Friday, July 24, 2009

Shame-Based Culture, What Is It Good For?

Four Phoenix boys ages 9 to 14 used chewing gum to lure an 8-year-old girl to an empty shed. The boys held the girl down while they took turns assaulting her, police said. All five children are refugees from Liberia.

The girl's parents blamed the girl for bringing shame to the family and her father told the police to take her away because he no longer wanted her.

According to Tony Weedor, a Liberian refugee in Littleton, Colo., co-founder of a foundation which helps Liberians resettle in the U.S.:

"It's a shame-based culture, so the crime is not as important as protecting the family name and the name of the community"...."I just feel so sorry for this little girl. Some of these people will not care about the trauma she's going through — they're more concerned about the shame she brought on the family."

What's unclear is why protecting an actual, 8-year-old, member of your family is not important, and why failure to love, comfort, and support your child isn't shameful.



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