Just a Bad Joke

This was a Facebook post.

Reportedly just a joke, says Andre Curry, the father of the child, who also texted the photo to the child’s mother, writing: “Mommy help me.”

The mother, Yesmin, 21, testified in a Chicago courtroom this week as Andre faced charges of unlawful restraint and domestic battery.

Andre maintained it was all just a bad joke. Said he had only duct-taped his daughter for fun and had not left her that way long. But when he posted the child’s photo to Facebook, some of his Facebook friends called officials.

Give a rousing hand of applause to each one of those individuals who picked up the phone and called police to report Andre’s mistreatment of his daughter.

To those who saw the photo and laughed, rather than calling authorities and reporting this, you might want to educate yourself on the epidemic of child abuse in this nation.

Detectives testified that when they arrived at the Curry household, the 22-month-old child displayed no signs of bruising, broken bones, etc.

The judge acquitted Curry of the charges of unlawful restraint. No word yet on the battery charges. (The judge might want to take into account Curry’s remark about the child hitting him “back”.)

Our culture has made a sport of humor. There is nothing considered too outrageous. Even beloved funny man Jimmy Kimmel encourages parents to prank their children and videotape it.

I admit, I laughed right along with millions of others when parents told their children they ate all their Halloween candy.

But in a culture where a viral video or photo can earn one a spot on the couch next to Jimmy Kimmel or Matt Lauer, a culture where humor is translated to a child bound by duct tape, shouldn’t we all consider to what extent we are complicit in employing humor as abuse?


Karen Spears Zacharias is author of A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder

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