sean Hannity Radio Show Tuesday, June 28

That’s the problem. I agree that teenagers doing ‘the things teenagers do’ should not get them killed. However, that same behavior may very well have put them at risk. In reality, Natalee’s choice of friends and activities in Aruba did put her at risk. It may be politically incorrect to say that hanging out in bars with strangers is a stupid thing to do. It may be insulting to say that having sex with someone you just met after a few drinks is another poor choice. But, it appears to be absolutely unacceptable and even intolerant to say that those decisions actually put Natalee in danger. They did.

Yes, many teenagers would have done likewise. But, it doesn’t change the fact that those very behaviors that “any normal kid would do,” to quote Rivera and Fuhrman, jeopardized her safety and her life.

She is a victim, nevertheless. No one deserves to be victimized. But, it’s one thing to be held at gunpoint while getting in your car to drive home and quite another to voluntarily make yourself vulnerable to people whose intentions you do not know. I’m concerned that conservatives, like my friend Sean Hannity, who pretend that her behavior on the island didn’t put her at risk, send a deceptive message and do other teens a disservice.

Let’s aim higher. Let’s offer high school graduates celebrations that don’t jeopardize their physical or mental well-being. There are many options to celebrate academic achievement without day-after guilt, regret or grief.

I pray for a miracle in this case. May she be found alive and in good health. And, may we all learn a few lessons in the meanwhile.

1 Comments:

At 6/30/2005 11:41:00 PM, Blogger Layman said...

Hannity is a softie. By which I mean once he gets involved with a family's story, he lets his sentiment take over.

He did the same thing with the Runaway Bride, arguing that she had suffered enough and that no one should have taken any legal action against her, despite the fact she had intentionally caused the city to divert a lot of resources into trying to solve a crime that never happened. I can't help but wonder how he would have reacted, as a law and order conservative, had he not gotten immersed in the family's situation.

In any event, there are a number of problems with the Aruba situation. The kids apparently picked their own chaperones and the chaperones had and exercised little oversight over the kids. If it was noted that she was missing that night, instead of the next day, perhaps the situation would have been different.

Also, why do kids pick Aruba? There are nice beaches in many different places, including the United States. They go to Aruba to drink. Aruba is advertised as a place for kids to go and get plastered, because the drinking age is 18 and not enforced anyway. From an Aruba website's Frequently Asked Questions:

"What is the legal drinking/gambling age?

The legal age for both drinking and gambling is 18 years. It is not, however, widely enforced. You will not usually be 'carded'."

So the question, "why do kids pick Aruba" is clear. The better question is why do parents let their kids pick Aruba.

 

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