14-month-old Kimberly James was found dead today in a church parking lot when her father, believed to be a pastor, accidentally left her in the car to ‘bake’ at temperatures ‘over 100 degrees Farenheit’ for about three hours in the sweltering Miami sun while he attended a lengthy morning service.
UK Daily Mail: Her lifeless body was discovered when her father Odane returned to his car after the church service in Miramar near Miami.
Other parishioners tried to revive the baby, but she was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.
But most perplexing in this case, and those like it, is the implicit value judgment in the supposed demographics. As the Daily Mail report continues:
Kimberly is the the 49th child to die in the U.S. this year after being left in a hot car, according to statistics gathered by the group Kids and Cars.
President Janette Fennell told the Miami Herald: “The most important thing to understand is that this can happen to anyone. If anything, it does tend to happen to the better parents.
“As little as 8 per cent involve drugs and alcohol. This can happen to college professors and dentists and ministers, really the pillars of our society.”
Which means, when put more bluntly: while it’s deplorable that some parents fatally neglect their kids because they’ve been too busy snorting lines up tiny cocktail straws, we should be a bit more lenient on the so-called ‘pillars of our society‘ when they harm their children similarly, if only because they performing more socially acceptable activities…
Can we really presume to say one type of fatal child neglect is somehow semi-acceptable, and ‘better’ than the others?