Slinging a smooth stone

Has anyone seen personal responsibility? It's been missing for years.

by C.F. David, Editor, The Boise City News

On or about June 30, 2003, Isaac Cortez Bynum, of Beaverton, Oregon allegedy beat to death his two-year-old son Ryshawn. The youngster reportedly had a variety of injuries, both old and new, including whip marks, a brain injury and broken ribs. Bynum has admitted to having whipped the boy with a watch strap while trying to potty-train him and makes the claim that the death was the result of “playing helicopter” and Ryshawn's head striking a table.

All of this is horrible enough. But, it's the defense itself which is indefensible.

Bynum's attorney, one Randall Vogt, is attempting to claim that Bynum's reason for beating and eventually killing his son is “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” for you see, Bynum is a black man, information that up to now, was unimportant.

The theory of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” has been advanced by Joy DeGruy-Leary of Portland State University's Graduate School of Social Work. According to DeGruy-Leary's ridiculous premise, since slaves were beaten, abused and raped by their masters, without the benefit of counseling, a generation of black men, Bynum included, that were born some 110 years after emancipation are compelled to beat their children.

There is however, a dim glimmer of sanity in Oregon. Judge Nancy W. Campbell threw out DeGruy-Leary's preliminary trial testimony as “unproven”; BUT said she'd allow it in the trial if it could be proven to be an accepted mental disorder.

DeGruy-Leary, herself an African-American, will no doubt be working overtime to prove her theory to be correct. Obviously she has an agenda; and if her theory is correct, shouldn't she be investigated for possible child abuse? (If she has children?)

My question is, if there were a shred of truth to this theory (and there can't be) how would she explain white men and women who physically abuse their children? Are these then the descendents of slave owners wracked by generational guilt? Have they been afflicted and feel the need to beat and kill their children because of what great-great- grandpa did without the benefit of a twelve-step-program to help him stop?

I have watched for years at all the counseling that happens after a tragic event; school children after their friends die in traffic accidents, or at events like Columbine. And I have wondered...as our nation was under westward expansion there were cholera epidemics, and white and Indian children alike who lost friends and family members in battles. How did they ever cope without psychologists and grief counselors?

Two weeks before I was born, my family had a horrible fire in our home. My two sisters and a female cousin died. I grew up knowing that it had affected my parents, and my brother Everett. It was I'm sure a horrible event to have experienced; but I have no idea what it was like. Three generations later, my grandchildren haven't been affected. How could they be? It never happened to them; thus, it should have no effect.

We have to send out a search party, because personal responsibility is missing and must be found quickly at all cost.

The word for the week is accountable.

Boise City News, P.O. Box 278
105 W. Main Street
Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
Phone: 580 544-2222
Fax: 580 544-3281
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