Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Got To Me Today: 19 yr. old with record, runs down ducklings

Dillon Pearce is in trouble again.

I have nothing good to say here.  Pearce is an Ann Arbor teen who was in trouble with the law just 11 months ago.  Perhaps still on probation?  I hope so.  The disgusting act he was involved in last May looks like child's play compared to what he is accused of now.

Let's re-cap.  Last May, he and a bunch of pals decided to smash in the back window of a police car, and pour feces into it. The feces was delivered via cups from a restaurant he and his pals were hanging out in prior to the incident.  Classy.

He must not have gotten much of a consequence for that little prank because currently, 11 months later, he is driving a big ol' Hummer around town running over baby ducklings. Truly, I'm supposed to say "allegedly" running over ducklings despite the many witness accounts of the incident. 

This kid, now age 19 and charged as an adult, was driving through a McDonalds for lunch, where there happen to be an adult duck and several baby ducks walking around the parking lot.  I'm quite familiar with this area and know there is water nearby, and ducks are often wandering around.  The passenger in Mr. Pearce's car jumped out and tried to pick up one of the ducklings, but did not succeed due to the dismay and shouts of McDonalds employees.  The two in the Hummer parked in the lot to eat for about 15 minutes.  Then...

Mr. Pearce, according to spectators' reports, took his big ol' Hummer and ran down four of the baby ducklings, killing them. On purpose. As if putting on a show.


I am happy to report that Dillon Pearce was arrested a short time later at a nearby gas station for killing the animals.  I have since learned that deliberately killing waterfowl is a Federal offense.  Aaaaahhhh....that makes me feel a little better. 

This kid is driving his Hummer down a road of destruction.  The fact that he thinks running over ducklings is funny, or even acceptable, is disturbing.  He obviously needs help.  Unfortunately, after he "hires a private lawyer", he may not get much of a consequence.  He was released on a $5000 bond and will be in court May 4th.

A different man in Washtenaw county got jailtime recently for killing a Parrot....so perhaps there is hope that something similar will happen to Pearce.  It sounds to me like this is a spoiled kid who needs a heck of a wake up call. 

I still get upset thinking of it, hoping there weren't little kids who witnessed it.  What a horrible picture to have in their heads. Perhaps Mr. Pearce should think about that?  How many little kids could he have really upset by his actions?  I'm guessing he wouldn't care about that either.

There were over 200 comments on the article in the newspaper, many agreeing that punishment should be time served at the Humane Society.  I think, if found guilty, he deserves both.  Prison might make him think twice next time, and maybe some time forced to care for animals will brew some compassion within him?

I don't know.  A troubled kid.  An awful incident.  This is what got to me today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

What Got To Me Today: Hate Speech in Easter Eggs

Hate speech of any kind is hard to take.  Thank God most of the time I am able to tune it out, keep it away from the ears of my children, and hopefully not give any kind of unwarranted attention to those evil people who spread hatred and prejudice.  I am, after all, a real fighter for free speech, even when I don't agree with it.

Sometimes though, I'm so struck by something so putrid, that it makes me want to rally the troops and spread awareness in hopes that maybe it'll do some good.  The difference with this story, is the method of which the free speech was delivered, how it landed on private property. 

I caught a snippet of news today as I was walking through my living room, something about hateful messages in Easter eggs.  What I thought was a Michigan story, turned out to be a national story.  The plastic eggs I'm about to tell you about were distributed in Oakland County, near Pontiac in Michigan, but originated out west in Idaho, and were copied in other locations across the country.

Leaders of a white-supremest, nationalist neo-Nazi group (I refuse to print their organization's name), spent their Easter holiday spreading colorful plastic Easter eggs all over the lawns of neighborhoods.  Unfortunately, the eggs were filled with recruitment fliers and racist and anti-gay slurs. 

I tried to imagine what it would feel like to find one of those eggs in my yard.  I tried to think of the fury I would feel if one of my children opened up one of those eggs, looking just the same as others filled with candy and loose change.  How would I be able to explain what they had found in a way that wouldn't devastate them on one of the most joyous and holiest of holidays?  How would I explain it on any day?

Then I thought, my kids would be as sad and angry about the messages as I was, because my husband and I have taught them to know what is unfair, unjust, and just plain mean.  Even at their young age, in a way that is age-appropriate for them, they know that people are just "people", not labeled by a color, a religious belief or by who they choose to be with. 

So I guess the best defense of this kind of behavior is offense.  The awareness I choose to spread today is that of a power that is real.  It is the power of knowing what is good, what is right and what is responsible. We are the ones who should spread the word of equality, fairness and a love of thy neighbor. The more we choose not to give these horrible people our energy, the less they will be fueled.  They can have no power if we choose not to give them any.  Knowledge is the real power and we know better.

To those people who received those eggs, I'm so sorry that happened to you.  Just please know there are so many more people that stand with you, then those who do not.  We, united, will someday drown out the voices of those who choose to live in hate.