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By Ray Hanania
Southwest News-Herald Newspaper Friday, December 07, 2012
The most disturbing video I saw recently is the one where the dolphin at Sea World in Orlando, Fla., lunges up and bites the hand of an 8-year-old who was participating in the feeding of the animals.
Although the parents say they are not planning to file a lawsuit against Sea World — right! — you have to wonder about who is responsible for the accident?
The father says Sea World employees didn’t seem that concerned about the incident even though the daughter’s hand had two punctures from the animal bite.
Sea World hasn’t said much, probably fearing a lawsuit.
My concern is with the parents. Clearly, they are to blame.
Sea World allows visitors to feed the dolphins but have certain rules. One of the rules is that you not move the plate of fish food off of the edge of the pool under any circumstances.
In this case, the girl fed the dolphins the food. But when she ran out, she lifted the plate off the ledge in the air. The dolphin thought it was being fed and bit the plate, and the girl’s hand.
The father says he didn’t understand why they should lift the plate off of the ledge. Really? Are you that stupid? What do you think might happen when your little girl holds the plate up in the air in front of the animal, while she is not paying attention by the way and is talking to another child?
Being a parent means you should have some commonsense. It means you can’t be an idiot. It means that when you are video-taping you daughter and you see her break a rule, you put the freaking camera down and immediately tell her to 1) put the plate down and 2) pay attention.
The little girl wasn’t paying attention. But neither were the parents.
The father says he didn’t know why they told them not to lift the plates off of the ledge.
No one wants to see a little girl hurt at a tourist attraction, especially one whose parents are such idiots.
Where is the parental responsibility?
When dealing with animals you follow directions. And when you see your daughter not paying attention, the parent in you should tell you to act, not keep filming.
It is amazing to me how so many people in our world see tragedy as a lottery ticket. It’s so easy for the people who are injured to suddenly portray themselves as the victims, when in fact maybe they were injured because they didn’t do what they were supposed to do? Or maybe because they weren’t paying attention.
It’s always someone else’s responsibility to be responsible.
Dolphins are pretty smart mammals. You can’t say the same about people, though. Some of them are pretty dumb.
But in a lawsuit between a little girl who had her hand bitten on YouTube and a Dolphin that can’t defend itself, you know who is going to win.
Do the right thing, and you enjoy an animal attraction. Do the wrong thing and you suddenly win the lottery.
Too bad the dolphin can’t file a lawsuit.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. Reach him athttp://www.TheMediaOasis.com.) — City & Suburban News-Herald
This post has already been read 86 times!
Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
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