So we’ve probably seen how the story of the girl severely injured by dogs being turned away at KFC was a hoax. And the first reaction many of us probably have is anger and outrage for the deception and being played for suckers.
I have a different reaction.
This is speculative as it relates to the motives of those involved, but I think it’s the kindest possible speculation.
Imagine your daughter was just mauled by dogs and you are facing a mountain of medical bills that, in all likelihood, you will NEVER crawl out from underneath.
Lucky kids are born into households with the money, insurance, and other means to cushion the blow of a tragedy like this. But you have no such good fortune – you are getting care from the ER, staring at six figures’ worth of plastic surgery and other medical expenses to restore your daughter’s life, and you don’t know how you’re going to do it. You feel you have let your daughter down twice – once by letting this happen and again by being powerless to restore her health and appearance.
What do you do? Other families put a plastic jar out at the 7-11 and folks pitch in nickels and dimes for their chemo treatments or what have you – but donating to the family that let pit bulls attack a child? Who’s going for that?
You’re in a corner. You’re desperate. You know a thing or two about what goes viral. You have an idea. For a minute it looks like it worked. A miracle. And now here you are, with an angry nation calling for your head.
Maybe this is all wrong on my part, maybe it was just for meth money, maybe it was just a stupid lie told for no reason other than to lie. Wouldn’t be the first time.
But what if it is exactly what it looks like?
What WOULDN’T you do for your sick kid? Would you hang KFC out to dry? Take a couple bucks each from a few thousand folks, who can probably afford it, right? It's not like it's HER fault she's in this position. You do what you have to do.
The question that implicates us all is, why is that what you have to do?
Why have we allowed ourselves to get to this place, where we simply let kids essentially fend for themselves?
Why must their care and protection be wholly dependent on a million things going right in their parents’ lives?
Why must we raise money in 7-11 jars and candy sales and Facebook campaigns and online hoaxes, just to get our most vulnerable the medical care they need?
Thank you President Obama, for finally putting us on a path where someday, maybe, this will all be a thing of the past.