Selective Anger by Selective People

ughBy now you’ve almost certainly heard about the woman who dressed for Halloween as a Boston Marathon blast victim, proudly Tweeted a photo—then was besieged by an avalanche of deserved criticism.

Her name was Alicia Ann Lynch. She’s 22, wore the costume to work—and now is on the receiving end of what can only be termed a 21st century living nightmare. Lynch has received multiple threats of violence and death. Her parents have been called and threatened. She had to cancel all her social media accounts, and was recently fired from her job. “I’ve had voicemails where they want to slit my throat and they want to hang me and tear off my face,” Lynch said. “I’m just like, I don’t even know how to respond to this right now.”

I can understand some of the outrage. And yet, I also sorta can’t. Lynch is a 22-year-old nobody who had a moment of truly awful judgement. At some point, we’ve all had moments of awful judgement. Hell, I sure have. While I, too, find the costume choice to be inexplicably awful and offensive, I also acknowledge that the woman made a mistake. She deserves to be criticized. She does not deserve … this.

Here’s the quirky thing about this instance, and people in general: You wanna know who does deserve … this? How about the clothing manufacturers throughout Boston selling BOSTON STRONG shirts without donating a cent to related charitable causes? How about the corporations that donate X amount to Boston Marathon Victim-related causes, but only do so because (cha-ching!) they know (cha-ching!) their company name (cha-ching!) will (cha-ching!) be (cha-ching!) mentioned (cha-ching!) a million times (cha-ching!) during (cha-ching!) commercials and they’ll gain far more business (cha-ching!) by looking good (cha-ching!) than the money they’re actually (cha-ching!) donating? Rest assured, there are dozens upon dozens of entities who have made bundles off the suffering of the unfortunate victims. There are men like Branden Mattier, a 22-year-old who used his deceased aunt’s name in order to receive more than $2 million from a charity set up for the victims.

A woman in an awful costume? Not cool. But let’s keep our eye on the ball here.