Rice on Rice….and grace

I have watched with sadness the whole debacle of the shocking scene captured in an elevator.

“Domestic violence”

I’m not sure I believe in the phrase; it’s an oxymoron.  There is nothing domestic about it.  Violence is violence, whether it is a husband and wife or a wife and children or child on child.  Being married or part of the same family doesn’t give it a pass, or excuse it, or make it different from any other form of violence. It’s wrong.

What has caught my eye is the total lack of grace being shown by so many….especially to Janay.  So many bloggers and writers have commented on/criticised her for her apology early on (before the damning video from inside the elevator was released).  More have done so for her lashing out against the media in Instagram.  There seems to be an overwhelming lack of compassion for her, for what this must be like for her. So many seem so willing to insist she act as they think she should.  But they’re missing it.  Why don’t they see it? She not only has not only been physically rocked, but clearly has been psychologically as well.  Her family life (and that of a young daughter) lies in shattered pieces. Her emotional, psychological and fiscal welfare damaged or destroyed.  And yet, she gets criticised for standing by him, for being with him, for angrily lashing out.


Could we not show her some grace?  What Websters defines as a “disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency”? Doesn’t she clearly need kindness, compassion, sympathy and support for what she has gone through and what she is going through? For going through something that most of us will never know…from the violence to the publicity.

And ….maybe some grace for him as well?  He is not the vilest human being known to exist, not by far. He has good attributes as well as this tremendously bad one.  I’ve yet to hear if this was a first time (which is still once too many) or part of a history of events. For whatever triggered this, does his entire life for the next 50 years need to be a continuous punishment for this horrible act?  I don’t condone the act by any stretch.  It shouldn’t have happened. It was horrible to watch.  And maybe that’s the difference….we get to watch it.  How many of the events in our lives would be viewed with equal repugnance by those around us if they only were availed the opportunity to see it and replay it like has happened with Ray.  How many of the events of our lives ARE recorded by cameras around us, but make no news because we aren’t famous or rich or beautiful.

If this opens up dialog and discussion for those hurting, good.  But there’s no need to vilify them, to heap scorn upon them, to propose punishments that far exceed the crime.  Nor should we forget that we, too, have the capacity for harm and hurt, and are ill-served by lashing out at others for excesses that might be our own one day. For forgetting that so much of our own life we would rather not show to the world.

There but for the grace of God go I.


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