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MIchelle Gregg

Bad parenting, Cincinnati Zoo, cincinnati zoo gorilla, Donald trump, MIchelle Gregg, racism, Racists, Trump Supporters

The crazy people of the internet went from a polarizing hatred toward me over the Cincinnati zoo gorilla and my opinion of Michelle Gregg to straight up racists this week. People were commenting on everything from the fact that Michelle Gregg was African American to tossing around racists stereotypes like it was their job. I was appalled.

The thing is I wrote a knee-jerk post in a moment of anger. I’m an emotional writer who lacks a filter. I got more facts and apologized for being so judgmental. Then something unexpected and crazy happened, all the “Trump people” found their way to my blog and turned a horrible mistake into a venue for racist rants. This shocked me because, I have no idea what the race of a mother, or the criminal history of the child’s father has to do with their ability to parent or whether or not they love their children. What shocked me the most is that suddenly a parenting issue became about race.

Whether you buy your food with cash or on an EBT card, aren’t you still feeding your children? Since when is it a crime to be a little less financially fortunate? And just because a person made some mistakes that landed them in hot water with the penal system, does that mean they are incapable of loving their children? I don’t think so.

I’ve learned this week that the world is full of hateful, narrow-minded people that will use any excuse to spread their hateful agenda. Small people like to hurt people at their lowest moments and kick them hard when they are already feeling down.

I thought the worst had happened when I received close to 400 comments on my post telling me what a sanctimommy I was after I wrote the post about the mom who I held responsible for it all. The internet was not happy with me.

I was being judged presumptuously by the blog title alone (obviously, no one read it or most would have realized that I shared many of their opinions on the situation.) I was called every terrible name imaginable, told to come down off of my high horse, facetiously called “Super Mom”, “perfect Mother” and a proper “C*NT” (not so facetiously but quite literally) more times than I can even count.

Yes, she may have been responsible for not paying enough attention to her little guy for a few moments/minutes but then again maybe the enclosure should have been better child proofed/ less dangerous and maybe, just maybe, it was all just a horrible accident that could have happened to any one of us and has, to some degree. I think that’s where all the anger originated from.

People, parents especially, were identifying with this mom, empathizing and remembering a time when their child slipped away out of their gaze, even for a moment. It terrified them because any one of us could have ended up in this exact situation or something similar. It just so happened that I was the cold-hearted bitch making them all feel like mom failures. Which was never my intention. Then I wrote an apology for being hasty. That’s when the internet lost its f*cking mind for real.

The Racists came Out in Full attack mode.

Look I can take it if you want to attack me for my unpopular opinion. It was judgy and had a very polarizing opinion. What I don’t get was why when I published the second post, the one apologizing, I got just as much hate mail. All the people who apparently supported my original post but dared not voice their support suddenly sounded off and they were outraged. All I could think was, “Where were these people yesterday when I was being crucified by the internet?”

Honestly, I don’t think anyone read either post. I think everyone just read the title and formed their opinions of me. Talk about judging a book by its cover. Hell, it could have been the exact same post, just with a different title. In fact, it may have been. I’m never telling. You’ll just have to read for yourself and find out.

But then, something even more unbelievable happened, what was about a mom and her parenting skills or lack thereof suddenly became about race. I don’t know what one has to do with the other but all of the sudden the comments on the FB share became very dark. People started attacking this woman for her race, which has absolutely nothing to do with her parenting skills.

I won’t repeat what these racists were saying because low”>I’m not a racist  myself but you can go see them for yourself and be disgusted here.

One commenter accused me of having “white guilt”. Firstly, I’m Latina. Secondly, I wrote the post before I ever saw a picture of Michelle Gregg. Thirdly, I grew up in a very urban neighborhood, my entire neighborhood was African American and so are some of my favorite people. Who’s jumping to conclusions now?

Anyways, who knew that a little boy falling into a gorilla enclosure could bring out all of the “Trump supporters” to this mom? Honestly, this is just a symptom of what our country is becoming since Donald Trumpp has been campaigning for president.  People now think it’s okay to be openly racists. It’s bad enough if you have that hatred in your heart but it’s quite something else when you decide you are free to shout it out into the world, not caring how those words affect others. It’s as if they are proud to be racists.

People no longer feel ashamed or fear consequences of this kind of despicable behavior. This simultaneously sickens and terrifies me. Somehow this election season has brought out all the worst in people of our country and made people believe it’s acceptable to wave their racists flags high. Have you seen the Purge? I feel like lynchings could be making a comeback if Donald Trump gets into the oval office.

I don’t usually delete comments on my blog because I am a big girl and when I put my opinions online, I’m open to debate. I don’t expect everyone in the world to agree with me. Hell, we can even be friends if we have opposing views, as long as we respectfully agree to disagree but if you are leaving racists remarks on the blog, they will be deleted because I won’t be used as a venue for you to hurt other readers with your small minds and mean words. Bottom line is that if you are a racist or a bigot, we can’t be friends so just unfollow me now. Stop reading.

And to the “friend” who decided that after 3 days of being hated by the internet, she’d take her turn and kick me while I was already down. Bye Felicia! There’s no place in my world for fake friends. I’m grown. Life’s too short for shitty friends.

If you heard someone being a racist in person ( or online) would you speak up or would you be silent for fear of backlash?

What would you really do if you heard/saw racists spewing hate towards someone else?

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Michelle Gregg, Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe, Lowland gorilla, Gorilla murdered, cincinnati zoo gorilla, deonne dickerson

A couple days ago, I wrote a piece about Michelle Gregg and the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla, Harambe, who was shot and killed as the result of a terrible situation gone out of control. A 4-year-old boy dodged out of his mother’s sight and found his way into the gorilla enclosure. Meanwhile his mom watched helplessly as the animal dragged the toddler around the moat like a rag doll. I can only imagine what hell that must have been.

We’ve all made mistakes and had situations with our children escalate or get out of hand in a matter of seconds. These are moments that we all wish we could change but we simply cannot. These accidents happen and all we can do is learn from them and pray we survive them.

Myself, I’ve had a 3-month-old roll off the changing table, when I turned my head for a split second to see why her 2-year-old sister was screaming bloody murder. We ended up in the ER and she was fine but I still feel terrible guilt over that.

I know toddlers are like tiny Houdinis and quite frequently bolt for doors, down streets and try to get out of your reach; most often as some sort of game. There is a unique pleasure that toddlers find in things that happen to terrify their parents. They don’t have rational thoughts so what they see as great fun, a game of tag with mommy or daddy, we find as absolutely horrific because we are acutely aware of all the things that could go wrong. That’s why we are responsible for keeping them safe. Parenting is hard work.

I remember once my 2-year-old daughter bolted off down our Cul de Sac when I was 9 months pregnant with her sister. I was terrified. I chased her down, praying all the while that she wouldn’t dart out into the road. The entire time she was looking back at me smiling, giggling and laughing. She thought it was a game. All I could think was, “Dear God, please don’t let this little person who I love more than life itself get hit by a car!” So I smiled back, using my sweet mommy voice (as not to spook her) while I was panicking inside. So see, I do understand how these things happen.

When I wrote the piece, I was very upset that the child was hurt in what appeared to be such a senseless and preventable situation and I was upset that the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla had to be put down due to human error. I lashed out in my piece. I became harsh and judgmental in my words and I shouldn’t have because the person I was putting all the blame on is only human. She is a mom I know what a labor of multitasking, exhaustion and complete love motherhood is.

I wrote the piece too early, with not enough information. While I did do my research, there was still not enough helpful information available at the time of publication for me to accurately write about the situation. It’s not an excuse but, anyone who has ever read this blog, knows that I do tend to react immediately while my emotions are still running high. It’s how I process things. It’s also why I am a blogger and not a journalist.

 

Here are a few facts about Michelle Gregg I didn’t know when I wrote the original post.

I know now from further investigating that Michelle Gregg only turned for a second and was being distracted by another of her crying children who needed her attention. She tried to go over the enclosure herself to rescue the boy but was warned by zoo officials that it would only cause the gorilla to become more aggressive. When the boy told her he was going to go into the enclosure, she told him no but when he saw his chance to get into the enclosure, he took it.

I always believed that the gorilla had to be put down in order to secure the child’s safety. That’s a no brainer, a human child’s life always holds more value than an animal’s life. I have two daughters and nothing has more value to me in the world than their lives. I’m certain that had it been my own daughter, there is nothing I wouldn’t have done to insure her safety. I’m fairly positive that I would have been down in the enclosure myself because I tend to react first and think about the consequences later.

I was very disappointed that more wasn’t done to help the child and mother before the toddler got into the enclosure. I know that some people did try to help but said they couldn’t get to the child in time but it just reminded me that we live in a world where people don’t necessarily try to help others, even when they see it happening because it might be an inconvenience. What happened to it takes a village?

Michelle Gregg, Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe, Lowland gorilla, Gorilla murdered, cincinnati zoo gorilla, deonne dickerson

I’ve been in situations where I have seen a stranger’s child heading towards danger, not to this degree obviously, but about to run into a parking lot or get fingers smashed in a door and I always try to stop the child from getting hurt because how the hell could I just watch something like that happen, especially as a mother, myself? But we live in a world where sometimes when I help, the parent gives me a dirty look because I spoke to their child, completely disregarding the reasoning behind it. People just don’t go out of their way to help their fellow people like they used to.

I have no super powers and sit on no throne ( as many of my commenters facetiously stated). I don’t think that my mothering choices are beyond reproach. I’m just a mom trying to raise my children the best way that I know how.  I don’t normally make a habit out of judging other moms. Generally, I believe parents should parent however is best suited for their family.

After initially hearing that the child had told his mom that he wanted to go into the enclosure several times before hearing her side of it, I felt like the mom could have saved herself a lot of pain by just taking his warnings more seriously and locking him down; stroller, hand holding, handing off to another adult or whatever. I now know that a willful 4-year-old is going to do what he wants to do if given the chance.

It’s easy for me to say what I would have done because I am not the one who suffered the ramifications of this momentary lapse in judgement. I’m sure Michelle Gregg will feel terrible about this for the rest of her life and every time she looks into her sweet boy’s eyes she will be thankful that he is alive and acutely aware that things could’ve ended much differently.

Toddlers are quick and fearless. No matter how hard we try to be the best moms to our children, sometimes bad stuff still happens. Anyone who has ever read this blog knows that I am flawed and have made a shiton of mistakes in motherhood. In fact, that was the entire premise of this blog in the beginning.

I judged another mom harshly because I didn’t agree with her parenting choice. I had a knee-jerk reaction and I condemned a woman for making a one-time error in judgement.

I’m sorry Michelle Gregg, you’re not a terrible mom; you’re just a human, like the rest of us.

 

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