cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
One of those genuinely ugly stories about human depravity appeared in the morning Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The headline for the story went like this: Man sentenced to 18 years for whipping, beating a boy. As the story unfolded beneath that headline, it became very apparent that the headline did not do justice to the actual acts committed.
The boy who was assaulted on what appears a very regular basis is called I.M. in the story and is 3 years old. His body, according to this story, is “covered with scars. He must be fed through a tube. The left side of his brain can no longer communicate with the right. He takes medication to control his seizures. He has nightmares.”
A 20 year-old man, Dennis Buford, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the crime. That hardly seems enough, and yet how does one even begin to total up sufficient time behind bars to equate to the damage that was done to this young boy? The story goes on to indicate this was “among the worst cases ever seen by child abuse experts at Children’s Hospital. It took more than 200 photographs and a 26-page doctor’s report to document I.M.’s injuries.”
Perhaps even more disgusting is this. I.M.’s mother was sentenced to 13 years earlier on similar charges. Buford, during police interviews, admitted to the following:
“He said he would whip I.M. with an electric cord and a belt and beat him two or three times a week. He said he would whip I.M. with a belt until the boy fell down. He would order the child to get back on his feet and then, Buford said, 'finish him off'”.
The very thought that our society has spawned these two people who think little or nothing about engaging in such activities is nearly impossible for me to fathom, but I did not grow to adulthood in some of the environments our society has created by its actions and inactions. I do not know what the two adults may’ve learned was permissible given their lives from beginning until this incident.
All I can do is pray that this kind of act will never again occur, and pray for the souls of these two adults and especially for young I.M. Even as I do that, I fear that I know I’ll read such stories again.
Our society has devolved significantly since I was born.