Children fill the lives of many parents and non parents with joy. Their innocence and playfulness make it hard not to feel empathy for them, which is why when one goes missing, society springs into action.
Central Florida did just that July 15, when the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando announced that a 2-year-old girl had been reported missing.
Then the little girl’s picture was released.
Caylee Anthony lay in bed, her face resting on her hand, capturing the hearts of viewers and readers alike.
But there was a catch.
Caylee had been missing for a little more than a month, but her mother, Casey Anthony, had not reported it.
Immediately, Casey became a person of interest.
After all, authorities thought, what parent would wait that long to report a child’s disappearance to the police?
Anthony has been arrested on different charges three times since the ordeal began. Her latest arrest was Monday.
In the meantime, Caylee’s grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony, continue to plea to the public to help them find their lost granddaughter. The problem is, many aren’t buying their concern.
Since almost the beginning of Caylee’s disappearance, protesters have descended upon George and Cindy’s house because the grandparents are unsure of when they last saw Caylee. When asked by police, they responded with an incorrect date by a few days, which prompted the protesters to action. Since then, George has had verbal spats with protesters and the media. Cindy has yelled at TV cameras.
The entire Anthony family is cast as villains by the media whenever a member loses his or her temper. But has anyone stopped to think why the Anthonys grow more frustrated with the media and protesters each day?
Every morning, George and Cindy wake up with the pain of their missing granddaughter. In addition, they have to walk out and confront people accusing them of wrongdoing. These normal, peaceful citizens went from relative anonymity to being the center of a media frenzy. And while their daughter sits in jail, they continue their search, believing her story to be true.
Who wouldn’t, though? Would you want to believe the worst about the daughter you raised? Their support of her aside, last time I checked, forgetting the exact date of the last time you saw your grandchild is not a crime.
It’s about time protesters and the media left George and Cindy alone. That their daughter has been accused of a crime is no reason to protest or hound them. And their not having committed exact dates to memory isn’t a reason, either.
Instead of concentrating their efforts on harrassment, the protesters should be out looking for this beautiful missing child. It is obvious they are passionate about the disappearance — otherwise, they wouldn’t be protesting.
I can’t see what good can come out of protesting the relatives of a missing child whose mother is already in jail.
All protesters can hope to do is upset the family, and all the media can do is hope they are there to catch it on tape.
In the meantime, all I can do is hope that people forget about the grandparents and remember the real issue here — the disappearance of a little girl.
Cynthia Roldan is a senior majoring in mass communications.