Today I was reading an article about a park in Virginia where someone had slathered peanut butter all over the playground equipment, as a prank. The vandalism sparked outrage from parents with kids who have peanut allergies. The good news is, they were able to clean up the park and absolutely no one was injured. After I read the article in the Washington Post, I happened to glance down at the "comments" section and could not believe some of the hate filled venom that people were spewing. Things like...
"Ridiculous! Parents w/ kids w/ peanut allergy should be issued a citation for not feeding their kids enough of the yummy stuff as babies, to produce anti-bodies for it. Instead they want to throw the books at kids doing what kids do. Instead of a public park, would they perhaps their holmes be directly targeted, by being tp'd? Even if the kids had used grape jelly, folks would STILL be equally appauled. Gimme a break, spoiled-over priveleged-parents of Asburn, VA. SHAME ON YOU. Now go get a REAL life. One that includes peanut butter. WORD."
"I am just sick of these parents and kids with their dang peanut allergies. It's your kids problem not everyone elses! You can't even send peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school anymore because their little brats might touch it. It was a prank, not a felony. It's washed off so get over it or don't go to the park. Are you going to tell a kid they can't eat a pb&j sandwich at the park because they may get on the slide next?"
and my personal favorite...
"If kids are so defective that they can't be in the same city block as a peanut, they need to be aborted."
As you can imagine, smoke was streaming from my ears at this point. And I had to stop reading. There were far more ignorant and vicious comments than there were positive, educated ones. It just reminded me of why I started this blog in the first place. The mountain we must climb is great and I chose to ignore this sort of hideous energy; the darkest side of humanity. A child with a peanut allergy is that frightening to you? That you would have them aborted? WOW.
For the record, I happen to believe that this prank was probably done by a bunch of bored preteens, a la a modern day toilet papering or forking. I want to believe that they were ignorant and did not mean to harm anyone. And the fact that they were able to clean it up and move on makes me feel like the outrage from the parents was a bit of an over-reaction. Again, no one was injured, thank God.
I am much more disturbed by the way people react to these things. The parents of allergic children only have the best of intentions in protecting their kids. What is the angle in saying something like this?
"Kids that would die from touching peanut butter shouldn't be living, for evolution's sake.'
(Cue the fight soundtrack, Mama is about to make a speech...) We need to fight the fight, people. In our cities, communities, work places and schools. We need to stand together to protect our children in a war that has two enemies: ignorance, as well as the allergies themselves. I feel blessed to be surrounded my support and love in my life. God help me if I should ever encounter one of these anonymous freaks who post this rubbish. I believe in the freedom of speech but your words are toxic. You may feel powerful behind your keyboard, but you are evil and need to be stopped.