A father in Florida, 28-year-old Jonathan Gelb, has been convicted of aggravated child abuse for a presumed shaking assault on his son in 2008, when the boy was only two months old. Young Lukuz developed breathing problems while in the care of his father, and at the hospital was found to have a broken leg and brain injuries “consistent with shaken baby syndrome.” The child had no bruising or other external signs of assault.
What dismays me right now is the comments posted on the internet following the Tampa Bay Times coverage of the conviction. We are all horrified at the notion of shaking and battering a helpless baby, but these cases seem to encourage people to celebrate other forms of violence. “Put him in a paint shaker for 30 years” is unsettling, but it didn’t bother me as much as, “Ha, ha, dirtbag. Can’t wait until you get shaken by your booty in prison! Better yet, kill yourself and make the world a better place.”
In their defense, these people have been told that this father is guilty of a heinous crime. We are the heretics, those who understand how wrong a diagnosis of infant shaking can be. Still, I can’t help feeling like we’re tapped into some direct line to human blood-lust. The hatred comes quickly and unfettered.
The case coverage earlier in the week received fewer comments, and two of them were from our side, but I haven’t yet figured out how to respond to yesterday’s article and comments. Good luck to us all.