Memphis, Tennessee Facebook user Jaton Justsilly Jaibabi posted this photo of her two small children with duct tape over their mouths and cuffing their wrists, with the legend, “Kids for sale, 45% because they bad.”
Now the Memphis police are investigating. I don’t know why the investigation is necessary; this is signature significance; No responsible parent who can be trusted with the delicate job of raising children would do this to them. It is also an example of what the law calls res ipsa loquitur: “the thing speaks for itself.” This is child abuse, and the woman responsible for it is a child abuser. No other interpretation is possible.
In fact, the poster, who has ended her Facebook account, appears to be part of an entire family that should be considered a societal menace. Jaibabi’s cousin, Derion King, explained that this was just a practical joke, writing in part,
“Basically a joke at the moment that people just went overboard about. People make mistakes and that’s what this situation is, a lesson learned. They are safe, unharmed, and loved. That’s all it is to it.”
There are eight incorrect, idiotic or unethical statements in this 36 word statement: impressive! And frightening. Here they are:
1. The Joke Excuse is a desperate rationalization, and it especially doesn’t work when children are used as props, and the “joke” is child trafficking and abuse.
2. Nobody went “overboard.” The photo showed children being treated cruelly, and the reasonable assumption is that they are in peril as long as the idiot who posted the photo has control over them.
3. “People make mistakes” doesn’t apply here. In addition to being another rationalization (19. The Perfection Diversion: “Nobody’s Perfect!” or “Everybody makes mistakes!”), what’s the mistake? Posting the picture, so everyone knows she’s a moron who thinks child abuse is hilarious?
4. What lesson was learned? Don’t tape kids’ mouths shut and their wrists together? Don’t let the world know you tape your kids’ mouths shut? Use gags next time? Is the lesson that, SURPRISE! Facebook users don’t think photos of small children being abused is funny? Was the lesson that she needs to go back to school, before her children end up as illiterate as she is, and say things like “they bad”? The lesson that we would like to hope she learned is that this is no way to treat your children. Experience tells us, however, that any parent who needs to learn that child abuse be bad should probably practice on a guinea pig or a goldfish before starting a family. I think it is unlikely that Jaton Justsilly Jaibabi has learned anything except–maybe—that when you commit crimes, you probably shouldn’t post the evidence on Facebook.
5. The children are not safe. They are helpless and living with a mother who duct taped their mouths shut.
6. They were harmed; they were probably not harmed permanently. Yet.
7. If this family thinks “love” is indicated by using children as props for “jokes,” humiliating the children by posting images of them in distress on the web, and intentionally placing them in distress as recreation, the family has a warped understanding of “love.”
8. No, that’s not all there is to it. Based on what we know, the children should be removed from the care of this irresponsible and certifiably stupid mother.